9.03.2008

Reupholstery and More Rescued From Ugly

Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer is hosting a backwards "Works-for-Me-Wednesday" this week, and I am so glad because I need a little help!  I have two wingback chairs that I inherited from my grandmother.  I LOVE the shape and style, but HATE the fabric.  You can see what I mean in the photo below.  Hello 1970s!

So here's where I need help.  I would like to reupholster these chairs, but it is $400-$500 per chair and Ouch!  Can't do it.  Has anyone reupholstered a piece of furniture by themselves?  Feel like giving a tutorial?  My husband is ridiculously handy and I think, together, we could do it if we had the right instructions.  I welcome any help you have to offer!

Well, I can't ask for help without offering something in return!  So I give you this little before and after project.  I just found this little bookshelf at an estate sale.  Did I mention that I got it for $3?  (I really hope that my sharing the prices doesn't bother anyone.  I always like to hear about the bargains that other people get, because it inspires me that my next bargain could be right around the corner!  That's why I give you all the lowdown...hope you don't mind!)

Anyway, back to the bookshelf.  We sanded it down and painted it a soft white.  I found a little lamp (thrift store!) and added some little picture frames and little silver accessories, along with some of Nina's books. 
 
Didn't it turn out cute?  I put it in Nina's room, next to the little armchair that she got for her birthday.  My little girl looks adorable when she sits in her corner and "reads."  We cuddle there every night together to read a bedtime book.  It feels good to be encouraging her love of reading, even at this early age!


41 comments:

Lisa & Gerald said...

Best of luck with the old arm chairs! You could try the libary for books on Reupholstery!

Oh and I also love Nana's cool room!So sweet! I love her new reading area! you always fine great buys everywhere! keep on sharing with us!:)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Sorry....can't help with the reupholstery....but will be interested to see who can.....something I have always wanted to attempt, but never had the guts!

The shelves are adorable....love the "anywhere chair" from PB.....Sarah has one in her room and the do look so adorable when they sit there and read!!

Have a great day!

Lisa

Darlene said...

I've never reupholstered anything so sorry no help there. I LOVE to hear prices of sale and thrift store finds....I put them in my posts too.

The book shelf was a FABULOUS find and looks great next to that great chair. It is great that Nina likes to read. I love to read my daughter does not :(

Jodee Leader said...

Your book shelves turned out great! They look perfect with the PB chair!

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Hi! I just buzzed over from Nesting in Pleasant View. Love the look of your blog, very appealing. I hope you have a chance to visit mine too. xxoo

Sandy Toes said...

I do love your white bookshelf...great find! BUT, Queen Bee, I first noticed those wonderful shelves above in your daughter's room! So cute!!!

I had chairs similar to that but a lady did a simple tight fitting slip cover...you would never know!

-Sandy Toes

mamajil said...

CUTE!!! I love the reading corner!! The shelf turned out great!!
By The Way I left you an award on my blog :) have a great day!

Jen r. said...

That is a great chair! I was thinking of doing another chair I have, so maybe I'll do a post...I do a cheater's version though. have you ever thought of just recovering the seat on a contrasting fabric to give it a whole new look?

Shannon said...

I can't help with the arm chairs but I LOVE the transformation of the bookcase! So cute!

JoAnne said...

The reading corner is adorable. I love the green chair!

I hope you find someone to help you learn upholstery and share it with us. I have a couple of chairs from my Mom that I love and can't afford to have done professionally. Upholstering furniture is the one thing I haven't tried and would love to but am too intimidated.

Smiles, JoAnne

Wendy said...

Yea! I love the little bookshelf. And I love me a reading nook! Good find!

Christy said...

That is a great chair but I know nothing about reupholstery! Hopefully someone out there in blog land will be able to help:)

I love to hear about great finds like your $3 bookshelf. i just wish I could come across them myself! It does inspire me to know that great find is just around the corner.

What a cute chair to sit and read in. I love books and always made sure that was one thing my children had plenty of. I wish I could say that they love reading as much as they did when they were younger.

Have a great day!
~Christy

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

So good of you to buzz by and hope you're not too "beezy" to come again. :) xxoo

Nikki said...

I can't help with the chair, but the reading corner is precious!

The bookcase turned out really good.

Thehotrod5 said...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news.....but there really is no way to do a re-do your chair cheap :( We own our own business in upholstry (auto and marine) and it is too expensive for us to do for ourselves right now (and we have all the equipment!) Many of the fabrics we see can go for up to $27/yard...yikes! Maybe someone could do some slip covers for you or you could buy some until you could get the money to re-do the whole thing :(

Angela

The Nester said...

I know you can find fabric for less than $20/yard--but you have to be patient and look hard. I agree with the slipcover things. I have a chair that I'm not thrilled about the pattern and color and I think I'm gonna try to slip cover it.

My mother in law is a great sewer so I'm hoping to have her help.

Cute chairs--I would for sure keep them if they are good quality. Any way you can work them in the decor for awhile and add cute pillows for now? They don't look so bad!

Twice as Nice said...

I too have a wing chair that I would love to give a make over. Hopefully someone has some simple reupholstery ideas for us. The book case turned out darling and is perfect in your daughters room.

Laurel MacD said...

