We love finding furniture at thrift stores or garage sales for a few bucks that needs a little TLC. Most of our furniture actually fits that bill. We bought our dining room table right after we got married for $100 at a thrift store and recently, we went to town re-upholstering the chairs for $25! I've found that if you really want to make things pretty with not a lot of money, you have to be really patient. I've been looking for fabric for our dining room chairs for a few months but haven't been able to find any for cheap enough. To re-upholster chairs you really need a fabric that's a little thicker and will hold up after repeated "sittings". Most home decor fabric is upwards of $15 a yard and I needed around three yards to do six chairs but I didn't want to spend more than $25.
Here's what our chairs looked like before:
The fabric wasn't ugly but some of the chairs did have some small stains on them, and always with used furniture, who knows what the chairs have been through.
One lucky day however, I found some fabric that had caught my eye a few times in JoAnn Fabrics on the clearance table! I paid $5 a yard for it! To keep it clean I picked up some stain-guard spray from Wal-Mart and sprayed each piece of fabric before placing it on the chairs. With Anthony helping me, it took us about 10 minutes to make "new chairs".
Here are the steps we used:
1. Remove all old fabric and also make sure all old staples are gone.
2. Wrap new fabric around seat making sure it's on straight - most important
if you're going with a geometric pattern. Our chairs are roughly 21" x 17" and
we wanted 2" of "left-over" fabric around the back to make sure there was enough
room for staples so we used a half-yard of fabric per chair. (One yard of home
decor fabric usually measures 36" x 54" so we cut them into pieces measuring
36" x 27".)
3. Staple about 1 inch or so in from fabric ends (so that fabric doesn't rip) starting
with the middle of two sides .
4. Staple the middle of the other two sides and then staple corners (corners will look
bunchy from the underside of the seat, just make sure they aren't from the top).
5. Place staples every inch or so to make sure fabric is nice and secure.
6. Re-attach seats to chair and Wa-la!
Luckily, the existing foam padding on our chairs was in great condition so we didn't have to replace it. To make sure your fabric has no chance of ripping, you can also use sewing tape, placing it in-between the fabric and staple gun. Also, I completely washed each chair down with a bucket of warm water and wood-cleaner before re-attaching the new seat to make our chairs nice and shiny-clean.
Here are the chairs after the update:
So, $15 for a durable home decor fabric and about $10 for a stain-guard spray gave us a beautiful update worth much more than that! The best thing is that if we ever decide we want to change our dining room's look and get a new dining room set, we could probably sell this set on craigslist for a profit. I like those kinds of projects! I also have a dream to someday (hopefully soon) take sewing classes and learn how to re-upholster bigger pieces like the $5 rocking wing-chair we have or a couch. How sweet would that be! Then I could put up tutorials on how to do that!
Have a blessed day!