How to Recover a Butterfly Chair

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have a butterfly chair that is sun-faded or has hideous fabric on it? I bet you thought it was a lost cause, right? Nope! With a sewing machine, some new fabric and a little spare time you can recover that ugly butterfly chair and have a new one. Okay, so I didn’t recover it with green fabric in honor of St. Patrick, but what could be greener than a good old upcycling project! Believe it or not, this was a much easier project than I had anticipated, so don’t get scared by the curves. You can “sew” do this! ;-)

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

I stumbled upon this chair at Goodwill for $9.99. Normally I wouldn’t spend this much for a sun-faded chair, but because I was working on the school library makeover project — and we needed more comfortable seating — I bought it.  After all, we would have had to pay at least double for another comfy chair.

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I had some soft leftover fleece fabric that I could use to recover the chair. I wish I had measured how much I used, I think it was a little less than 2 yards.

Materials:

  • 2 yards of fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Old butterfly chair + old cover

Instructions:

1. Remove the old cover from the butterfly chair frame. Lay it on top of your fabric (both right sides up.) [Read more...]

Video Tutorial: How to Reupholster Dining Chairs and Protect the Fabric

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

In the very beginning of this blog I showed you how to reupholser a yard sale chair. Almost four years has passed and I learned a lot since then. I hope this tutorial will be more helpful to anyone who wants to reupholster a simple dining chair. But, most of all, I want to show you how to protect your fabric seat after you put in the effort to recover them.

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s get this chair party started!

Materials:

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Drill with screwdriver bits
  • Pliers
  • 5-in-1 Painter’s tool (or thin pry bar)
  • Fabric (upholstery fabric will hold up better than thin fabric)
  • Staple gun
  • 3/8″ staples
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses

Instructions:

Turn your chair upside down and locate the seat mounting screws. Unscrew them all to release the chair seat.

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the chair cushion onto a flat surface. Pry up the staples with the 5-in-1 tool and/or the pliers. [Read more...]

Curbside Vintage Step Stool Makeover

Curbside Vintage Step Stool Makeover

Curbside Vintage Step Stool Makeover

A few years ago, while driving back to work from my lunch break, I spied a very cool but sad looking vintage step stool sitting at the end of someone’s driveway next to their trash.  I passed by, but it didn’t take me long to circle around the block and come back to pick up the stool.  Unfortunately the step stool stayed untouched for at least 4 years.  This time it wasn’t in my garage, I left the sad step stool in the back room of my office. Good thing I’m the only one who goes back there!  I finally decided it was time to show this little vintage step stool some love.

Curbside Step Stool MakeoverThe structure of the step stool was in fairly good condition, but COVERED in rust.  In some areas thicker than others.  I thought about using the old school method and hand sanding the stool like Jeff talked about a few weeks ago (Painting Metal Patio Chairs ) but decided if I tried this avenue I would be sanding for a few months.  I also considered using a sand blaster to remove the rust.  And while it is a fast effective method, it is not practical for everyone.  After much thought I finally decided on a 3M sanding disk that attaches to any drill. Let’s get to it shall we? [Read more...]

Recovering This End Up Style Kindergarten Chairs

polycrylic_coating_on_chairs

How-to-recover-this-end-up-chairs

As a parent of two elementary school students, I always ask my kids’ teachers if they need anything for their room. Usually the answer is markers, wipes, or snacks. But, my kindergartner’s teacher knows about my secret identity after having taught my older son for a year. So, she didn’t hesitate to ask me if I could possibly recover a few really sad looking chairs that had seen their fair share of kindergarten butts. ;-)

old_school_chair

These poor chairs were still very study, but the fabric was nubby, pilled and stained. I love a good challenge, so I took all three of the chairs home over the Christmas break.

The first task involved removing the seats. Before I touched the seats, I flipped over the chairs and marked the front side of the chair so they would fit together perfectly when I put them back together. [Read more...]

Upholstering Little Bench – A sweet spot to land

If you stuck through my ugly post yesterday. I have some pretty pictures for you today!

Two years ago I happened upon a cute little bench being thrown out with a neighbor’s trash. (I am addicted to trashed furniture. In fact, I have a NASTY chair in my garage that needs a lot of help structurally and asthetically.)

The roadside bench was painted a very blah beige color. I brought her home and gave her some decorative lines and a monogram. At the time we didn’t have anywhere to sit in our mudroom, so this little bench served the purpose well. Later I built a big mudroom hallway bench with built in shoe storage (I promise to create a tutorial for that at a later date.) So, this little bench was moved to the guest room where she sat by the window until this week.

