Sunday, May 19, 2013

Labor of Love - Recovering an Antique Chair Tutorial

 I've been enjoying filling up the end of the year
calendar with events (did I just say ENJOYING?)...
scratch that...
I want this year to be in O V E R!
I want lazy summer days with my kids, to be able to stay up late
with friends and family and just be.
Four more weeks til I can have my way!
Since my last post, I picked up a few things at estate sales,
turned them into projects,
and thought I'd share how they went.
I am no an expert on reupholstering...(clearly)
I can count on two hands how many I have done.
But, in case you are wondering how easy it is...
here you go!
I bought four antique dining chairs from a guy who
no longer wanted them.
Lucky me!

I later found out that they are Eastlake, which

is the seats are stuffed with horsehair old!

The original crushed velvet fabric was easily removed

to unveil this beautiful sight..uh...what?

This was my first experience finding horsehair under

the burlap and fabric.

These guys are really old!

After removing the nails (about 20 per side) with my

needle-nosed pliers, I took the chair outside and gave it a

dozen or so good heavy hits to remove all of the dirt and dust.

This took some effort as there were many years of heck knows

what to beat out of them.

I took the shop vac to it as well, and then covered

it with a fresh layer of burlap. (You could also remove the

horse hair altogether and refill it with foam, but that

seemed a bit over zealous for me lazy).

I just happened to have white burlap leftover from a wreath

I made awhile ago, so I used that.  I secured the burlap to the wood

 with small upholstery nails. Just make sure the fabric you

 use as a buffer between the horsehair and final fabric,

 is thick enough to keep the horsehair from poking through.


I then draped a piece of fabric over the burlap and "lined it up"

to make sure the pattern was on straight.

Next, I took my time cutting away the excess fabric, making

sure not to cut it too short. You want it to line up

with the wood of the seat. It doesn't have to be exact because

you will cover it with need for perfectionism here!

A close up will show you that I am horrible at cutting a straight edge,

and thankfully that's forgivable with this project.

I have used large decorative nail heads in the past and

used a double fold to finish the job, but this time around I chose to use

a trim. Before putting the trim on, I secured the fabric with the

remaining nails.

I purchased both my fabric and trim from Pacific Fabrics in Everett.

They are so kind and helped me figure out how much I would need

for my four dining chairs.

I wanted to do two in the fabric above (to go with a dresser I have in at

Faded now), and the other two in another different pattern of fabric

 to go with a dresser I just finished today. (Pics to follow.)

I got out my trusty glue gun and glued the trim...

super easy.

And here's how it turned out...

Here's a before of the dresser I picked up on Friday...

And, after much contemplation over color...

And, the other two chairs look like this...

They are truly a labor of love!

Speaking of very first labor of love was...





She turns 17 in one week!

She is kind.

She is smart.

She is beautiful.

I am so blessed to be her mom!

Happy Birthday Chanelle!

Love you to pieces :)

Have a terrific week!




  1. all of it (including the daughter!) turned out incredible! FYI -if the horsehair is in good shape, better to keep it than replace it - it will last longer and provide a better cushion. it all looks fantastic!

  2. Oh good Amy! For once my laziness turned out to serve me! As always, thank you for your input and your compliments! Much appreciated :)

  3. Very cute and great designs!