Welcome to the next post in my Project: Redecorate series. Today we’re going to take a look at how to reupholster a recliner.
So, this is NOT a step by step on how to reupholster a recliner. I had that in mind when we started, and then I realized about 5 pictures in that it is a much more detailed process than the space of one tutorial post would allow. But I will point you at the tutorials and videos I used for help.
And funny thing about this recliner – this chair is what started the whole rearranging and redecorating. See, the Coach asked for a recliner after Christmas. He claimed that he wanted one forever and I would never let him get one, etc, etc, sob, whine, beg (wonder where his kids get it from?).
Anyway, filled with Christmas spirit, after Christmas I agreed on the condition that the total budget be less than $200 and that the chair be a style I liked – I can’t stand those big puffy recliners with no character that look like sad brown marshmallows with permanent butt imprints and a cupholder for your drink. The Coach, (wise man) agreed to the budget and to let me pick the style. Which for us meant buying off craigslist, so he also agreed to help reupholster. I found a chair I liked the bones of, and it looked like this:
Because the Coach is not a negotiator and he went without me to look at and buy this chair, he paid the full asking price of $60 for this Lazy Boy recliner from 1972 – we know the year because we found a tag with the manufacturing date.
He failed to notice that it had a semi-attached back. Why is this important? Because a semi-attached back tufted recliner is probably the hardest reupholstering project one could undertake.
Now, I’ve done some reupholstering before – for the stage (I used to work in theatre). And the nice thing about the stage is that for big venues like I worked in, you don’t have to make sure the details look good up close as long as it looks good from the audience. Which also means you can skip or half-do the backs of things, because the audience doesn’t see that. Well, that kind of reupholstering doesn’t cut it in a house. So…
Like I said, this isn’t a tutorial. My tips if you undertake something like this:
- Take more pictures than you think you will ever need. We took a lot and there were still a few things we couldn’t remember how to put back together without a lot of discussion.
- If you have access to or can rent a pneumatic staple gun, by all means do it. We borrowed my parents’ gun and it made a HUGE difference over previous projects we had done with a regular and electric staplers.
- This post is a great overview of reupholstering
- This one helped with the buttons
- This series of videos helped with the semi-attached back – it helped me to see it before we took ours apart (I was scared I wouldn’t be able to put it back together until I watched this)
- This video showed the flexible metal tack strip, which is how all the staples, etc get hidden on the chair back
So here are a few shots I took as we went:
I HIGHLY recommend writing on the pieces you take off so you can figure out where they went if you are using them as fabric patterns.
By this point I was convinced that the chair had once resided in a household of cats as I had that special tickle in my throat (I’m allergic to cats). We couldn’t get done fast enough.
And after two dusty days of letting the kids play too much Kinect and watch too much TV, this is the chair:
I bought 50% off clearance upholstery fabric and supplies for $80, so all told this chair cost $140 – well under the $200 we had. Adding that to the $63 I spent on the other chair and table this brings my redecorate price tag to $203 so far.
Since Sew in Tune starts next week, I’m going to put this series on hiatus, but it will be back in March.
Tell me what you think – would you ever attempt to reupholster something? Also, I need pillow ideas – the denim pillows we have in the living room now aren’t cutting it for me anymore. What should I replace them with? Feel free to link to cool pillow tutorials in your comments – I need ideas!Get access to my free pattern gallery - sign up for my newsletter!