I recently shared our farmhouse dining room table and chairs, and today I’m excited to share a tutorial on how to reupholster dining room chairs with laminated cotton fabric!
Anyone with little ones around the table knows how impossible the idea of upholstered dining room chairs sounds.
Luckily, we have laminated cotton to save the day. In all sorts of prints, laminated cotton is the perfect solution to having clean, wipeable chairs.
Laminated cotton is basically a quilting weight cotton with a polyurethane coating on one side. It doesn’t contain phthalates like oilcloth does, so you don’t have to worry about it being dangerous for your kids. It’s also more pliable than oilcloth, making it easier to work with for certain projects.
Ready to reupholster your own chairs?
Screwdriver or screw gun
Heavy duty staple gun and staples
Staple remover and pliers
1/4″ batting (polyester or cotton)
Electric turkey carver (optional, but will save your life when cutting foam!)
You may remember the before photo of the $5 Craigslist chairs, including the ugly plaid fabric on the seats.
In the first post I explained a bit about the bad luck I had while trying to redo the chairs. I had already waited over two months after ordering laminated cotton that was on back order, when I received an email from ModeS asking if I’d like to review one of their products. To be honest, I initially had no plans to accept the offer, as they are located in Hong Kong. Since I don’t often order products from overseas due to a fear of shipping hassles, etc, I didn’t think it would be up my alley.
I decided to take a quick look at their products anyway, and as laminated cotton (or the lack there of, in my case) had been on my mind, I instantly was drawn to that section of the site. And then I saw THE fabric. It was Echino laminated cotton in a print that I had never seen before on any site (and I’m pretty sure that by that time I had seen every site that carries laminated cotton :)).
I was in love, and knew that I needed that fabric on my chairs. I was able to cancel the back ordered fabric that I had ordered from another site, and was so excited for the Echino fabric to arrive. I was surprised that it took less than two weeks from ordering until the fabric was on my doorstep. I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised with my whole experience with ModeS on all levels. The selection was the best I’ve seen for laminates, the shipping was much faster than I expected, and my fabric came wrapped in cute Kawaii packaging, which is never a bad thing :).
Once I had the fabric in hand, I was finally motivated to get to work on the chairs that had been sitting in my garage for months.
|Photo via Instagram|
After I removed the seats from the chairs, I sanded, primed, painted, distressed, and protected the chair frames using the exact same process that I used for our buffet makeover.
To recover the seats, use a staple remover to remove the existing fabric from the chairs. Pliers will come in handy, especially if the staples are older and tend to break.
Or in my case, remove all three layers. Super fun…
Use the seat base to trace a new foam shape. Trace the foam 1/2″ larger than the wood on all sides to allow for overhang and a smooth edge on the finished seat.
Staple remaining two sides using the same method.
Continue stapling opposite sides until all four sides of batting are stapled in place on the seat. Staples should be spaced approximately 1″ apart.
To shape corners, fold and pinch batting as pictured, and pull back tightly toward seat.
Hold snugly and staple corner in place.
Repeat with remaining corners.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Repeat with remaining two sides.
Continue stapling opposite sides until all four sides of fabric are stapled in place on the seat. If you notice any uneven pulls, use your staple remover and pliers to remove them and re-staple as needed.
Shape corners by folding in similar fashion as batting. If you find there is too much bulk to make a nice neat fold, trim some of the excess before folding. If you used 1″ thick foam, you may be able to fold the laminate so that the folds are only slightly visible on the right side of the seat. If using thicker foam like I did (mine was 2″), you’ll see more of the folds – try to make them as neat and uniform as possible.
Use screwdriver or screw gun to reattach seats onto chairs.
Enjoy your new chairs!