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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Upholstery 101

 Recently, some of you have asked about uses for burlap. We had a stool at the store that was in need of repair, and we used burlap to re-cover the stool top. So here are some steps for re upholster work using burlap.  This is a good beginning project, for those of you who want to get your feet wet with recovering something. Here is the stool before we began. Supplies you will need are: something to recover, fabric for covering, foam, staples, staple gun, or hammer and tacks.  We also used a light weight batting.
 The directions you will receive are pretty true, for any project that you will be working on.  This project is a 101 in recovering, with NO SEWING!  So first of all, whatever you are wanting to redo, you need to take off the old.  You may need a pliers, screwdriver, etc. to help pull out these staples.  It's good to have an old can or container to put the staples  in, so you won't be stepping on them later. If you like, you can use your old fabric for your pattern of your new fabric.
 So, here's the stool with all the foam and fabric taken off.  We didn't re-use the foam, it was in pretty sad shape. So we grabbed a new piece of foam, this will be need to be bigger than your stool top.
 If you have ever tried to cut foam, it isn't the easiest thing to do! An electric knife works great for this job. You will want to taper the foam, so it is smaller at the top than it is at the seat. Using your knife just cut around the stool top.
 Next, cover the foam, that you just cut, with a piece of batting.  This will be bigger than your foam piece so you will have extra to cover the sides and have some to staple underneath.  For our 12" circular stool top we used about 18" 
 You can see there's a bit extra, but remember you can always cut this off later.
 Now, we centered the burlap in the center of the stool.  Where the "M" is the center of the stool. You can see there's an over hang of burlap, which is just what you want.
 Holding everything in place, flip the stool upside down on your work surface so you can finish your stool.
You have several options on what you can use to fasten the burlap to the bottom of the stool.
 I personally, have an air stapler/nailer that I use.  This is a larger purchase than some items, but if you do the any amount of upholstery you will be thankful for it.  It is also a nailer, so it's great for other wood craft project.  You can use a hand held stapler, or an electric stapler.  If you don't have those, you can also use tacks and a hammer. Whatever you decide to use, make sure your staples aren't longer than your wood is thick. You don't want the staples sticking you, when you sit on your stool. :(
 You will want to staple your fabric to the bottom, then staple again, across from where you just stapled. So, 12 o'clock, 6 o'clock, 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock. you get the idea.
 Filling in the areas in between, you want to pull the fabric so it's nice and tight. Easing in the fabric and making pleats if necessary. You can see we still have extra fabric that we will cut off later.
 With the extra fabric cut off from the bottom, you are ready to see your finished stool.  This is a great way to change up the look of something without spending a lot of money. With 1/2 yard of burlap, you would be able to cover 2 stools that were this side.  So hope this helps and took some of the guess work out of re-covering furniture.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Here we go!

Been lots of talking about doing this, but finally, this is the day! Just reminds us all it's never to late to GET GOING!