First-Hand Furnishing: An Introduction to DIY Upholstery
We have all heard the phrase “they just don’t make them like they used to”. This can pertain to anything; from computers, to cars, to furniture. There is something about the products of yesteryear that just seem higher quality. If you are tired of purchasing cheap furniture, only to have it break a year later, than DIY upholstery may just be for you. This is a rally fun way to take high quality, gently used furniture and turn it into a gorgeous modern piece that perfectly fits your style.
Whether you have some of grandma’s quality yet tacky dining room chairs in your garage or you are itching to hit up the local thrift store, DIY upholstery has a solution for every piece of furniture from headboards to dining room chairs. Read on for some top tips on how to get going!
Chicken or Egg | It is hard to say whether the perfect upholstery job starts with the piece of furniture or the swath of fabric. Inspiration can come from either end. You can source your furniture from the backroom at your grandmas house or your local Salvo. However, where you source your upholstery fabric should be a trusted, high-quality store with a large range of options. Keep an eye out for a store that has indoor and outdoor fabrics, leather, vinyl, and fabric for window coverings.
Start Small | There is a golden rule amongst those who are well-seasoned DIY upholster junkies. In short, each project is going to take you way longer than expected, especially at the beginning. A lot of the art form of upholstering comes from the fussing at the end or the need for perfection that leads to just starting from scratch. When first getting started, choose something small like an ottoman or a small side bench. You will gain confidence from the small wins and before you know it you will be revamping an entire sofa.
You Can Do It! | Sure the DIY job may take a bit longer than expected, but the project as a whole will likely be easier than you think. Once you have the piece of furniture and the upholstery, you only need a few more tools. Pick up some batting, a staple gun, and a hammer and you are well on your way to transforming those really ugly chairs into something people leave your house talking about how your style is so hip and trendy!
Don’t Cut Corners | The novice DIY upholsterer may try to take a short-cut and upholster right over the old batting or fabric. While this will cut the time by half or more, it will likely end up costing you a lot more time in the long run. Even if you think your piece of furniture is in mint condition, it is impossible to track where it has been stored over the years. If the chair, couch or bench has acquired any moisture it will begin to mould from the inside out over time. So take the time to do your project well and strip the furniture down to the wood, add new batting and begin the transformation.
We can all agree that retail therapy feels great. Heading to the shop and buying something fulfills an instant gratification impulse that lasts, well, it doesn’t really last that long. Alternatively, a DIY project will provide you years of fulfillment. Each piece you turn into your own work of art will live in your home and in your heart and the gratification will far outlast that brand new item you bought at the store.