Monday, October 26, 2009

Easy, peasy, mac & cheesy

Wow, how's that for a dorky title?

Bad titles aside, recovering your chairs is a crazy easy project that makes such a huge difference. For my project, I took our country chairs to a much less country look. I think a coat of black paint over the table and chairs would be the perfect way to match the more contemporary style that our house has evolved to. I'm slightly terrified of painting the table though. I'm sure I'll get over that though and it won't be long before I'm posting about my latest painting project.

So to start, I checked out the fabric at Jo-Ann's. I wanted something dark and heavy weight. And at a price that wouldn't make me feel like I was sinking too much in to furniture that we only use two or three times a year. I found this beautiful fabric for 50% off. I ended up using three yards for a total price of $45. Having finished the project, I can say I could have used slightly less fabric had I carefully measured but honestly, I don't have the attention span for that sort of preplanning. I also wanted to make sure that there was plenty of overlap so that the fabric would be secure. (As if the 30 staples I sunk in to each chair wasn't enough to secure it.)

Enough with the story, let's get going. First remove the chair seat. On my chairs, the seat is held on with four screws. Lay the chair down and remove those screws. Once it was off, I put the screws back in the seat holes to ensure they wouldn't be covered by the fabric. As an added bonus, it kept me from losing them while I worked.

This next step is where you carefully lay out your seat and measure the fabric before cutting it. If I was Martha Stewart, that's how I would do it. I however live on the edge. I just slapped the seat down on the spread out fabric and cut a square out that was larger than the seat. Daring aren't I?

Now you get out your staple gun, spend several minutes trying to figure out how to load it, give yourself a pep talk that you are infact smart enough to figure out how to load the stupid staple gun, google the directions for loading the stupid staple gun and then finally come to the conclution that the staples you found out in the garage do not fit in the still stupid staple gun in your hand. The next day you find the correct size staples at Target, come home, load the thing and it takes all of five seconds to do. Seriously, the staple issue was the most difficult part.

With staple gun in hand, fold one side of the fabric up over the edge of the seat. I staple in the middle of each side to keep the fabric from shifting on me. Continue with the staple gun all around the sides. Leave the corners for last. When I got to the corners, I tried the fabric out a couple of different ways to see which method I liked best. In the end, I pulled the corner in, stapled it and the "rounded" the corners by pulling in small sections and then stapling them down. I'm sure there's a much better method but I was only worried about how the top of the seat would look and didn't really care what the underside would end up looking like. (So if you come over and feel the need to scope out the underside of my dining chairs, be warned, it's a mess under there. Smoke and mirrors baby. Smoke and mirrors.)

Gasp! It almost looks done doesn't it? Not so fast. If you used my tape-measure-be-darned method, you have some extra fabric under there that can be cut off. Just cut around the fabric, staying about 1/4 of an inch out past the staples. You should also notch out where the screws are. Otherwise you end up trying to screw through the thick fabric instead of just poking right in to the pre drilled hole.

All trimmed up, time to put your chair back together. Screw the seat back on, set the chair up and marvel at how great it looks. Easy, peasy, mac and cheesy ;)

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