My friend, Suz, bought a cute little bench on Move Loot. She planned to get it reupholstered so that it would better match her home decor. The original bench was actually in really good shape, and the fabric wasn't awful. It just wasn't what she wanted for the house. I can totally relate.
I'd given her the very limited information I had on local companies in the area. I'd also suggested that she and I could try to do the project ourselves if she couldn't find a reasonable price for the professional work. Needless to say, that is the option we settled on.
The key to success on a big project that you virtually know nothing about is low expectations. Neither one of us had ever taken on a task this daunting. I replaced the fabric on the glider for our nursery, but that seemed to be a lot less involved. Just the word "reupholster" is a little scary, but we dove right in.
Suz had the bench delivered to my house and she picked out a fabric that she liked and some white chalk paint for the legs. We found a few pictures on Pinterest and I read some good tutorials as well. Once I had the general process figured out, we got to work.
The first step was to take a lot of pictures of the original bench. This is probably the most important step of all. I took pictures of every nook and cranny, tuck and turn, and all the staples. And let me tell you, there were A LOT of staples.
The pictures served as a map and overall guideline for reassembly. I referenced them throughout the entire process and lived by the information they provided. So this step is crucial.
Once I had all the pictures, Suz and I started pulling out staples. There was a thin fabric layer on the bottom of the bench that we removed first along with the legs. This exposed the guts of the bench and gave us a better idea of what we were working with.
Once we had our photos, we studied what part to remove next. The goal was to remove the parts one piece at a time so we could take pictures and keep track of what went where. So we continued with the sides of the bench under the arms.
We pulled the buttons out of the arms and started unfolding the creased fabric, but then we realized that the front and back pieces of the bench were actually stapled over parts of the arms. So we switched gears and removed those pieces instead.
As you can see from the original pictures, there was a fabric piece that wrapped around the front and the back of the bench that had some sort of tubing sewed into it. We removed those two pieces and set them off to the side as well.
These particular pictures may not be the most helpful tutorial photos, but they do document the process along the way. Every piece of furniture is different, and the only way to know exactly what needs to be done is to figure out how the piece was originally constructed and try to replicate that.
The next pieces we removed were the arms. This was a bit of a debacle. I was trying to take pictures of the way the fabric was folded, but it was much harder than it seemed. The pictures I took at the beginning of the process proved to be more helpful than the ones I took while removing these parts, but we managed.
3. Rectangular Sides
4. Front and Back (with tubing)
5. Arm Buttons
6. Arms (folded pieces)
2. Arms (folded pieces)
3. Arm Buttons
4. Front and Back (with tubing)
5. Rectangular Sides
The picture I took of the tubing is not the best. You may or may not be able to tell that there was a long plastic white tube wrapped in a small piece of fabric that was folded over and sewed to keep the tubing inside. That small piece was then attached and sewed to the bigger rectangle of fabric that covered the bottom half of the front and back of the bench.
It's hard to explain in writing, but the picture below shows the pieces I cut out on the top and the pinned and ready to sew part on the bottom.
Reupholstering used to be on my list of things to try, but it was always a scary prospect. After this project, I am ready to take on something bigger! I might have to make some trips to the thrift store this weekend. Then again, I still have about 10 projects to finish for the nursery and baby will be here before we know it! Choices, choices.
Until next week...