The Thrifty Starter Pack: Beginner’s Upholstery Projects

in DIY

Our most prized possessions are the ones that we create with love. Passion projects find a way into our hearts and eventually our living rooms, their stories and history a part of the family. But how does one start the journey to creation? Well, it’s important to remember to walk before you run, so start your journey to being an upholstery creative with these easy projects to find your feet and needle.

Lounge Chair

The idea of upholstering a chair may seem daunting right out the gate. But don’t let the area of fabric fool you, the method is quite straightforward and you only need a few materials. Selecting the right upholstery material is going to be most important, and poor quality will not yield you the same easy results.

The next step is to strip what is left of the chair we are upholstering, replace the batting (cushion stuffing) and line your fabric in place how you intend it to fall. Start stapling this in place and then lay your upholstery tack strip to tidy those edges. Take in an upholstery tutorial before you get started.

Seat Cushions

The humble seat cushion reupholstering is an easy beginner project for anyone, and while it is only a small area you are re-imagining it makes such an impact. Detach the seat from the chair base and pull back off the fabric to reveal the state of the chair seat board. Chances are there will be nails and staples still attached, which you can remove to tidy up.

Cut a new piece of foam to the shape of the chair seat base, and then do the same with batting, and then lay your fabric over the two as you would like the fabric to appear on the chair. Now you can affix the layers to one another using staples and nails. Remember to round the edges and tidy it up underneath to avoid cuts or your chair looking shabby.


The footstool compliments every room, either as a way to lounge or a coffee table. Remove the unwanted fabric from your footstool and inspect the condition of the batting and foam. Once the old staples and nails have been removed you can measure the new fabric against the old, and staple in place.

You can get creative with your piping, using tassels, beads or a different fabric that complements the colours you have chosen. The last step is to flip the footstool and tidy up the underneath using tack strips and more staples. Another way to reinvent your footstool is to change the look of the feet/legs. You can achieve this by giving them a darker lick of varnish or painting them a new colour entirely.

Upholstering can be a fun project that you can enjoy for life. It’s also a sustainable way to contribute to the furniture and design industry, and bring some life to your home. To get longevity out of your new upholstered furniture, select reputable and durable upholstery fabric. Also remember as a beginner to tidy up the under sides of your projects, don’t cut these corners because the last thing you want to do have your items unravel or to cut and scrape your guests.

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