Saturday, June 21, 2008

An Upholstering Tutorial and We have Peaches!

Thanks (again) for all the comments and compliments about my chair re-do that you've left on this blog and emailed to me privately. In response, I've decided to put together a step-by-step beginner's tutorial showing you the deconstruction and reconstruction of this second chair, a twin to the first. (Pretty, isn't it?! ;( ) It will take awhile to do it, but I'll post it on one of my photosites (probably Webshots) and will be sure to give you the URL. Meanwhile, for those of you who are anxious to get started on your own project, the steps below will get you going:

1.) Select an area with good ventilation, away from your main living area and AWAY from pets and toddlers. I prefer to take this type of project outdoors. Trust me, you'll end up with a lot of dust, lint, threads, staples, nails and fabric pieces.

If the chair came from a thrift shop, is a curbside find, etc., you may end up with crawly things - some with antennae, some with fur. I'm not trying to gross you out, just trying to prepare those of you who have never attempted to reupholster an item. 2.) Basic tools you will need: Camera, sturdy flathead screwdriver, scissors and a boxcutter, hammer, needlenosed pliers. These are needed for the DEconstruction. You may also choose to wear a dust mask and work gloves. Other items will be needed when you are ready to start re-dressing your chair. 3.) Here's where your camera is needed: Take several photographs of your project BEFORE you start removing the old upholstery. Be sure to photograph all sides, including underneath. 4.) You'll find that there are various pieces of fabric fastened together, usually with staples or upholstery tacks. Remove these pieces one at a time, photographing as you go. The reason? You may think you can remember how each piece of fabric was fastened and where batting (the beige-colored material) was added. 5.) Be sure to remove all the nails and staples. This is one job for the needlenosed pliers. If you absolutely can't remove the entire piece, use your hammer to tap any protruding pieces deep enough into the wood that you can't feel it with your forefinger. Remember, the tiniest piece of metal can be dangerous to a child's delicate skin.

The next installment of this tutorial: Preparing the frame.

Remember the now-red metal lawn chair? I did decide to dress that middle back panel up a little. I painted some vines and roses:

...which brings me to a new dilemna. I don't know whether I like this look. Not a big problem - there is still plenty of red paint left.

Take a look at our peach tree.

This is the first year we will get any fruit from it; frost destroyed last year's crop. We knew that trimming back branches last fall would encourage a good yield for this year. But we didn't anticipate this. My hubby and stepson tried to relieve the weight by propping boards under branches. Looking at the heavy branches takes me back to my days of being pregnant with my children. I feel sooo sorry for this tree.

DON'T FORGET - a comment will qualify you for my June Giftaway!


Janet Fish said...

Sher, thanks for the tutorial you are doing. I don't know that I'll ever reupholster a chair. My grandmother used to reupholster furniture. I don't think I ever saw the deconstruction phase. Probably she did that when she knew we weren't coming to visit.

The red chair, I think I liked it better solid red. I haven't seen it in person though, or see the flowers up close.

The tree, that must really be something to have that much fruit. Do you do canning?

Love, Janet

Sher said...

I'm liking that solid red more and more. The roses didn't come out as I had hoped. They may disappear by the end of today.

Yes, I do can but I like fruit better frozen. Not that I need or want a new freezer, of course. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Irma's Rose Cottage said...

Hi Sher! Thanks for the tutorial. I have a wing chair that I need to have upholstered and have not quite gotten the nerve to start, but you have given me a boast to give it a try.

The roses are cute on the chair, but they don't quite show up much. Maybe one big pink rose, or not. I love red anyway.

Sorry to see what happened to your peach tree.


~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

Hi Sher!
Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I LOVE how your chairs turned out & how great that you've given us a tutorial - I have a little one that I've always wanted to re-do....maybe I'll give it a try!