24 August 2011

NEO: Reupholstering Tutorial

Thank you for all the lunch ideas!  Whoa!  I had no idea there were entire sites dedicated to packed lunches.  My girls are going to be eating well.  Oh.  And no baby yet.  In case you wondered, because I now have quite a long list of waitresses, check-out personnel, teachers, secretaries and even our pediatric orthopedist all wanting me to return to their place of employment to report the gender of this baby.  We took Pearl in for a cyst on her wrist (nothing serious that a little "freezy spray" and a needle couldn't take care of) and the doctor said she almost wanted to schedule another appointment to find out if this is our boy or our even half dozen girls.  I had a friend suggest I just direct them to my blog.  If only I had cards :)

Anyhow.  Thanks for your ramble reading.  I begin this by clearly stating I am not a reupholster professional, but I have certainly reupholstered my fair share of hand-me-downs through our years of marriage.  Please excuse my poor excuse of a before shot.  What this is: my first harp bench I bought...16 or so years ago?  I use it as my sewing bench, which might shock people who swear by back support when it comes to sewing, but I really like it.  I like that I can adjust the height depending on how intense my sewing gets ;).  It's been good to me, but it was time for a change.  I originally ordered some orange plaid oil cloth for the job, but when it arrived it seemed to cheap and plastic-y, so I stuck with this white faux leather that I've used for several projects around the house.
The disassembly went smoothly.  The key to a good reupholster job is to study the original construction and try to replicate or improve upon it.
After removing about a billion staples, I had the bench cover open and ready to trace and cut out of the new material.
I marked the button placement by sticking a marker in the old holes.
Next I sewed the corners and placed the bench top inside the new cover.
A staple gun is a must when it comes to reupholstering.  Start by stapling one side and then pull the opposite side taut and staple in place.  Repeat with remaining sides.
You want a button with a shank so you can't see the thread.  I couldn't find anything already manufactured that I wanted so I covered some in scraps of corduroy that was the perfect color.
I used embroidery thread doubled and threaded it through a needle and through the fabric and bench top.
Pull it as hard as you can to create a tufted effect on the other side and staple in place.
Now pull the thread the opposite way and staple again.  Repeat this process 2-3 more times (up, down, up).
I spray painted the bottom portion white and the knob orange to match my Never Enough Orange (NEO) Sewing Studio.  I think that's my favorite part.
It turned out pretty schnazzy.  You'd never guess it's previous life was so serious and reserved.
 Lovin' the buttons.
And the knob.


  1. That looks fantastic! Love the buttons!

  2. ooh, how fun! Love the contrast of the orange buttons and white seat. And what a good idea for a sewing chair. Sometimes I feel like chairs get in the way of the project. Benches are easier to move around on. hmm...

  3. I love the button covers....they add sucy a nice orangey 'bling.'

  4. Wow!! Snazzy is an understatement..it's fantastic!!! Hard to believe it ever had another life!!

  5. LOVE!!! i am loving the pops of orange on the white! i can't wait to see how it looks in the room!!!

  6. How cool!!! btw, I've been looking for a staple gun, mind sharing the brand of yours? I really have no idea how to shop for them... Thanks in advance.

  7. Is there anything you can't do?! It looks fabulous!!!

  8. I love your site. I feel like I am one of those Moms that is checking your site every day to see if you had your sweet baby. Thanks for a great site!!! And I love your rambling. :)

  9. Wow, this room will be some kind of wonderful with all that you're doing! I'm so excited for the reveal...is it happening soon? Sending you blessings for the birth! Of course, that BIG reveal will be the MOST exciting one, EVER! xo~Holly

  10. I totally love this! Thanks for the tutorial. I have stretched fabric over a bench and stapled, but buttons have always been beyond me. Now I feel like I could do them. I check here every day for baby news, too. Good luck good luck good luck!! Thinking of you.

  11. love this - I admire anyone that can reupholster.

  12. Wow! I love this! Thanks so much for giving such a clear rundown on adding the tufting...that intimidated me until today! I'm going to try it out! I'm so excited to see your NEO sewing room completed! Jen @ www.icantstopcrafting.blogspot.com

  13. Love the orange buttons! Can you provide some details on how you did the corners? They look so good. I reupholstered my dining room chairs recently and really struggled with the corners. Mine don't look nearly as good as yours :-(

  14. Ok, you had to have had the baby by now...just seeing your blog for the first time today! Love it! BTW if you want free "Mommy" cards or business cards visit www.VISTAPRINT.com they really are free you just pay the shipping...like under $5 I think or close to it! Blessings,
    Shawnie Hendrix


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