Recovering an Office Chair

Recovering an Office Chair

Last year, while I was in New Orleans, I stopped by a local Jo-Ann's Fabric Store with my cousin, Taylor. I can't remember what we went looking for (I believe fabric for her to make a blanket of sorts for the holidays?), but I wound up finding the most amazing Llama printed canvas ever for myself! It was totally by accident, and I wasn't sure what I would make from it, but I knew that I would find some way to utilize the 1 Yard cut I wound up walking away with.

When I returned home after my trip, I almost immediately knew what project that my newly acquired Llama print would be perfect for: my sewing room office chair!

It only took me 10 months of knowing what I wanted to do to go ahead and do it already! And when everything was said and done, it took me just a few hours to completely updated my tired and sad little sewing room chair into a bright and happy one plastered with fun Llama's all over it!

The first thing I did was take a nice long look at my current chair. I said a small thank you for the past few years of serving me, but in the back of my mind I was also giddy to be rid of the mysterious grey, dirty fabric that occupied it's cover.

I then proceeded to collect all of the tools I thought I might need for this project. These included:

  • My favorite pair of LDH Scissors (affiliate link)
  • A heavy duty stapler
  • A flat head screwdriver
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • My Llama Fabric (Yay!)
  • And another set of pliers (I think?)
These are by far my all-time favorite scissors for any project! They are so sharp! I even wound up nicking my finger tip with the tip of these scissors near the end of this project- whoops!

With everything in place, I set about taking my current office chair completely apart. To start, I flipped it over and immediately realized that the flat head screwdriver I had wasn't going to be the right tool for taking apart my chair.

From the looks of the screws, I was in need of some sort of square screwdriver head. Luckily, we have a lot of interchangeable screwdriver bits, and even more lucky, we actually had the screwdriver head that I needed at home! If I hadn't have found this particular bit, my project would never have even gotten started!

Once all the big pieces had been taken apart, I took a moment to sit back and admire my work. Little goals completed are still completed goals!

Now came the time to decide whether I was going to simply recover the existing fabric with my new Llama fabric OR completely removed the grey fabric before recovering it with the Llamas.

I decided to test out the staples holding the grey fabric to the chair parts first. If they were difficult to remove, I would opt to skip taking off the grey fabric mainly because just last year I recovered a wing back chair in my house and the staples were so difficult to remove that I wound up slipping at one point and a screwdriver went through part of my thumb. Even with my new tetanus shot, I didn't want to go through that sort of painful experience again.

After a quick test using my Flathead screwdriver (it still came in handy!) I found that the staples were really easy to remove, and those that got caught could be removed with my needle nose pliers. Onward I went in removing the gross grey fabric from my chair!

These are ALL the staples I wound up pulling from my chairs various components.

I did wind up saving my grey fabric by washing it and then throwing it into a pouf. I always try to reuse my leftover materials in some way! #ZeroWasteGoals

Once my grey fabric was completely removed, I figured that I could use it as a pattern for cutting out my Llama fabric. I ironed out all my pieces, marked the tops of my pieces (since I had a direction print and didn't want any upside down Llama's floating around!), and pinned those pieces to my Llama fabric + a second fabric.

I wound up adding a secondary fabric underneath my Llama fabric to increase the overall thickness of my chair which would also increase the wear I could place on my chair in the long term. Which is important because I use this chair almost every single day, and the days I am not in it, Nodame certainly is!

After I got all my pieces lined up and cut out, all that was left to do was to put my chair back together again. I simply followed the same steps I had when taking my chair apart, only in reverse! That meant using my heavy-duty stapler to staple my fabrics back into place. Everything went together smoothly except for the back portion of my chair, which I would up having to slip stitch back together.

I then screwed my chair pieces back to each other and gave my wheels a desperately needed cleaning. I mean.... look at how much thread came out of those 5 wheels!

Et Voila! I now have a beautifully recovered chair that brings a smile to my face every single time I step into my studio! I just really hope I can manage to keep this mostly white fabric clean!

Do you have any fun reupholstery projects you have recently tackled that brought a smile to your face? I'd love to hear about them!



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