As you know, I’ve been working on my Barrel Chair. Since I finished it this past weekend, I feel it’s only fair that I share this process with you. It’s my first reupholstery project and I even learned to use my sewing machine to tackle it. It was a lot of fun, but it’s also a weight lifted now that it’s done.
Here she is above, the day I got her from Salvation Army. Isn’t she a beaut? She just needs some TLC.
After looking around pinterest and google images for different type of barrel chairs, I did a mockup in photoshop and decided that above rendering was the way to go. I just need to fix and darken the wood, and buy a creamy white fabric to reupholster it. This way I could mix and match fun pillows to add an accent color. Also, by avoiding a pattern, that would make my first sewing project way easier.
I started by cleaning and taking inventory on what needed to be replaced. I also took TONS of photos as I dissected the chair so I could really understand how it all needed to go back together.
I really paid close attention to details like what order were these materials placed? How are they connected? So first sewed then stapled? I made a little map for myself of what I thought the order of assembly should be.
Stapled below, then stapled on top, then covered? I’m a fabric detective.
Well that’s sneaky.. glue, staples and tread.
All the insides. What can be saved and what must be tossed?
Once the chair was fully detatched from the frame, I took it outside to spray.
I used wood filler to smooth out the many notches and damages in the wood. I decided to skip traditional stain and instead spray paint it a chocolate brown. This was an excellent idea, as stain would have drawn attention to all the rehab work I had to do on it. After a couple coats of spray paint, the chair looked brand new. I then put a glossy coat of polyurethane over the whole chair to make it look shiny and clean.
Next up, upholstery time! Get out those sheers! I was able to find a fabric I liked at Jo Ann’s Fabrics (although after my trip downtown this weekend, I wish I had looked at Michael Levines). I got tons of fabric because I assumed I would fail and have to start over.
I decided to start with the backing, which was a lot easier than it looked.
I also added a strip of piping to the front seat of the chair. This is how the last fabric had been applied, and I was set on matching it.
Unfortunately, as I started attaching the back, I could see wrinkles because it wasn’t tight enough. When I tried to make it tighter, you could see the bumps of the buttons from the front. That’s when I realized I still needed a material (like what was originally on the chair) to sculpt the backing to be smooth. That’s why I went to Michael Levine this past weekend, and for $2.50 my problem was solved.
I then came home and continued with the backing, making it extra tight and firm with the addition of the padding. Once I stapled it in and cleaned up the edges (above) it was really starting to come together.
Now on to the bottom cushion and the piping!
I was able to ruse the inside of the piping. And the bottom cushion, which I was SO afraid to tackle, turned out to be the easiest part of the chair! Just wrap and staple!
Isn’t she pretty? I know the piping didn’t turn out perfect, and Im sure I made some other mistakes along the way, but she really came out beautiful. It’s so comfortable and fits in nicely in the house.
Look how smooth that backing is?! The $2.50 foam really made the difference, and I’ve got plenty left over for future projects.
Here’s a throw pillow we had around the house. It’s a nice size and the bright color stands out nicely. I’m thinking maybe my next ( or down the line) project will be making a pillow with some fun fabric I saw at Michael Levine. It’ll help me learn more about my sewing machine and you know how I love DIY!