Once the holidays arrive, keeping your home looking beautiful can be a challenge when it’s added to the day-to-day duties of working and raising a family. There’s also the challenge of hosting large gatherings and figuring out how to fit 20 people around a table for 12 while having living and dining rooms that are both well-designed and functional.
You can easily update the look of your dining room and create some inexpensive spare seating by shopping thrift store furnishings and changing the fabric on the seat cushions. Depending on the seat dimensions and pattern of the fabric you choose, you can usually get three cushion covers out of one yard of fabric. This simple upholstery project might just inspire you to change those chair cushions every year!
To begin, turn your chair upside down on top of your work surface so that the back of the chair hangs over the edge. Remove the four screws holding the cushion onto the chair and set them aside. If the screws are stripped, replace them with Phillips-head screws of the same size.
Next, remove the fabric from the cushion by prying out the staples. If you are able to remove the fabric in one piece, use it as a pattern for the new cover; otherwise, use the cushion to create the pattern.
Lay your fabric facedown on your work surface and place the cushion on it. Using dressmaker’s chalk, trace the cushion’s shape onto the fabric; then measure the thickness of your cushion and add an inch of stapling allowance. Use this measurement to trace a second line around the first to get your final cutting pattern for the cushion. Cut the pattern from the fabric and use it to make more covers for any matching chairs.
To reupholster the cushion, first lay a cut piece of the fabric face down on your work surface and place the cushion on top. Starting with the edge of the fabric that is farthest from you, fold it over half an inch so you have a clean, non-frayed edge to staple into. Pull the fabric up and onto the cushion and use your Arrow T50elite Staple & Brad Nail Gun to place a 3/8-inch staple in the center. Work your way out to either end of the cushion edge, stapling every inch or so and stopping about 2 inches from each corner.
Turn the cushion around so that you are now working on the edge opposite to the one you just finished and secure the cushion the same way. Then staple the other two sides.
To staple the fabric at the corners, gently pull the fabric up and over the corner so you have a smooth and clean edge. Then place a staple just inside the corner. Gather the remaining fabric that extends from the corner and staple it in place. Repeat for the other corners. Finally, reattach the covered cushion to the seat of the chair frame using the screws that you saved.
Now, instead of the rag-tag assortment of folding chairs, computer chairs and children’s chairs that can result from last-minute scrambling, your guests will have the pleasure of using stylish, matching chairs, all for a minimum amount of time, money and effort.
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