make me pretty – the big reveal!

August 11, 2010

Yeah! I finally finished my first upholstery project! Before the big reveal let me tell you the lessons I learned this week:

1. Do not ever again start a new, big, labor intensive project when super pregnant!

2. When you are working in a space with hundreds of used staples littering the floor – wear shoes! I ended up with a pretty nice puncture wound to my heel. Umm, when was that last Tetnus shot?

3. Thank goodness I wanted this chair to look distressed and old because I couldn’t help but bang it up a little bit with all the stapling and hammering the staples in that didn’t go far enough in.

So, without further ado, here is the big before and after.

So this is how I did it. Although, this blog post should probably be titled “how not to re-upholster a chair” or “fake it till you make it” I am sure I didn’t do any of this the correct way and there are some things that I did really wrong but overall, for my first attempt, I am actually very pleased.

First, I sewed a new seat cushion cover. I used the old one as a pattern.

Then I stapled the new seat cover and arm cushion fabric on.

Next I sewed all the trim. There is a special foot you can get for your sewing machine to make this double welted trim. If you don’t have it you can use a zipper foot and do one side at a time but the two pieces of cord don’t really end up close enough together so I came up with a way to make it work, although I am sure any professional upholsterer would hang their head in shame over this one.

Once, I stapled the trim around the chair I used craft glue to close up the seam. I know this is so wrong but it worked pretty well.

There are some things I didn’t do so well – like how the seat cushion cover is kind of wonky around the back.

But I also surprised myself – look how well I lined up the fabric on this seam!

So that’s it. I am taking a long break from upholstery but it will be back someday. I already have another chair sitting in my garage waiting for me. But no more double welted trim, for real!



  1. oooOOOOOoooooohhh!!! Karen, that’s an absolutely stunning transformation!!!

    • yeah! thank you so much!!

  2. Bad ass!!!!!!!

  3. i’ve been looking through ALL of your pics and THIS one caught my eye!! THIS has GOT to be the BEST ONE YET!! cute chair, cool fabric, nice paint color- just perfect!!

  4. […] had just enough fabric form this chair redo so I removed the cats, painted the feet and sewed some trim. Here is how she turned […]

  5. Ur article, “make me pretty – the big reveal! Darling Octopus” was indeed truly worth commenting on!

    Simply just wanted to point out you truly did a good job.
    Thanks for your effort ,Laverne

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