March 30, 2011

Adventures In Slipcovering

The little man is a cutie, but the chair....not so much. It's hard for me to believe that at one point in time someone thought this floral pattern was actually attractive.

So here goes nothing. I may be getting in over my head. My plan is to make a slipcover for this ugly duckling. I have *some* basic sewing skills, but working with furniture is a new endeavor for me.

Of course, I've done my research and I've read and watched lots of online tutorials. They all tell me the same thing - for your first project pick a chair with clean, simple lines. And cushions that are in good condition. Well I didn't exactly get to pick my chair. It sort of picked me. It's my husbands' grandmothers' chair. It's been sitting in my in-laws basement for over 5 years. Kyle has refused to part with it and instead has insisted that one day he will spend the money to have it reupholstered. And then, as luck would have it, I went and got all obsessed with DIY and design blogs and of course he jumped at the chance when I told him I thought I might try to slipcover something.

Clean, simple lines? Not exactly. I didn't notice it until we got it home, but it has this back cushion that looks like a separate cushion, but is actually attached. As you can see above, it doesn't make for a very clean line at the top of the chair. Cushions in good condition? Not exactly. Even if it did make a clean line, the back cushion is lumpy and deflated. And the bottom cushion isn't much better. After a lot of hemming and hawing last night and a brief conversation with my mom who has slipcovered before, I had decided there was no way I could slipcover over this back cushion. So what's a girl to do?

She gets out her scissors!

I was a little nervous what I might find when I started cutting. But I was pleasantly surprised that the back cushion actually came away from the chair quite easily and in one piece.

I know that looks like a really disgusting stain on the back of the cushion, but I believe it is just the old, dried glue that was helping hold it to the back of the chair.

I found a lot of dust and what I believe to be a Christmas ornament hook during my demolition.

My husband confirmed that this chair did, in fact, sit right next to his Grandmothers' Christmas Tree every year.

Ever since we brought this chair in to the living room this morning, my son thinks it's his personal throne. I had an impossible time taking pictures because he wanted to jump in every single one. When I texted my mom this picture and told her I had removed the cushion. She texted back and said "Is that burlap or horse hair?" Ha! Horse hair? Really, Mom? But apparently they used to use horse hair for cushion stuffing and insulation in walls. You learn something new everyday. It's burlap, by the way. Please excuse the dust and cobwebs. Aren't these little legs cute? Why would anyone hide them under that ugly floral skirt? I had originally thought I would make a skirt for my slipcover, but I can't hide these cuties. So I busted out my scissors again and cut that old skirt right off. Anyone want some beautiful, floral fabric scraps? You know you do.
Ahh, I like her so much better already after removing that skirt.

This week I will be making a trip to the fabric store to buy foam and a few other items needed for new cushions. I will keep you posted as I attempt to transform this beauty. Follow along. You won't want to miss this adventure.

Have you ever slipcovered anything? Were you happy with the results? I'm more than happy to hear your tips!

I'm linking up with Miss Mustard Seed.

Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. too funny about the chritmas tree finds
    it is a lovely chair with a story to tell
    good luck with your plans, I have tackled a couple and always favored the loose fit slightly rumpled look and made removable washable covers

  2. No...I have never given it a try...I know I should. Now that is one cutie pie you have there.



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