Tag Archives: ikat

DIY: Re-upholstering Chairs

11 Oct

After having great (personal) success with upholstering my brand new, super fab headboard, I decided to take a a few more upholstery projects under consideration. This time around my medium is chairs.

We have had these chairs in our family’s possession for a long time (maybe even the 40’s?) but they have been in major need of an update.

Bleh, look at these nast-ay seats! Time has definitely taken its toll.

It was time for a big change. Inspired by this picture of a the re-painting of a similarly structured bamboo-esque chair…

…I decided to take matters into my own hands. All it took was a couple of cans of spray paint, two yards of fabric and patience!

Here is my final product, I am so proud and obsessed!

If you like what you see, read below to find out how you can do it yourself, too!

**Please note — everything noted below is only my personal opinion about how to dive into the process of re-upholstering chairs. Please check with more websites for extra help and steps…I am just an amateur working with what I’ve got.

**Also note — I am using two different projects to illustrate the steps for re-upholstery. Don’t be alarmed by the sudden switch of fabric and scenery!


1. Old chairs — if you don’t have a spare set, try local garage sales or thrift stores for great prices.

2. Spray paint — most spray paint from Home Depot or Lowe’s works on both metal and wood. You do need to choose whether you want a matte or shiny finish (I chose shiny navy paint)j.

3. Drop cloth — this plastic film will help protect the floors or outdoors from excess paint.

4. New fabric — try Joann’s Fabric, etc.

5. Scissors — good fabric scissors are best.

6. Staple Gun — invest in electric!

7. Staples — use 1/2 inch staples or best judgement based on the thickness of fabric and chair.

8. Measuring tape — to measure your seats and help you decide upon the amount of new fabric needed.


Skip to step 7 if you do not want to spray paint your chairs.

1. Remove seats. In order to spray paint your chairs, you will need to first remove the seats to keep excess paint off of them. Move them aside for the time being.

2. Place drop cloth on ground. Always spray paint outside since little flecks will fly every where. Use a drop cloth (plastic sheet that can be purchased at Home Depot etc) to protect the ground.

3. Spray paint chairs. Most spray paints are the same, but always read the instructions on the outer label before using. Hold the spray paint about 6 inches away from what you are spraying and give it one generous coat.

4. Let chairs dry. For best results, let your chairs sit to ensure they are completely dry. You can let them sit outside if the weather is less than 90 degrees (otherwise it may bubble like mine did at first!).

5. Re-spray paint. You will get the highest quality by following up the next day with another coat of spray paint. Looking at your chairs in a different light may help you see spots you missed the day before.

6. Let chairs dry (again). Once again, let your chairs dry completely. It’s almost time to re-upholster…

7. Measure your seats. Make sure you have enough fabric to cover all of your seats. Most seats can be covered in a half (1/2) square yard of fabric. For my 4 seats, I purchased 2 yards of fabric.. FYI — 1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches.

8. Pick and buy a fabric. Try Joann’s or your local fabric store for a wide selection. It is best to invest in a nicer form of fabric made for upholstery because it is thicker and more durable than simple cotton. You may want to keep in mind where and how much the chairs will be used when picking out the fabric. White or light colors can be dangerous in a kitchen area! And always get a little more than you think you will need, just in case.

9. Cut fabric. Once home, measure your fabric to fit each of your seats. You can make sure it fits by wrapping the cut fabric around the seat leaving 3-4 inches on the back of each edge.

10. Place fabric. Begin the process one chair seat at a time. Place the fabric upside down on the floor and the seat on top of it. Wrap the fabric around the seat, secure with your hands or fabric pins.

11. Staple the edges of the fabric. With the seat turned upside down towards the floor, begin folding the fabric over all of the edges, pulling tight and stapling as you go. I started with 2 parallel sides to pull the fabric tight, and then repeated on the other 2 sides. Always start in the middle and work your way out on both sides, making sure to smooth wrinkles as you go.

12. Work the corners. Corners are always tricky (even on making the bed!). I’m sure there are better tips out there, but I seriously worked the corners by making them like a bed. Fold one side over its edge, and the adjacent side on top of that. In my opinion, it looks better and more professional to try to keep the fold line on the corner. It can take a few extra tries to get right, but if you play with it enough it will look great.

13. Check your work. Check all of your work and then congratulations! You are the proud owner of new, re-furbished chairs!

