Friday, November 15, 2013

Reupholstering A Chair Cushion

I moved to LA four years ago with just two suitcases and a cat (the second one came later). When I arrived, I was broke, but I had an entire apartment to furnish--my very first apartment of my own! So I spent my days scouring Craigslist, looking for treasures buried among the sea of rickety Ikea hand-me-downs and barf-inducing 80s furniture tagged #vintage. [I mean, that's just mean].

Lucky for me, I chanced upon a girl who was a mid-century enthusiast and amateur collector who would go to auctions and estate sales to find gems. And lucky for me again, she was moving and trying to get rid of all her stuff. Woo hoo!

That's where I found this guy:

I've been calling it Hollywood Regency style but only recently thought maybe it's more neoclassical? If you can name the style, please lemme know! In the meantime, I had some updating to do. That whole maroon velvet was a little too King Joffrey for me. So, soon after I brought it home from Craigslist, I reupholstered the seat with this cute fabric:

But after years of this...
Bella not included
 ...and this...
And a one and a two and a three and a four! got gross and catty and dirty, and the robin's egg blue turned a furry dirt grey. Yuck. Time for an update! It was pretty easy. First, pop out the cushion.*

 *Note: Then watch cat proceed to try to jump up onto the chair where its bed formerly was located and fall right through it.

I flipped the cushion over and used a flathead screwdriver to undo the staples.

I put on a little Aziz to pass the time while I meticulously pulled out staples.

The seat was already pretty uncomfortable to begin with, and after 4 years, even the batting I'd put in was flattened by constant ass pressure (both human and feline). So, I took some high density foam and laid it on top of the existing cushion to give the buttocks a little more, shall we say, ooh la la.

Awwww yeah

Years ago I fell in love with this ikat fabric, which is Duralee's "Kalah." It was about $20/yard.

I'd wanted to trash our boring white curtains and custom make this fabric into curtains instead, and then I realized I'd either need to 1) be the type of girl who's willing to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on custom curtains, or 2) be the type of girl who buys a sewing machine to make her own curtains.

Either way, a big ol' nope.

I decided just a seat cushion was enough to accent a living room with Kalah. So I laid the cushion on top of my fabric, leaving about 3" extra around each edge, and cut it down...

...and I used my trusty staple gun and wrapped it tightly around the cushion, making sure to taper in the corners like gift wrap.

I'm glad I cut a little more excess fabric than I meant to use, because the foam cushion made the seat considerably taller.

I could make this much neater, but eh. It's under the cushion, so nobody will see it.

Nestled the newly upholstered cushion right back into place, and voila! No more cat bed.

Same ol' chair, completely freshened up!

Remember, before, when I said I wouldn't be the kind of girl who makes my own curtains? Well, I had a bunch of leftover fabric and two episodes of Homeland ahead of me. So I hand-stitched a rudimentary pillow using the excess fabric and some batting. After all, I don't have a sewing machine.

Pinned it inside out...

Then hand-stitched three sides using my Home Ec 101 sewing skills, recalled foggily from 7th grade.

Yes! Pillow! Here's the old one again:

And here's the new guy:

I think it adds a nice splash of blue into the living room. At least until I can afford those custom curtains.