Monday, January 17, 2011

Upholstery Class: Week 2

Heya Nesters! It always comes back to Monday morning doesn't it? Well lucky for me, that just means I get to dish to you guys about my upholstery class!! {Which to me, is like even better than normal girl-talk.}  So without further adieu let's launch into it.

Saturday's class, as indicated in the subject of todays' post, was week numero dos.  I couldn't have been more thrilled to work my fingers to the bone bright and early on a weekend morning.  I was greeted with as much glee and enthusiasm for class from Kevin and Pamela, as I was feeling.  What a bright way to start a morning! This is what I came back to....

I thought I was able to just pull the pillows right off, alas, there were a few more tacks and ties that I had missed and I wanted that puppy BARE! So a-snippin' and untackin' I went...

The upholstery thread that goes through the stuffing to hold on the buttons also went through the burlap webbing, so removing these small tacks let a whole lot loose. 

Oh she is sooooooo close to being completely bare-bones wood!! At this point I just was ripping this disgusting cotton batting off it.  See that brown discoloration? Yeah that's not discoloration. That is DUST. Yes, plain ole dirty dust. Yum!

Cotton and crumbling burlap have been removed and I'm down to the back webbing, wood and the springs.  {Oh let's all say hello to Kevin in the background.  Ready 1...2...3... "HI KEVIN!"}

I got those back webbings off faster than you can say lickety split!  Despite the zig-zag springs being a smidge rusty, they still are in great shape and we're keeping them.  But the two outermost springs had popped off and because there was nothing holding them horizontally on the chair I had to hand-tie them down to secure them.

I tacked evenly 2 sets of 3 on either side of the seat and tightly looped and made a knot on each row of springs {You would use the same for spring coils while compressing them a bit.} For additional security, I was instructed to tie a few more knots on the edges.

Well hello there, Mr. Magnetic Tack Hammer......  Anyhow, next stop- cover up all that hard work I just did!  Take a large piece of burlap {I was lucky enough to get the end of the roll that was the exact right size and already had a folded edge! It was my lucky day in class!}  I started tacking both layers in the back of the chair first about 1" apart.

Next, I pull the burlap tight towards the front, again tacking about every inch.

Last burlap step is to fold the sides over, pulling tight again, and tack in a little away from the edge of the chair, as to not add bulk.

Here she is all trimmed up!  Ain't she a beaut?

Now let us take care of the back, shall we?  If you remember before, Satine had only 1 band of webbing going horizontally and 3 going vertically.  It wasn't allowing for the true shape of the chair to show through! Shame on your prior upholsterer, shame!  Needless to say, I fixed that one promptly.

I folded it over and tacked it 4 times then busted out the stretcher.  This stretcher looks like it could be a tool used in the next Saw movie... which would be what, number 37?  Regardless, you need to pull this nice and tight {Make this as tight as can be on a seat and there can be a smidge more give in a back since it doesn't carry the brunt of the weight the way a seat would.} and tack 3 times under, then fold over and tack another 4 times.

Now that the webbing was all set we had to tackle the challenge of filling in the space the curve creates at the top.  At first Kevin and I considered webbing but realized it wouldn't solve our problem appropriately.  So we used what is essentially a GIANT burlap with cotton stuffed piping. 

Pretty cool, right? While I was working on the back I realized it was pretty loose where it hinges with the seat.  Some wood glue was in order and with the wood glue, Pamela and I had to rig up this "tourniquet" of sorts.  We tied twine around the entire chair then tied a scrap of piping and a screwdriver and cranked away! Surprisingly enough, it totally worked! Yes!

Well who would have thought- by that time all three hours had passed by. Three hours is by far and away not enough time per class. And I had to leave my Satine in a somewhat sad state. {Pout} But I chose and wrote a check for the fabric to cover my girl!  Stay tuned for more on that tomorrow! 

So there you have it Nesters: Week 2 of Upholstery Class.  I hope you all liked it and maybe, just maybe this will inspire you to find a class of your own!  {If you're in the Chicago area, go check out Shellys' class! You can find her site over at ModHomeEc where she is also chronicling my work in class!}  Now go ahead and scroll down a bit and click where it says "post a comment" and leave me one! I want to hear from all of you! And don't forget after you've commented to scroll back on up and become a follower!

PS: One more request! Head over to Just Between Friends where Jonie will be featuring my dish towel tutorial today!!  YAY!!


  1. this looks like a lot of work! you go girl!!

  2. Looking good!

    Question for you: is it plausible (after taking the class) to buy the tools and equipment to do this with more pieces at home? Or is it the sort of thing you would have to continue to take classes for to continue? Just curious :)

  3. Great question KT! And I think I will have to give you a concrete answer once the class is over. At that point I think I'll have a better grasp on the finer techniques but there will surely be aspects of upholstery that I wont broach with this one chair. So things like coils or cushions I will not have dealt with but I definitely think I would be able to dumb my way through some other projects. I'd love to continue on and learn more so that I could really have some expertise but we'll see how my wallet feels about that... Again great question and keep em comin!

  4. Why all the folding back and re-tacking? Is it a security thing? Extra precaution?

  5. Hi Holyoke Home! From what I understand, it serves two purposes: 1) For added security as you said and 2) To give a clean, finished edge.

    Hope that helps!! If anyone else knows any other reasons why, we'd all love to hear about it!

  6. The rolled back burlap is to hold it, but it also makes a finished look from the underneath side, the raw edges folded up and inside. Then you add all the padding on top and you never see the folded up edge from top or bottom. (OK, I just thought that up right now, but I bet it's true.)
    Nice job Gina. Don't you love edge roll?


Heya Nesters! I always love your feedback! So dish, because we all want to hear it! <3