Friday, May 20, 2011

Sitting Pretty

After two months, and lots of band-aids we've finally finished the settee!  When I first spotted this little gem at the antique store, I never would have guessed that it would take this much work to give it new life, but it was all well worth the while.   Note: this type of project will require a team, lots of patience, and many, many band-aids!  Hats off to Debbie and my mom who really ran the show on this one.  I couldn't have done this without you.  Without further adieu, here is a glimpse back at what the settee looked like when I first brought it home:

And here it is now:

A closer look at the detail on the top:

And a side view:

A closer look at the detail on the bottom:

And the leg:

And my favorite part, the pleating in the back:

To really appreciate all of the work that went into this project, here are a few snapshots of the process:


If you would like to take on a project like this, here are a few tips:

1.  Make sure you have a few people to help you.  (if you know someone who has done it before - even better!)
2.  Give yourself plenty of time - this takes a lot of work.
3.  Buy plenty of staples.
4.  Trial and error - it's the name of the game.
5.  Have plenty of band-aids on hand - this can get messy.
6.  When you're tired, give it a rest.  Stepping away for awhile is better than making messy mistakes.

Here are the materials I used for this project:
1. Upholstery fabric
2. Needle-nose pliers
3. Hammer
4. Staple gun
5. Glue gun
6. Foam pad (for seat)
7. Batting
8. Scissors
9. Sewing machine

Start out by removing old fabric from your chair.  This can take awhile - there will be lots of staples (or in my case, nails) and sometimes they are difficult to get out.  Remove old foam, batting etc.  Warning - this can get a little messy so make sure you do this in your garage or outside, or have some type of blanket to catch all of the dust, etc.   Save the old fabric so you can use it as a pattern  to cut out your new fabric.  If you are going to paint the wood on the chair, now is the time to do it.  Next, use the pattern and cut new fabric.  Lay the fabric on the chair.  Have someone else hold the fabric tight while you use a staple gun to staple the fabric on.  Sometimes you will need to make pleats if the fabric doesn't pull tight in some areas (see above for a shot of the back of the chair).  Don't give up - just keep trying new ways of pulling the fabric tight.  Also, in some areas if a staple gun won't cut it try sewing or using a glue gun instead.   Once the entire chair is covered in your new fabric, use a glue gun and glue on trim.  This will add a little pop of color and give your chair a nice, finished look.  Step back, enjoy! 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful job, Kate!! What an amazing transformation!