Giving Old Chairs a New Life!

Hey everyone!

This post is a little different from what I usually offer up here on the Mood Sewing Network – we are gonna talk about home decor fabric today! ::evil laugh:: No wait, come back, I promise it’s not all bad!

Forreal, though, I’ve known about Mood Fabric’s home fabric offerings since, well, the beginning of my Mood-time. And while I’ve never been one to futz much with home decor sewing (I mean, c’mon, wouldn’t we rather all sew clothes for ourselves?), I did have some chairs that needed to be recovered.

Here is the chair in question:
Reupholstered Chairs - before
I bought these at our local flea market for next to nothing – along with the table and a buffet (there was a matching china cabinet as well, but that went home with a friend who split the cost). I love everything about these chairs except the padding – after god knows how many decades, the fabric was torn and fraying, and the padding was sticking out.

Reupholstered Chairs - before
Here’s the worst of the chairs. Yeesh!

I left this problem on the backburner for, ahem, over two years. What? I couldn’t find a fabric to commit to (I wanted it to match my floral curtains – another find from the same flea market, in case you were wondering!), and I was afraid the whole process would be too difficult.

After browsing the goods at Mood Fabrics and swatching this chartreuse geometric cut velvet, I decided it was time to woman up and manhandle those chair cushions into making me proud. Surprisingly, there’s not a lot to this type of very simple upholstery. You remove the chair pad from the frame (generally unscrewed from the bottom), pull out all the staples and/or nails and remove the fabric and padding, recut the fabric and padding (if replacing), and staple it back onto the chair board, keeping it as taut as possible. Then you screw the whole thing together and – hey! New chair!

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

This project was INCREDIBLY easy – the entire thing took me a little over an hour to do four chairs. That includes disassembling, cutting, reupholstering, and then putting everything back together. Heck, that even includes sweeping the floor when I was done! It’s kind of lame that I put this off for as long as I did because I was afraid it would be too difficult, or take too long, but on the flip side – I’m glad I waited, because isn’t that geometric velvet divine?

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

All in all, this was a surprisingly easy project! The hardest part was choosing the perfect fabric – which, while it’s not a perfect match for those curtains, I do think it compliments them quite nicely. I only needed a yard and a half of both the fabric and padding (I didn’t completely replace the padding as the stuff on my chairs was still in good shape, but I did add a new layer to the top to give the seats some extra squish); my chairs are about 16″ square at the seat.

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

And just like that, my dining room got fancy! Thanks, Mood!

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Comments


  • Peter
    August 7, 2014

    Wow — those chairs look great! I love the fabric you chose; it really complements the whole early 60′s vibe of the room. Fun!

    • Lladybird
      August 8, 2014

      Thanks, Peter! I’m surprised I was able to find such a 60s-fabulous fabric that wasn’t vintage, but coming from Mood… I guess I shouldn’t be surprised :) They really do have a great selection!

  • Sallie
    August 7, 2014

    Gorgeous!! Great fabric! Those chairs really pull the whole room together!

    • Lladybird
      August 8, 2014

      Thanks, Sallie! They really do :)

  • Sue
    August 7, 2014

    I love it! The whole room look so happy and warm. Great fabric choice. Well done!

    • Lladybird
      August 8, 2014

      Thank you! It’s a MASSIVE improvement on how the room looked when we first moved in – it was that one room we didn’t know what to do with. Moving around furniture and getting the chairs looking nice really helps :)

  • Cennetta
    August 7, 2014

    Great job, Lauren!

  • Amy
    August 7, 2014

    You make it look so easy! Those chairs just got several more decades of life out of them!

    • Lladybird
      August 8, 2014

      Thank you, Amy! It seriously was SO easy, I’m kind of mad at myself for putting this project off as long as I did!

  • Carolyn
    August 8, 2014

    Love the new chairs and the fabric compliments the curtains, perfectly! Well at least to me they do! Great job!

    • Lladybird
      August 10, 2014

      Yay! Thank you, Carolyn :D

  • Ginger
    August 9, 2014

    These look great! It’s funny- home dec projects take basically NO time, but for some reason, like you, I just put them off forever and ever and ever!

    • Lladybird
      August 10, 2014

      Right?! And then you feel dumb (or, at least, I feel dumb haha) for putting it off as long as you did because it is over so quickly!

  • Fiona
    August 10, 2014

    Stunning fabric Lauren! Now I really want to try some cut velvet! I’d always thought upholstery to be a massive job but it sounds like a great project, I love things that can be fixed with something as simple as a staple gun!

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    August 25, 2014

    Now I just need you to pop around to my house (just a quick flight to Australia) and cover my dining chairs. They are Danish in style and I think you will do a great job. Lovely room make-over!