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Outfit {upholstery} Change!

It's a bit ironic, really. Myself and "change" don't usually get along. Generally, when it comes to life events, I would prefer to run as fast as I can away from big changes. Big move? New job? New family situation? You can pretty much expect me to clam up and FREAK OUT... on the inside at least, and it's usually brief, but can still be unsettling. However, this is not the case when it comes to furniture! I loooove changing furniture up, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by simple #reupholstery.

Now, I realize how intimidating and scary that sounds. Most people don't just go around reupholstering things. As you may know by now, I am not most people. I can be a bit impulsive (oh, hey, foyer chandelier). One way to feed this impulsivity is by giving small pieces of furniture a little face lift. Key words here are small pieces of furniture. I do NOT, repeat, do not recommend you go and attempt to reupholster a sofa or arm chair. I mean, do it if you really feel the need. I myself, (as non-Miss Lizzy as it sounds) would gladly leave that to the professionals. But if you want to spice up a small piece, or update it as your taste changes, this is a great option.

If you have a piece of furniture that has some sort of fabric covered seat on it (chair, stool, bench), it can likely be reupholstered. Sometimes things just need a little makeover... a little outfit change, if you will. If I didn't believe that wholeheartedly, I would have a lot less clothes in my closet.

The Project

Quick reupholstery. And I swear it is incredibly easy. In fact, this is one of the easiest DIY tutorials that I will ever give. Take this stool for example. I got this stool from HomeGoods on clearance for about 8 bucks. When purchased, I didn't love the cushion, so I took it home with the full intention of changing it up. As I tend to do, I felt the need to Miss Lizzy that little stool. In fact, the cover that you see there is actually the product of the original recovering job that I did. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my little time lapse of me actually creating this stool earlier this week. If you didn't catch it, I really encourage you to go check it out, because the video shows just how simple this is. As in this case, you don't even need to remove the previous fabric unless you really want to. It really is a great project for DIY newbies. The entire process took me a good 20 minutes.

The Details


Any piece of furniture with a fabric covered seat

Staple gun

Fabric of your choice

Screw driver or Allen wrench (depending on furniture piece)

Yes, you sure did read that correctly. That is literally all you need. First and foremost, you are going to want to remove the seat in question.

Remember me from the chalk paint post? I was reupholstered too!

This is usually a pretty easy process, and generally involves simply unscrewing a couple of screws or Allen bolts. Once you have those removed, you have your palette... your blank canvas, if you will.

Next, you are going to want to lay the fabric of choice upside down and place the seat on top (also upside down). I recommend leaving about 6 inches of fabric around the outside of the seat to ensure that you have enough fabric.

The next steps involve pulling and stapling... pulling and stapling... and some more pulling and stapling. The one and only vital piece of advice that you should follow with this project involves the first couple of staples. It might seem natural to start at a corner and make your way around with the staple gun. However, if you do this, you will inevitably end up with fabric bunching. So, you are going to want to start in the middle. If your seat is a clock, and the clock is in front of you, start with a staple at 6 o'clock. Then, go directly across, pull that fabric as tight as you can, and staple at 12. Then 3, then 9. As long as you pull tightly in these areas to begin with, you should be able to then work your way around the piece and not have much fabric bunching. Another reason to start out this way is to ensure symmetry. For example, with the chair above (which you might remember from this guy), it was important to me that the stripes were centered, so using the clock trick ensured that I had the middle of the stripe lined up with the middle of the seat. If you are working on a piece with corners, save those for last. The best piece of advice that I can give for the corners is to pull TIGHT. And, don't be shy about the staples. The more staples you use, the tighter the fabric will be, and the prettier your product will be in the end.

Speaking of pretty, don't be alarmed if the bottom of the finished product is, well, ugly. Most of mine end up that way. But, hey... do you know of a bottom that isn't ugly (Ba-dum-ching)? That's why it's on the bottom. No one needs to see that part unless they want to. After you get your piece all stapled down, go ahead and cut the excess fabric off. Finally, screw or reattach your seat to your piece of furniture.

Boom. You just reupholstered a piece of furniture. And you can do it again and again and again if your little heart desires. Told you it was easy.

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