January 4, 2011

DIY Torture (i.e. Reupholstering a Wingback Chair, Part 2)

Day 10
Sew seat piece together with pleating 
Day 11
Staple seat piece to chair 
Day 12
Staple left arm piece to chair
Day 13
Staple left wing, start right arm 
Day 14
Finish right arm, right wing

Day 15
Staple on inside back and piping around sides and back 

Day 16
Remove fabric from little front of arm pieces (meant to cover up staples, and no, I have no idea what they're really called) 
Day 17
Trial and error with nails on arm fronts. It may seem silly, but these little arm pieces gave us a lot of grief. The first time, I tried to use nails that were too small, so they bent when we tried to put them in and we had to start over since the nails had to go in before it's covered in fabric. Bigger nails were used next time around. Also, since they are curved, the fabric must be put on while the pieces are tightly curved. We ended up wrapping them around a rolling pin while stapling on the fabric for a nice tight bend.
Day 18
Attach sides of chair using ply grip, metal teeth, and staples (see this video on how to use ply grip)
We had to use a mechanical pencil tip to push the little spikes out on the ply grip since we just reused it from the original upholstery.
Almost there . . .
Day 19
Attach outside back using ply grip, metal teeth, and staples 
Day 20
Staple fabric onto arm fronts & nail to chair (Success, finally, with two larger nails on each piece)
Staple piping along chair bottom

I can finally move on and get the visions of upholstery to stop dancing in my head now. And I've got a nice chair and an ottoman to show for it.
If you actually made it to the end of this post, congratulations. I think that means you have what it takes to get to the end of an upholstery project.


  1. Wow!!! I am so impressed! It is sooo cute! I just might make you help me with one of my own...

  2. I'm absolutely blown away! I can't believe how good that looks.

  3. I have been researching wingback chair upholstery for a long time and am so glad I came across yours. You did such a good job, your chair is beautiful!

    After over a year, I finally Craigslisted a pair of wingback chairs w/ottoman with the hopes (more like delusions) of reupholstering. I love the chairs as they are (practically brand new) but really want something of my own. So thanks for putting this up and being honest about how tedious it was. I'm still going to do it even though it'll take me ages to finish them, but I'm pretty sure I'll be delighted with the results.

  4. Wow. You are amazing. That is a beautiful chair. And I've decided I will never tackle that kind of re-upholstery project. I'm way too intimidated.

  5. That you took photos all the way through this was amazing to me, you did a superb job!!! I am impressed, and would love to do this someday too, seeing your post made me a little less apprehensive. Beautiful job.

  6. I love your post and your chair. I wish I could do that, but I have zero sewing experience!

  7. Thanks for the detailed account and clear pictures. Still not clear on the seat cushions, but I will refer to the website you have linked to. I'm planning to take on this project myself. This is going to come in very handy.

  8. Awesome job! Could you tell me if you used a different kind of staple gun to staple the ply grip? I tried using ply grip once, but the staple gun recoil always meant that the staples wouldn't go through the wholes, no matter how hard i tried! It was also tough to aim for the holes to begin with.

  9. What a beautiful job!! You've given me the courage to take on my favorite, well worn chair. Thank you.


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