August 28, 2013

How to Make a La-Z-Boy Recliner Less Ugly: Part 3

(Part 1 here, Part 2 here)

The finale of any upholstery project is always the most satisfying part. Actually, I guess the end result of any project is usually the best part, so I suppose that's a really obvious statement. But still true.

So, I left off yesterday with the cushion being the last part to do. Here's what it looked like sans fabric, next to a cute little drawing on the floor. This is the one part of reupholstering this recliner that I couldn't avoid sewing. Not that I'm afraid of sewing exactly, but it just slows me down a lot when I have to stop and do it. And maybe I am a little afraid.

This is one of the few parts of the chair that I used the original fabric to copy as closely as I could. Mostly, I reinvented the look and did the chair my own way, but this part had no alternative but to do it the original way, or nearly so. But it wasn't too bad, actually.

I sewed elastic inside the seams of the piece that connects the seat to the footrest. That made it bunch right instead of being all loose on the edges. Then I put the foam and batting for that piece inside it and sewed it to the piece used to cover the seat. I'm not sure I'm explaining this all that well. I should have taken more pictures, but really, every chair is a little different anyway, so it's more important to use common sense than copy other people's tutorials exactly, right? Speaking of which, I couldn't find a single chair on the entire internet that's the same style as mine that someone has reupholstered. Is it just too ugly to be worth it? Most people would say yes. I say why not try it and see.

Seat piece (with elastic bands sewn in to connect to the footrest).
Bottom of the chair after stapling fabric on seat cushion.
Top of the seat before attaching
After stapling the fabric on around the seat frame, I reattached the seat to the chair frame (fortunately it wasn't as time consuming or painful as removing it had been). I then stapled the bottom underside of the attaching piece to the footrest part.

Now, here's where I want to say "done!" but in reality, there is one tiny part I haven't finished yet. See the bottom of the back of the chair? There was originally a piece of cardboard there with fabric over it that was attached to cover up that metal bar and the rocking mechanisms. It got pulled off a few years ago and I need a big piece of cardboard to finish it. So . . . done for now!

Missing a piece here still
But it looks finished from the front, so let's just check her out. A bit asymmetrical, but aren't we all?

You may be thinking, "What a waste of time. You can't take the lazy out of a La-Z-Boy." And yes, you'd be right. It's still no bergère chair, or Eames, or whatever. But it's a big improvement, in my opinion. The color of grey is nice and the fabric is soft. It doesn't smell anymore. Most importantly, it works for our family. It goes in the girls' room and they love reading books in the cozy rocking chair. Jared loves being woken up by Ivy and spending the night in it (sort of). AND, I daresay, it is much less ugly than before.

And if you don't think it's cute enough, how about this little face?

One final before and after:

Cost breakdown:
Chair: free
6.5 yards of upholstery grade fabric: $70
Button kit: $6
Staples, etc: $4

So, was it a big enough change to be worth it? Anyone else have a chair like this that needs some work?


  1. I think it looks great. i love the button tufting.

  2. I actually remember that blue chair. I'm not super sentimental either, but I love that you were able salvage it and keep it from being an "eye sore." You'll share many memories with your children in that chair. Lisa, I think you are amazing!

  3. We reupholstered a chair that was a hand-me-down from my family (actually belonged to my great-grandpa). La-Z-Boy has a lifetime warranty on parts, so when we also found that a spring was broken, we took it to a local factory to get a replacement part. Our original part was from maybe the 70's, so they had to find something close enough from I think the 80's! ANYWAY, it was so much nicer after reupholstering even though it sat around half finished for months because I didn't want to face it any more :). Great work on your chair--I love the new fabric.

  4. Beautiful make over, it looks awesome, you did an amazing company UK

  5. Oh my goodness!!! I wish I could sew! We have this very ugly (but oh so comfortable) recliner in my living room that doesn't match my fancy new sofa... this project would be perfect... but I dare not tackle without first knowing how to sew. (Yes, I admit I'm 30 and can't sew)

  6. Love! I got a G Plan chair on freecycle (online give away your old things here in Blighty) and found a cheap upholsterer to cover it in dark slate grey - but impressed you did it yourself!

  7. Thank you so much for this tutoria!!! My chair is almost exactly like this all but the arms...and I have 2(YIKES) that I have to redo.

  8. A leather rocker recliner is designed to be comfortable, supportive, and relaxing. Along with being able to recline all the way back, these chairs are also supposed to provide you with a soothing rocking motion.

  9. How to Make a La-Z-Boy Recliner Less Ugly: Part 3 ...


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