Reupholstering furniture and cushions is a fantastic way to breathe new life into some of your favourite pieces of furniture, without having to say goodbye and add it to the rubbish pile.

The wear and tear of furniture is only a natural part of its life cycle – repeated cleanings, hard-to-remove stains and fabric fade are just some of the major ‘life events’ your furniture will go through. But if you can’t bear to part with a beloved item of furniture, there is a means to an end to bring it back to life and restore its character.

Our team at Darkie Designs offers a full reupholstering service on both furniture items and cushions. We offer reasonable rates, a gorgeous selection of fabrics and an efficient turn-around time.

But perhaps you’re looking for a DIY project of your own and had your eye on a worn down item of furniture?

Here are a few essential tips for reupholstering DIY:  

As a fore warning if you are reupholstering an item of furniture for the very first time – try and avoid using leather fabrics, as it is far more difficult to cut and staple leather. This is perhaps a task for reupholstering professionals.

Start with a simple piece of furniture for your first DIY reupholstering project, such as a dining room chair. Make sure to use very sharp scissors for the task and a robust pair of pliers!

Essential items you will need:

  • Your chosen upholstery fabric
  • Needle nose pliers
  • A rubber mallet
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A staple gun
  • Wool batting / foam
  • Tailor’s chalk

Simple steps to reupholstering:

Before

After

Step 1: Remove all worn down cushions, fabric, nails and staples from your old chair with the needle nose pliers. Ensure the old fabric is not torn as you remove it.

Step 2: Ensure the frame of the chair is in good condition, free of cracks, breaks or scuffs. If you notice any significant cracks or breaks which affect the frame, it may not be worth reupholstering.

Step 3: Use the existing fabric you removed to trace upon and measure out your new upholstery fabric. Use the tailor’s chalk to draw out the tracing. Then cut the new fabric according to the tracing, ensuring you leave at least 10cm extra on the sides so that it can be secured around the edges.

Step 4: Place the new fabric on the cushion, stretch and wrap as you would when wrapping a gift. Use the staple gun to secure the fabric in place once it has been wrapped smoothly and evenly. Ensure patterned fabrics are placed in the correct direction i.e. not upside- down or back- to-front! If you don’t plan on using the existing cushion, replace with the woollen batting or foam, just make sure to measure it out correctly to the same volume as the previous cushion.

Step 5: This step requires you to smooth all the fabric edges, using the staple gun and glue to ensure the cushion is covered securely. Seam the edges properly, ensuring there are no gaps which can rip and tear over time.

Step 6: Replace your newly upholstered cushion and use nails and screws to keep it in place. Follow the exact same procedure for the rest of your items of furniture if it has more than one cushioned section i.e. a cushioned back rest or arms.

While this DIY task can be time-consuming it certainly is rewarding seeing your hard work and creativity come to fruition. If you simply don’t have the time, our team at Darkie Designs would be happy to reupholster your prized furniture for you!

About Darkie Team