Thursday, August 14, 2014

DIY - Dining Room Chair Rehab

We have had this dining set for a long time, a really long time.  The chairs are in good shape, but the fabric on the seats was a different story.  Spills happen, if you have young kids, spills happen a lot.  Jake in particular has a special ability to knock over his milk.  As a result, the formerly clean, cream seats of my dining set were covered with stains.  It's been driving me crazy for a long time, but I'm just not willing to buy new furniture while our kids are still young.  There's just no point.  A few months ago, my friend Amy over at So There By Amy recovered her dining chairs and it convinced me that I needed to do the same thing.  I added it to my summer to do list and this past weekend I finally got around to it.

I dragged the boys over to Joann's and found this striped fabric.  I thought a pattern would be better for disguising the inevitable stains (fingers crossed on that) and the colors coordinated with what we already have in our dining and living rooms.   Then it was time to get to work.  I found a great tutorial over at The Chronicles of Home.  

I started out by having Josh unscrew all of the chair bottoms and remove the fabric from one of the chairs so that I could use it to make a pattern.  I was planning on removing the fabric from all of the seats, but they had A LOT of staples.

Those are all from ONE chair!  So, I reevaluated my plan and decided to just leave the original fabric on and cover it up with my new fabric. The chairs had welting (that little piped edge) so I did have to cut that off so there wouldn't be a lump underneath.  I used a box cutter to make a slit and then used my fabric scissors to just cut it off.

Once Josh had pried all of those staples off (love my hubby!) I laid out the old fabric on top of the new fabric and then cut out the new fabric slightly bigger because I wanted extra to hold onto.  Then lay the seat bottom on top of the new fabric (both should be face down).  Make sure if you have a pattern like me that your pattern is straight and is facing the way you want it to.  Now that I'm finished I kind of wish that I had made the stripes facing the opposite direction, but I'm hoping it grows on me.

Now you are ready to staple.  Start by stapling the top and bottom.  Then fold the front corners to be how you want them and staple them down.  Make sure you are pulling the fabric tight as you go and try to smooth out any wrinkles as well as you can.  Once all of the sides are stapled on, trim off any extra fabric if you left a bunch hanging off.   Then screw your seat back onto your chair frame, repeat for the remaining chairs, and you are done.

A little tip for you, if your staples are sticking out, that means that your staples are too long.  Go back to the hardware store and buy shorter ones.  I may have found that out the hard way. 

This wasn't difficult, but I'm not going to lie.  My hand and forearm were sore from all of that stapling.  It only took an afternoon though and it was totally worth it.  I spent less than $20 and took my chairs from this:

to this:

Overall, I'm really happy with how they turned out.  Of course, now I want to go buy some new placemats...