The Lifestlye Blog of "HaM"
I have always ALWAYS wanted a pair of Wingback chairs in my living room but they are SO expensive! I decided to learn how to reupholster without any knowledge of how to upholsterer or sew! I read some tutorials and decided to go for it so I started to scour Craigslist for cheap Wingback chairs that had good bones and padding I could work with.
I found two maroon Wingback chairs for $40!! Yes, 2 for $40!! Here is the picture of the original chairs.
The color was too old fashioned for me and there was some wear and tear on the arms of the chair that I thought needed a modern updo. I love a pop of color and think Wingback chairs in a bright color are fun for the living room, but I knew I wanted these chairs for an adults only sitting room or bedroom and neutral color is what I wanted to go for. I am a fan of white furniture and although it stains easily, I just love the classic and clean look of a white chair. I picked up some soft corduroy upholstery fabric at my nearest fabric store in the clearance section for only $3 a yard and got to work! I learned how to do this from tutorials online, but I learned as I went because every Wingback chair is different and it is not too hard to figure out once you get the hang of it.
STEP 1: Remove all the staples starting from the BACK of the chair. SAVE EVERYTHING except for the staples. The fabric will be the pattern used to cut the new fabric which makes it SO much easier!
STEP 2: This is the LONGEST and MOST PAINFUL part but continue to remove the staples from the panels of the chair based on the next “layer” that is lying on top. I marked the back of the old fabric with numbers to keep track of what was removed first so that I would just reverse the order when I put in the new fabric. I will say this again but SAVE everything except for the staples. I found that as I went along, my chair was not in the greatest condition, but I saved the parts that I could to reuse later.
This alone took me 3 days with an infant because the process is so labor intensive. Look at all the staples I had in one day!
STEP 3: Once completed, the chair should look “naked” with just the foam or stuffing showing. This is where you need to assess if you need to buy new foam, stuffing, or batting. I chose to keep my stuffing as is and filled in some holes with some extra batting I had lying around. Here is a picture of my empty chair!
Step 4: Begin cutting all the patterns into the new fabric in reverse order of numbers so you can put it back where it belongs. I did not take a picture of this process because I was too excited to put the panels on! I did learn to cut a little larger than the pattern to give me room for mistakes since it was my first time upholstering a chair.
Step 5: Attach the panels in reverse order back into to chair. When there is piping, use a sewing machine to attach the piping and then staple it around the arm of the chair as the original pattern had it. I bought a sewing machine specifically for this project and it was my first time sewing so if I could do it, you certainly can too! The following are the pictures with a panel being attached each time.
LASTLY, the back and cushion. For the cushion, I reused the original zipper so that made things easier as well. And of course, nothing is complete without a throw pillow. I made this throw pillow myself and will do another post on how to create a cover just like this one!
Finally it is done!! Just so you know, I actually ended up selling the other Wingback chair of the “pair” because it was so labor intensive, I do not think I would ever do it again. My wingback chair is used every night as my pumping chair and replaced my old rocking chair that was use as my nursing chair. The chair has gotten a bit dirty because it is white, but only the cushion, which is washable so “yay” to that!