P.S. Check out these chairs I helped my mom with after the successfully complete my leopard print chairs 🙂 They are FULL of IKAT  FABULOSITY.

The best part about both of these projects is that ANYONE can do them, I promise. Truly, all it takes is a little patience, amateur engineering of fabric and a staple gun. Think you’re up for it? Give it a try this week and send me your pictures! Good luck!


Obsession: More Ikat

29 Aug

If you recall from my last ikat article, ikat is a fun and vibrant fabric that can add a great deal of personality to any room. This is just a little update of some more ikat inspiration.

Earlier this week, my friend Jodi told me that she was inspired by the Funky Bear to buy some pillows. I was pleasantly surprised when she sent me the pictures of these pillow and they were ikat! She clicked through the websites from my ikat article and found a few cute pillows she loved on Etsy. She said they were affordable and are great quality. So if my first article didn’t have you convinced that you need to own some ikat, I hope looking at Jodi’s cute pillows will!

Love ’em! Also, as I’ve been scouring the web for deals on cute things for my new apartment (I finally get to move in September 17!), I stumbled across these lovely ikat slipper chairs from Urban Outfitters (which is quickly becoming one of my fav places to find FUNKY pieces to decorate).

Whether you are in the market for a chair or just like to window shop to earmark things for the future, check out Urban Outfitters’ website to find out more about these great ikat-patterned chairs.

And FYI — chairs are expensive. I know when I saw the price of these chairs ($328 each) I balked a lit tle, but nice sitting and lounge chairs for your own room or den can be around $500 depending where you look. Just keep that in mind when shopping for chairs (on Pottery Barn, patterned slipper chairs similar to the ones below are $699).

All images inspired by Urban Outfitters.

Moral of the story: If you haven’t found a way to work some ikat magic into your home, now you don’t have an excuse. Everyone needs pillows and chairs. So get on Etsy or  Urban Outfitters and buy that ikat!

Obsession: Ikat

1 Aug

It’s not a brand new trend, but it’s definitely one of my favorites.

Ikat (pronounced “eee-kaht”) is a method of weaving and dying that has unknown origins, but it has been dated back to pre-Columbian Central and South American cultures. Besides being found there, many other countries have laid claim to the design in their own way especially Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and Indonesia (Wikipedia).

Today in America, ikat can be found on all sorts of goods — from printed dresses and fashion, to pillows, to upholstery, the fabric has permeated everything design. You’ve probably seen it lately (even Gap has ikat dresses), but if not, here is a little sample:

Inspired by: HGTV

Inspired by: Lotus Haus

Inspired by: Company C

Recognize this little guy? I’m sure you’ve seen it around. Love it as much as I do yet? You will once you see all the different fun ways you can use it around the house. The best thing about it is that it can come in so many different forms. It can dress something up, dress something down, be fun and bold and loud, or a neutral way to add flair to a couch. Ch-ch-check it out!

This looks like an ikat Alison in Wonderland tea party gone berserk! Mama likee...

Inspired by: Absolutely Beautiful Things

Just a little touch of red ikat here looks fab.

Inspired by: Country Living

This room is full of ikat-esque fabrics: The light blue & white bed skirt and chair, and the red and white pillows.

Inspired by: Decor Pad

Or just buy a huge swatch of fabric and create a giant board on your wall. Fun!

Inspired by: Elle Decor

Here the black and beige ikat acts as a neutral.

Inspired by: Faith Sheridan’s Blog

Ikat + Turquoise = Perfection. What a serene room!

Inspired by: House of Turquoise

I love the designer Madeline Weinrib, these chairs are upholstered by her.

Inspired by: LA Design Concepts

A burst of ikat is a perfect way to spice up a white couch.

Inspired by: Material Girls Blog

A mellow green looks beautiful with this white couch too.

Want to buy some of your own ikat? A lot of what people do with ikat is buy fabric and then pay to get it re-upholstered onto a chair, couch, or ottoman. This can be a VERY expensive and time-consuming process. Especially for the young girl starting out who is short on income and prone to change her mind, it is better to invest in small ikat pieces.

Amazon, $50

Inspired by: Amazon

Anthropologie, $14

Inspired by: Anthropologie

Etsy, $35-$145

Inspired by: Etsy (If you just do an “Ikat” search on Etsy, you’ll come up with tons of amazing options)

Neiman Marcus, $160

Inspired by: Neiman Marcus

Etsy, $90

Inspired by: Etsy

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