Wednesday

How A Stapler Became My Friend.

So... It's been quite a while since I've been on here. My life has been somewhat hectic these past few months and my poor blog felt like the straw that was breaking the camel's back so I decided it had to take a back seat until I could create more of a work/life balance for myself.

Honestly, I've still not really worked that part out yet but what happened a few months ago helped. OH and I moved in together! We're just renting right now which is great but frustrating since we're in my dream home and all I want to do is tear walls down, change layouts and generally put my stamp on it. But, alas, these ain't my bricks and mortar to manipulate so I've had to find another outlet. And boy, have I?

This is the story about how this guy...



...became my new best friend.


I've wanted to start upholstery for some time now and looked into several courses; but at a few hundred £'s each they seemed a little unreasonable so I decided there had to be a better way. And there is - Youtube. After watching a couple of videos I decided that it couldn't be that hard and promptly found myself weighing up upholstery guns in my local B&Q.

I opted for a mid-range model for just over £20 - same one here - bought the accompanying staples for around £5(the back of the packaging on the gun explains these to you) and hot-footed it to my local fabric shop.

OH accompanied me since my first project was one of our dining chairs. We bought mis-matching chairs some time ago from various flea markets, vintage shops, old warehouse sales, etc. and they've been sitting with cushions and throws on them ever since because my fear of a guest being bitten on the behind by a creepy crawly lurking in the age old fabric on them has haunted me. Well, no longer!

Now, please don't be expecting some sort of technical explanation here as I am very much a 'job's a good'un' kind of DIY-er at the moment so this is a guide for those people who, like me, take a more relaxed approach to upcycling (buzzword alert!) and actually view it as something to enjoy rather than endure to the nth degree of accuracy.


This is how the offending article originally looked. I'm sorry for the useless quality of photo - the lighting in our new place isn't too amazing at night and flash wasn't working out well for me either.

First I unscrewed the 'cushion' area from the chair frame.


It wasn't the easiest of jobs as the chair is very old so it took some elbow grease and patience with a large screwdriver but the plus side of things like this is that you know the quality is so much better than anything you could pick up for £10 at IKEA, Home Sense, or any of the other budget interior stores these days.

 
Next I laid the gross cushion/seat on top of the fabric I'd chosen and roughly cut its shape out of the fabric, leaving enough (probably a bit more than enough) to staple to the underneath.


Once cut out I pinned it all in place and got my staple on. It only took about 5 minutes to staple it all but be sure to keep a constant eye on the tightness of the fabric so that it is kept taut and you don't discover any saggy bits when you've finished.

The corners were a bit difficult but some tricks learnt when wrapping presents over the years helped me - a basic corner fold and a staple sorted them quite well.

Then I remembered I had to re-screw the cushion area back onto the chair frame - hence the hacked out corner sections. They were just to allow me to get a clear run at the original holes; next time I'd take this into acount and maybe just snip small holes in the fabric itself to keep the finish looking a bit smoother. That said, nobody will probably look at the underside of this chair for some time now so I'm not too fussed about its appearance as long as the top looks good...


Which it did!

We chose a really silly elephant print fabric that I think was more angled towards childrens rooms but we want our chairs to look traditional with a twist and both fell in love with this print as soon as we saw it. OH actually found it so I do need to give him the credit for this one. I totally adore it.


And here's the finished article. We decided not to treat the wood at all because we actually quite like the worn quality of it contrasted with a fresh fabric cushion and I hope you agree that it looks quite good.

For my fist upholstery project with just some loose Youtube based training I have to say, I'm very pleased with my efforts!

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