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Friday, October 25, 2013

Spruce Up Your Dining Room Set!

Small household projects.  They're one of my favorite things.  Especially the ones that are inexpensive, quick and easy.
That was the case with this reupholstering project.  In an ideal world, I would have a giant spool dining room table.  However, I can't find one, AND even if I could, I live on the 3rd floor, so getting it up the stairs would be kind of interesting...

We have a cute, perfectly "apartment" sized dining room set, that was a hand-me-down from Dan's aunt and uncle.  The only thing is, that the seat covers were never really my favorite.  There was nothing wrong with it, it was just black and white checkered.  But we were wanting something a little more fun, and "us".
So, this is a tutorial on how to take something that looks like this:

To something that looks like this:

You only need a few things:
- Fabric - the pattern/type will depend on your liking.  The thicker the material (like a heavy duty linen) is going to last longer than a cotton one.  But that's up to you.  When it comes to pattern, I say get something that makes you happy, that you don't mind looking at every day, and isn't TOO loud.  If it's too loud, it'll limit your linen, dinnerware, and accent options later on.  Another suggestion, is to go more for color than pattern.  If there's a certain color you're really wanting to highlight in your dining room, even a solid color would work out beautifully.  We chose this pattern, because it complemented the accent pillows in our living room (which for us, is about 2 and a half steps away, and we do use them for extra seating when people come over, so it was a consideration), and it complements our dinnerware (which is graphite and green).  The amount of fabric you need will depend on the size of your seat cushions, the number of chairs you are recovering.  Remember, fabric on the roll is folded in half, so you may not need as much as you think.  We forgot this detail, so we ended up with more fabric, but we really like it, so we were actually kind of glad.  Maybe we'll make a runner, or extra pillow covers.  It's also good to have on hand enough to recover at least one, in case of spillage, or what have you (especially with a baby on the way).
- Scissors - My mom always had scissors that were just for fabric, which I didn't understand as a kid, but now I wish I had a pair.  I just used my all-purpose scissors, which worked fine, but it's always just a little easier/neater if you have super sharp scissors.
- Staple Gun - You can get light duty, or heavy duty, or a combination one!  We went ahead and bought the combination one, because then you have it for any sized project!  They're about $20.00.
- Pliers - incase you need to remove old or misplaced staples.

So, this is the fabric we chose.  I love it!  It was 7.99 a yard, and we got 3.  So, not too bad of an investment!

Start by removing the seats from your chairs.  Strike that.  Start with a husband who shares your appreciation for a home improvement project, and get him involved.  Then, get him to unscrew them.  I'm sure that there are chairs out there that are more complicated to take apart, so I would suggest making sure you can take them apart and put them back together before you just jump into this project.
Next, remove the covers that are already on there.  There was a lining on ours, thankfully, so if yours don't, you may need to buy a thin, cotton, light colored fabric to go underneath your pretty fabric.  After all that, you'll have naked seats!

Next, cut your fabric into squares that will cover your seats, with a couple inch hangover.  We were lucky, because ours came to about a square foot each.  A difficulty, however, was how the seats narrowed towards the back side.  It made it a little difficult for folding under.  But we made it work! :)

Lay your seat on the fabric, with the patterned side on the bottom, as if you were wrapping a present.  If you are working with a definite pattern, make sure your pattern is facing the same direction each time.  Fold over the sides, like so:

Make sure it's always nice and tight.
Then, start stapling.  Don't go staple-crazy, as it may pucker, but also make sure it's secure.  (Two sets of hands really helps.)

As I said, the corners were the hardest.  So, first staple sides facing each other, the battle the corners.

Then staple.

You may need to get a little creative with your corners.  But this is about what we ended up with most of the time.

Once all your seats are recovered, the only thing left to do, is to screw them back into the frame.  (Again, your chair may be more complicated than that.  It all depends on the construction of the chair.)

Finally, fall in love with your creations, and get a new excitement for your dining room!  So much so, that you decide to do a vase arrangement!

So, with about $40, a couple hours (with shopping), and a little bit of effort, we were able to give a redesigned look to our dining space (because who are we kidding, it's a little nook).
Here's one last look at the final product:

Let me know if you've done anything similar, if you have any suggestions, or questions!  Have a crafty weekend!

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