Thursday, March 7, 2013


Pin It Yes, I know - I couldn't come up with anything else...  But you'll understand in a bit.

Long time no see, huh?  I've been so busy lately trying to finish up some projects just so I can start some more that will sit unfinished for months.  Crazy, right?  I truly believe that a doctor would diagnose me with DIYADHD if given the chance.

I've been working on one of my favorite projects that I've ever tackled!  And today I finished it!!!

I REUPHOLSTERED A CHAIR!!  I've been wanting to reupholster this beast ever since I picked it up in a Goodwill Store in Virginia.  Yes, I even thrift on vacation.   I bought this guy and his matching cousin, the ottoman for twenty bucks about six years ago.  Been that long, huh?

Nope, I didn't even bother to vacuum the cat hair off of it before the picture.  Why?- it was about to be stripped neked!  We've lived with the chair and ottoman this long - it's been okay but only because I've been busy doing a million other things.  But I knew there were great things in it's future.

Fast forward to the day I ran upon All Things Thrifty.  Seriously - this was life changing.  Anyone who knows me knows that I'm no slouch when it comes to DIY projects.  I can pretty much hold my own.  However, the thought of re-upholstering something made my blood run cold. Brooke does the BEST tutorial on How to Reupholster a Chair.  It was just so straight forward and clear  that I thought, I could TOTALLY do that.  Her how-to is full of tips and shortcuts on how to tackle something like re-upholstering furniture.  I love you, Brooke.

Well, if that wasn't enough, then I discovered  Seriously, it's the Holy Grail of online fabric stores.  I don't know which website I spend more hours on - Pinterest or Fabric. com.  AND with no intention at all of doing anything remotely to do with reupholstering something, I discovered THE fabric: Richloom Solarium Outdoor Alinea Floral Garden - $8.98 a yard.  AND I had a code for 15% off AND it was free shipping AND I didn't have to pay  sales tax!  Bam!  Take that JoAnn!  The fabric for my chair and ottoman only ended up costing me a little over 50 bucks!

Then if that wasn't enough,  my husband and I were at the HD and they had a pneumatic staple gun half price!!  Kizmet?  Or the Bermuda Triangle!  I don't know but for whatever reason all the stars aligned for me to re-do this chair.  (That is one HUGE tip Brooke shares - get a pneumatic stapler - if you have the compressor - it's the key to life!)

At this point in the journey, I could swear I heard the voice of Betty Quinn (mom) saying "what are you waiting for, Jayebird?"  It was my mom that raised me to believe I could pretty much do anything I put my mind to.  Now, in all honesty, would I have made the move had my fabric cost me $39.99 a yard?  Doubtful.  That's why I love!

So, I'm not going to do a step by step tutorial on what I did.  Seriously go to ATT and check Brooke's tutorial out.  Basically, you take everything off, use the existing fabric as a pattern and put everything back, in the reverse order.  Simple as that.

Why, yes - that is contrasting piping.  So freaking simple!!!  Just buy extra wide bias tape and reuse the existing rope/string to make the piping.   One tip that I will share - I didn't use it on this chair but I'll be using it soon on some pillows - DON'T pay retail price for "piping/rope" from a fabric store!  Go to the Dollar Store and buy this:  

There were a few other parts to this project that I wouldn't describe as completely normal.  The chair desperately needed some webbing to give it some support (that had long since vanished!)  I honestly tried to give JoAnn the business.  I went with the intention of buying five yards of this:

JoAnn wanted to sell me hers for $9.99 a yard.  At that point the webbing would have been the same price as my fabric!  Surely the world wide web could help me out!  I found it at a number of websites for around .85 a yard!! What the fudge???  JoAnn  - seriously, who do you think you are?  So I ordered it online and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Apparently everyone else discovered that JoAnn was trying to price gouge us!!

While at the thrift store last saturday, I found a giant bag of karate belts for $3!  I kid you not.  I thought, why wouldn't these work.  Hence, the title of this post "MacGyver meets Karate Kid III"!  It was awesome.  And can you believe I don't have ONE photo to show you?  Suffice it to say, I wove the belts and stapled the bejesus out of them until I had one stable "deck".  So there are about twenty very colorful karate belts that will forever be part of this chair!  There were two other bags of belts at the thrift store - why, oh why didn't I buy them???

This chair is part of the master bedroom renovation that is in process.  The reno only includes fabric.  Lots and lots of fabric.  Damn you!  Stay tuned.

Who else has taken the plunge and done something totally out of your comfort zone?  As Nike says "just do it!  Please share!!

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  1. Wow! Thank you for all the great resources, and for helping me believe that I can actually finish the dang chair project I've been stalled on for--oh, 8 freaking months!

    And, I think I own that same chair! I've had it for years. The ottoman was ditched long ago, which I now regret because together it was like a super-comfortable chaise. It got ditched because a child spilled something horribly red and staining on it's very light-colored fabric. This was before I became the DIYer I am today.

    And the karate belts: genius.

    Good things are worth the wait. Love when you post.

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  7. Whoa! PLEASE do not make me think I can reupholster a chair, because I assure you...I cannot! Yours looks awesome. Who would have thought...karate belts?

    Off to check out the sites you referenced...*sigh*


    1. Oh, you can SO do it, girlfriend! Trust me!

  8. You did such a FABULOUS job! I've wanted to reupholster something for ages. But I don't sew. :/ I went ahead and read the tutorial over on All Things Thrifty. In one part of the tutorial, she mentioned that they had to whip out the sewing machine.

    Can I get away with doing this no-sew?