A DIY tutorial to reupholster a wing chair using linen fabric, trim tape and carpet tacks. Makeover any wing chair using this simple tutorial.
Wing Chair Makeover
Before And After
DIY Wing Chair Reupholstery
- staple remover
- 5 yards Belgian linen 11 oz. (per chair)
- sewing machine & thread
- straight pins
- carpet thread & curved upholstery needle
- staple gun & staples
- exacto knife
- hot glue gun & hot glue sticks
- 1/4″ wide natural twill tape
- #6 black carpet tacks
- flexible tape measure
Step 1: Remove the existing fabric and trim all the way down to the batting. * Save the pieces as you pull them off to reuse as patterns. (The floral fabric you see here is the original and I choose to leave it on in certain places because it was holding the foam and shape of the chair.)
Step 2: Remove ALL the old staples. Depending on the age of your chair and how many times it’s been reupholstered you may have a zillion staples to remove. Take them all out because you need the space to place new staples and also it’s best to have a flat surface for the new fabric.
Step 3: At the exterior sides and back you will need to expose the inner framework of the chair by removing the foam near the bottom edge. You can see above the floral fabric peeking through – that is where you will pull through the new seat and side pieces.
Step 4: Begin with the seat deck. You will need to sew a seam in the deck pieces right where the arms meet the seat. Then you will hand sew through the seam allowance down into the chair frame using carpet thread. This secures the deck fabric to the chair base. Once attached then push the deck fabric through the side openings (created in Step 3) under the arms and pull the front portion down over the edge and staple snug in place. Pull the fabric taught and snug – but not overly tight – and staple as close to the edge of the woodwork as possible.
Wing Chair Reupholstery Order:
Step 5: Once the front portion of the decking is stapled then secure the deck sides and back. You can barely see the new fabric stapled down under the arm above.
Step 6: Next attach the interior side pieces. Cut your new fabric using the old piece as a pattern and add an extra 2″ around the edges. Staple the piece in place and pull the back edge through the opening in the side back. Once stapled in place then trim the excess fabric with an exacto knife.
Step 7: Now move to the interior back. Staple in place across the top and fold over the edge at the corner then shove the excess through to the back and secure.
Step 8: To make the exterior back and sides I choose to sew a side seam. Most upholsterers will use that metal tape track system but I prefer a sewn seam if possible. Cut your pieces to size and then pin right side directly onto the chair temporarily. Run a line of pins down the corner where the seam will go, then remove the pins that are holding the fabric to the chair and sew the two side seams. Trim the seam allowance to 1/2″ to remove any excess bulk.
Step 9: Staple the exterior back pieces in place starting at the back top and sides making sure to keep the seams running precisely down the edge of the frame.
Step 10: Once all the fabric is on and the excess has been trimmed then use hot glue to apply the twill tape which covers all the unsightly staples.
In Step 11: Use a flexible measuring tape to mark off every 1″ with a pen dot. Hammer in one carpet tack at every mark.
Step 12: To make the cushion cover I used the envelope closure method. First cut the top piece, again tracing around the old fabric plus adding a seam allowance. Then attach the side panel portion all around.
Step 13: For the envelope closure the bottom piece of the cushion cover is made of two pieces that will overlap at least 3″. Cut these two pieces and make a finished edge at both openings. Then sew these pieces onto the side panel portion, lining up the edges. Turn right side out and stuff cushion insert inside.
Thanks for joining me for this wing chair reupholstery project. Please leave any questions in the comments below and be sure to follow me on social media for sneak peeks, tools and project inspiration:
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