Thursday, May 31, 2012

A New Seat Cushion For "Her" Desk Chair

Our next door neighbor recently moved into an assisted living facility.  The house had become too much upkeep for her, and she's enjoying her new apartment style living.  So this past weekend they held an estate sale next door and I could not resist taking a peek. 

There were so many wonderful things for sale!  Vintage clothing, tons of furniture, jewelry, china/dishes, linens....I could have easily blown our budget in there but managed some self control and came home with a silver belt and this chair for $15:

She has beautiful lines, is very sturdy and happens to be the perfect height for my desk in our "His & Hers Office"...which ironically, is currently lacking a chair!

Of course, she won't stay like this :)  I wanted to do a bold pink chair for my workspace.  I wasn't sure if the fabric would be pink, the frame would go pink, or both. 

On my last trip to Joann's I spotted a graphic pink fabric in the outdoor canvas section and was sold on it for the new chair cushion!  Outdoor canvas or an indoor/outdoor fabric is a great choice when it comes to seating or on a surface that will get a lot of use.  They're very durable, clean up easily and offer modern designs that would look just as good indoors as they would outdoors.

I finished attaching mine to my new chair cushion this morning but can't reattach it just yet.  I'm being a little wishy-washy on the chair frame color.  So while I attempt to make a decision on that, here's the step by step for reupholstering a chair cushion!

You'll need these supplies:


-Fabric
-Additional batting and/or foam, if you need extra cushion
-Small flat head screwdriver and needle nose pliers to remove staples
-Screwdriver to remove screws holding on the cushion
-Scissors
-Staple gun

For this quick project, I followed the same basic steps I detailed in my post on reupholstering our piano bench.  You can check out more details there!

I started by removing all the screws attaching the seat and removed the seat cushion from the chair frame.  


Then I used my tiny flat head screw driver to lift up any stubborn staples holding down the current fabric and pulled each out using the needle nose pliers.  If you're lucky, once you get a few staples out, sometimes you can just pull up on the fabric and it will pull the staples out along with it.


And what a fun little surprise I found once I got the old fabric off - more fabulously old fabric!


Vanna is here to assist.  The puffy 1 1/2 yr old hand totally sells it.


By the way, this is what he was doing in between.....sporting a Krispy Kreme hat from a kid's tour, new paint roller, and a half-eaten graham cracker.  Totally random recipe for a great play time :)


Now back to that fabric.   I could have just put the new fabric right over it but it the fibers were literally disintegrating as I handled them.
I pulled it all off and found that the cushion underneath (which already needed some extra help) was pretty gross.  So, I removed the top layer of it and used some poly batting to plump her up. 

I bought 1/2 a yard from Joann's at $5.99/yard, which gave me enough to get two extra layers of "cushion".  I started by placing the seat flush against one edge and tracing around it's edges onto the batting with a sharpie.



I removed the seat and cut out my cushion along the traced lines.


I placed that cut-out shape right on top of the extra batting and cut out another one by cutting along the edges.


I stacked them on the seat which now has 3 layers of cushioney goodness.  Plenty for long work sessions at my desk.  If you aren't sure if it's enough, give her the ol' test drive and sit on it just like this before covering with fabric.  If it's not soft enough to your liking, then add another layer of batting or swap out the foam base for a thicker foam.


Now the fun part!  Lay your fabric over the seat until you have it positioned as you want it to look at the end.  Keep in mind you will need 2-3 inches extra on each side depending on the depth of your cushion. 


Once you're satisfied, place flip it over and ensure the fabric is smooth under the cushion.  Since I was working with a graphic print, I wanted to make sure that the pattern was properly centered.   I measured one side of the seat and marked the center.



I did the same thing with the top (opposite side) and used the center point of one of the graphics as a marker, lining it up evenly with the center marks on both sides of the seat. (Wish I grabbed a better pic of that!).  Once your fabric is in place with the print centered, cut off the excess fabric leaving 2-3 inches of extra along all sides.


Then it's time to staple!  Grab the fabric at the center edge of one side, pull it tightly around (without displacing the whole fabric) and tack it down with a staple.  Repeat on the opposite side.


Now you have two opposite sides tacked down in the center.  Begin with one side and start stapling down the rest of the fabric on that edge, working your way out from the center.  Then do the same with the opposite side you tacked down in the center before.  Repeat with the two other sides.


When it comes to corners, it's easiest to leave those open until the end.  Once all sides are stapled down, take the fabric at the corner and pull, tuck/fold placing staples as you go, starting with the ends closest to the already tacked down fabric edge. 

Secure the last fold with a couple of staples.



I also ended up adding another row of staples just to ensure it was really secured well.  Be sure to cut away any excess fabric covering up the screw holes - you'll need clear access to those when you screw the seat back onto the frame!



Turn it over and admire your work!


Then give it the final sit-test.  If it feels good under your bum then it's time to put your chair back together!



Unless you are like me and have a primed chair frame just begging for some paint...and some decisiveness!   We have some navy/indigo paint left over from painting our son's new big boy bed, but I also have a can of a delicious hot pink.  My conservative side says go with the blue (or "why did you even paint it to begin with!"), but I going to try to be brave and go bold!

We'll see if I can work up the courage overnight.  First coat goes on in the morning!
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2 comments:

  1. Oh I think that bold blue will look nice with that pink cushion. Can't wait to see the final product.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the chair! Oh my gosh, what a find and at $15, really? Great lines. Completely Sarah Richardson

    ReplyDelete

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