The first thing I did was give her a little rub down with some sand paper. Then I laid down 3 coats of fresh shiny white paint (leftover from trim and moulding painting).

I used some old foam I saved from our move (only 3+ years ago). This foam was the packing material used to ship ice cream cones! I received it from a nice woman off of FreeCycle.org and thought it could be used for a cushion at some point.

I cut some batting to fit over and wrap around the foam (so as to hide all the seams in the foam).

Then cut the arms off of an old t-shirt of Pretty Handsome Guys (don’t worry, he had already said goodbye to it.) And cut up the sides so I could use just the back of the shirt.

And finished off with the decorative fabric cut slightly larger than all the other layers.

I carefully folded my decorative fabric under being sure that I had the old t-shirt hidden in the fold. And put in two staples with the staple gun to hold the fabric on the one side.

Moving over to the other side, I cut the t-shirt, batting, and decorative fabric down to size being sure to leave about an inch excess on the decorative fabric.

Then I repeated the same fold under and put in two staples.

Now for the bling! I had plenty of leftover nailhead trim from this project (check that link out if you need a better tutorial on adding nailhead trim.) I began at the corner of the front of my bench and added the starter nail.

At this point my 6 yr. old had come over to my side telling me how bored he was and, “What can I do now?” I asked if he wanted to help me hammer. Once I started each nail, he was able to hammer it into the nailhead trim for me. (I did have to finish a few off myself.) We worked together adding the nailhead trim to the front and back of the bench.

Before adding the trim to the sides I neatly folded and tucked under all the layers (cutting excess off when necessary.) Until it looked like this. Then I added the trim on top to hold the fabric in place.

And there she was, my beautiful cushioned bench for our guest room. I’ve been busy trying to finish a few projects (rebuilding a curbside chair and making a night stand from a door and picket fence) in this room before my best friend from high school comes to visit. Nothing like a visitor to get your DIY butt in gear!

 Sittin’ pretty
Sweet smelling soaps in a coordinating bowl
My trash to treasure bench is now a sweet spot to land

Re-Upholstering the Chair Seat

The next step in my extreme rattan chair makeover is the upholstery. Time to give your tushie a new cushy!



Seat Re-upholstering:

I removed the seat from the chair before I started any of the paint stripping and painting. Removing the seat on a cushioned chair is really simple. Flip your chair over, look for four holes where the mounting screws are located (see red arrows below.)

Tools You Will Need:

Cordless Drill or Phillips head screwdriver
Flat head screwdriver
Needle-nosed pliers
Scissors
Batting
Fabric
New Foam Cushion (if your foam is in bad shape)
Sharpie Marker
Staple gun w/ staples (I used 5/16″ staples)
Hammer

Grab a screwdriver or cordless drill with a phillips head attachment and unscrew the mounting screws. Be sure to save the screws as you will need them to re-attach the seat later.

If the fabric on your cushion is in good shape and you are using a fabric that is thick enough to cover the old fabric, you can leave the seat intact. In my case, the fabric was very old and stained. Not exactly something I wanted to be sitting on….ewwww!

So, I began the demolition phase of this makeover.

Grab a flat head screwdriver and needle-nose pliers. Wiggle the screwdriver underneath the staples and then use the pliers to pull them out.

Once the fabric has been removed and all the loose staples have been pulled, take a look at your foam cushion. If it is stained, crumbling, or smelly, you will want to replace it with new foam. Luckily the foam seat was still in good condition and no stains or odors, so I kept it.
I laid my fabric on top of the seat and played with the pattern until I liked the layout on my chair. Then I took my sharpie pen and drew an outline about 3 inches out from the edge of the seat.

Next, pull out your new batting. I like my seats to be nice and cushy, so I chose two layers of batting.

Next, I laid out my fabric, then the two layers of batting and finally the seat. Make sure that the batting will wrap around to the underside of your seat. Then cut your batting. Usually my batting is about an inch smaller than the fabric on all sides.

Now it is time to get your staple gun and hammer. Start by pulling your fabric up and wrap it over onto the bottom of the seat. Use your staple gun to put in one staple. Hammer in the staple if it is sticking up.

Next you will pull the fabric across from your first staple and affix that side. Repeat this step as shown below:
Now you can finish stapling the sides and hammering the raised staples. Leave about an inch to two inches from the corners. Pinch the corner fabric together as shown at the left. Then neatly fold it over onto the seat and staple a few staples to secure it.

Voila! You are done with the seat. Go ahead and set it on your chair and admire your work.

Be sure to join me here as I add the back and the finishing touches!