Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Feather the Nest-3-Recovering Chair Cushions

Let's start with an After shot to the left, and a Before on the Right. I'm feeling lucky you can't see how stained and dirty that cushion fabric is, but rest assured, it needed replaced.

This is a close-up of the finished seat cushion. What an improvement in both design... 

...and comfort! The former cushion was 'repaired' at a furniture store, and left it hard as a rock. When the springs went bad several years ago, they replaced it with a sheet of plywood, and a piece of foam. I was heart-broken. They were so hard and uncomfortable after all that expense. 
I was determined I could fix it, and I did.
It wasn't hard. Let me show you how.

See how cushy the chair looks on the left?

Start under the chair finding out how the cushion is fasten on. If, like mine, it's with screws, I highly recommend a power drill to remove and refasten the screws. Start by removing fasteners. Remember, "Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey."

Remove the cover without tearing it! It may pull off easily, or a screwdriver works well to lift the staples, and pliers to pull them out of the wood. You may not need or want to remove all the covers on the cushion if it has been reupholstered before. I left one cover on.

Use the old cover as a pattern for your new fabric. I was adding extra padding, but didn't need much more fabric as it would be compressed. Make sure you have enough fabric for all the cushions before you start, if this is your goal. You don't want to come down to the end, and short the last piece!

 This is my secret filling. It's a dense, all cotton "wadding" or batting that I order through a company called Perfect Fit from the state of Washington. Shipping is expensive, but it's fantastic stuff. Soft, dreamy, and not at all like the feeling of a synthetic batting. It comes in a massive bale.

I also used an ultra thin quilt batting maybe 1/8" thick.

Lay your cushion directly on the batting, and cut. I did not need any to go around the back of the cushion where it meets the chair back. That would make too much bulk to refasten the cushion. I did leave enough on the sides and front to come down over the edges where I could feel the hard wood.

Like this. The picture after this gives a better look at how much batting I left to cover the front edge.

Lay the whole cushion with batting on the thin poly batting, and cut out. The job of this layer os just to hold in the cushy cotton batting.  Leave enough to come down under the seat cushion, and staple into place to hold together. 

Staple in place. I used a power stapler/nailer. Start in the front with a few staples, then work the back, or opposite edge. Put a few in one side, then the other. Keep the batting smoothed and balanced. This is pretty easy.

Corners are a little harder. You don't want bulk here. Trim down the excess before the final stapling.
 *All in all, you don't need to over staple the batting. 
Your fabric will hold everything in place.

It should look something like this. Getting prettier.

This is old pillow fabric I had in my home dec stash. Yup, I have one of those, too. There was just enough to squeeze out these 4 cushions. No need to buy fabric!

Use the same method to staple on the outer fabric. Front to back, and side to side. Then corners. Pull snugly, but don't cause stretch marks. Look at your other upholstery in your home to get a good idea of proper tension. You don't want excess fabric that will cause creasing here.

Corners are last. Trim fabric down so there is no bulking up. That could cause the seat to stick up off the frame when you refasten it. You may or may not be concerned about the extra batting or fabric, and want to trim it up to look tidier. You do not want anything hanging down to be visible when you set the chair upright! Tacky.

It's done! Looks a lot better to me. Re-fasten onto your chair, and in my household, I spray it with fabric protector. People here work in dirt, grease, and concrete. We should be a testing house for durability!

Tomorrow's project is already under way. It involves this very old family chair, 

a mix of fabric remnants from the upholstery stash, and some improv piecing. 
Sounds fun to me!

Come on, Doxie Girls.
Busy, busy day ahead!
Let's go sew!

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