The Easy Guide to Upholstery
Think you can't possibly handle upholstering a piece of furniture? Think again. You can do it, and it's faster, easier, and cheaper than you might have imagined (especially compared to a pricey professional job).
Everything In This Slideshow
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Easy Upholstery (Really!)
The key to successful DIY upholstery is to pick a piece with a simple shape and a fabric that has a sturdy weave and a forgiving texture, and that is easy to match. Beyond that, if you can cut out a pattern, sew a straight seam, and wield a staple gun (and we know you can), you're well on your way to a speedy recovery of just about anything you choose.
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Our No-Fuss Three
Our three easy projects will turn you into a pro upholsterer in no time. Start with a tailored tufted wall (easiest), move on to a knockout upholstered headboard (still easy), then culminate your skills with an elegant slipper chair (will be easy with our step-by-step guide).
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A padded wall feels cozy in a bedroom, keeps the room warmer, and muffles sound. We used an electric staple gun to attach quilt batting to the wall and then stretched 54-inch-wide fabric panels over it, stapling at the edge of each panel.
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We cut the headboard from plywood, then padded it with foam. A tight-fitting slipcover is stapled to the bottom of the frame. Piping (also called welting) accentuates the shape of the headboard and adds extra strength to seams.
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We took this slipper chair from clunky to chic by giving it a new covering of icy-blue fabric and lots of dressmaker details. Welting around the seat gives the illusion of a separate cushion, pleats and a covered button accentuate the rolled back, and the new skirt camouflages a chunky seat and squat legs.
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Common Upholstery Techniques
Many of today's upholstery tools and techniques are the same as those used 200 years ago.