I've reupholstered a chair and a couch - totally doable, but tricky. I just carefully took apart the chair, saved each piece and wrote on it where it went. Then I kept a notebook of the order that I took each piece off. I used the old piece as a pattern piece and with my trusty staple gun, I stapled away. Both the chair and couch had about a bazillion staples so it took awhile to take those all out. I would suggest not using a stripe or plaid or something that has to match - go simple the first time around. I don't have pictures, I did it a couple of years ago, but if you go slowly, it's kind of like a puzzle putting it back together. Good luck, email me if you have more questions - I'd love to help if I could.

Angie said...

I have an old chair I bought from a garage sale for $20 that is just about exactly the same shape and size as yours. I bought it to recover, but haven't done to yet. I made an attempt to staple fabric to it, but that didn't go too well. It is in my living room sporting its grandma-like floral fabric and I can't wait to redo it in maybe a toile or check. Maybe we can get some help figuring it out! The bookcase looks great in your daughter's adorable room!

Deb said...

That is an amazing shelf, and what a deal. I love the final product and it goes great next to the adorable chair. Nice job spotting that one out.

As for the chair, I totally think you should try the slip cover thing. You can find great fabric for under $20 if you wait and take your time to find it. Joann's always has the sales on interior fabric, and you can find some great fabrics there. Good luck with that. Can't wait to see what you do.

Libby said...

I love reupholstery! I tried my hand at a few projects on my own and then was lucky enough to take a class. The class I took was through my city's community education program. Not sure where you live, but community ed classes or classes offered through a craft store might be an option for you. If they are, I would HIGHLY recommend taking a class. While you can reupholster without taking a class, you learn all the little "tricks" when you take a class from a professional.

If classes aren't an option, then definitely check out the library and get a couple of different books. Having a couple of different sources will help.

But in order to tackle this on your own, you'll need a few basic upholstery tools like an upholstery hammer, webbing stretcher and some needles (the books will tell you exactly what you need). You'll also need upbolstery supplies like foam, batting and webbing and, finally, a sewing machine and the knowledge/ability to sew zippers and welting.

This is totally do-able on your own, just be patient and remember to save and label everything.

Good luck!

Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

You are too good~ The shelf turn out beautifully!

Each day I come by and I am inspired~

I added your blog to my 'get inspired' roll call, please let me know if that is okay or not.

Meghan said...

How freakin cute did that shelf turn out!

Can't help on the reupholstery b/c well I am idiot when it comes to that.

My home - My life said...

I am sorry but I don't have any suggestions for you... But I do LOVE the cute bookshelf.

Good luck with the chairs!

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

Great job with the bookshelf, I can't help in the redoing of the chair dept. We just have BabyBoy's books in a basket next to our chair currently, I'm going to have to keep my eye out for a deal on a shelf. You'll be proud though, we have an ugly inherited table that we'll be repainting to go in the office for a printer station! :)

Sweet Simplicity said...

I love that polka dot chair! How cute! I love hearing about other people's bargains...continue to share prices. You're right is inspiring to hear what other people can find and do with a $3 item!

frillsfluffandtrucks said...

I love hearing prices that people pay for their bargains--keep sharing, keep sharing! That shelf was quite the deal and it looks adorable in the reading nook. We have two of those PBK chairs--they are fantastic for little ones!

~ Sarah

Marie said...

I sure hope you find someone who knows how to reupholster! I bought an ugly wing chair recently and slipcovers won't fit right. I have to cover it or get rid of it. Wonderful bookcase!!

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

Reading areas are the best! Love that cute chair and the bookcase looks great!

Our Complete Family said...

Good luck with the chairs chica~ I'm a dunce and have zero clue in that department!!! The bookshelf and chair are darling in that corner! The shelves I see at the top of the pic look really neato as well! What a fun room Nina has. Lucky princess!!! Hugs, Les

Laurie said...

Check out this awesome slipcover - with a complete tutorial and lots of pics!
http://slipcover.vrya.net/

I bought 9 yards of $4/yd fabric from Walmart to re-do my ugly chair. I hope to start on t next week :-)

Weeksie50 said...

Oh, it turned out way cute. I love the polka dotted green chair too. How fun is that?

Laura said...

Have you checked on etsy? They have a section where you can post something you want done/made and how much you are willing to pay for it. Then various people "bid" on taking your buisness. It would work great for local etsy sellers....

Kelsey said...

I have no clue but I love the chair!

Kris said...

I am no help in how to reupholster those chairs - but they are definitely worth doing! They have a great shape.

I love that you tell the price. I do that all the time. It somehow makes the bargain even better to me by telling everyone I know!

Eloise said...

Love the chair! It definitely has great *bones.* I can't wait to see what you do with it. You have such great vision.

Nina's reading area is wonderful, by the way. :) Her teachers will love you for instilling a love of reading in her from an early age, and Nina's life will certainly be richer for her exposure to books.

M.L. said...

Can I just say...I love your site? I see that we share a lot of the same tastes. I just finished posting the "Big Reveal" of my daughter's new french walls. Come take a peek if you'd like. : )

M.L. at the house of whimsy

Gray Matters said...

Check out Pink and Polka for her tutorial on slip covering
http://pinkandpolkadot.blogspot.com/

tami said...

Our Community College offers a class, maybe yours does too. You need to bring a project and they show you how to get it done. Take the class and you'll be half way there and the second will be easy. Good luck!

new every morning said...

LOVE the book shelf!!!

sarah @ a beach cottage said...

oh good luck, I recovered a chair with some Amy Butler fabric, I did the inside out method, just cut, pinned all inside out and then sewing up the seams, it turned out much better than I expected...there is a tutorial on yvestown.com, which is where I got mine from

Sarah