Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Finishing Touches: The chair

Awhile back I gave you a little teaser of a project I was working on. A couple snags later...it is finished!

I bought this chair a few months ago from a shop called Rusty Tin Boutique and Vintage in my beautiful hometown of Marquette. 

I saw this sort of potential, via Pinterest. 

I've never tried re-upholstery before, but figured with a $30 chair, I could get close to the $200+ chairs that catch my eye on Joss & Main for a fraction of the cost.

So I read a few DIY blogs and decided to go for it. I pulled out staple after staple. I took photos each time I took something off. I wrote out detailed notes in case I needed help pulling the chair back together.


I primed and painted the frame black, and took off the cane sides. 

And then came snag one. I love tufts. I wanted them back again. But the buttons were orange, and I couldn't find new prong buttons at any fabric store. So I hand-covered each of the chair cushion buttons. Time consuming, but not difficult.


I used the thread to trace 22 circles with a fabric pen, cut them out, glued the circles to the button tops with liquid stitch, then I sewed a basting stitch around each fabric circle edge and pulled it tight around the prong. (Which, sadly, I don't have a photo of.)

After that, I used the orange fabric pieces to cut my new fabric to size. And then, I put the pieces back together...and got very good at wielding a staple gun.

Snag two happened as I prepared to work on the back cushion. My plan was to reuse all the old materials, but the buttons on the back cushions were rivets, and I couldn't re-use them. Plan B was to forgo buttons, but I couldn't figure out exactly how to make the back piece of fabric tight. I needed buttons...plus I like them.
After searching for prongs before, I knew I couldn't buy less than 145 online. Plus, the new ones would need a button machine to tighten the pieces together with fabric in between. After deciding I would just have to get buttons with a hook on the back and sew them to the cushion, the mom of a childhood friend came to the rescue. (Thanks again Sherrie!)

She had new prong buttons, plus a button machine! So Friday while visiting my parents, Sherrie made me eight new buttons, and I went back to work. Here's the finished product:



A close-up of the tufts:


I'm so excited about it. And super pumped that I was even capable of finishing this task. It's also something I will try again...this time with a green rocker.

Unfortunately it's also made me want to upgrade my other living room furniture--I've had plans for awhile, but haven't pulled the trigger.


Anyone else trying your hand at something new?






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