Friday, June 21, 2013

How to Re-cover a Non-removable Seat

I finally figured out a way to re-cover the seat on a bench or chair that I couldn't easily remove.  I've always attempted covering the seats that are only attached from underneath with several screws.  But, every time I've seen a chair with the seat permanently attached I've balked and not attempted it.  Well, I finally felt like I had a plan.  I practiced on a vanity bench and I did it.  Yea!!!!

This vintage vanity seat has curvy cabriole legs.  I recovered it in a creamy Belgium linen with braided trim and nail heads in the corners. I love how it turned out and I wanted to share how I did it.

Here's what I started out with---great bones, bad fabric.

I removed the old fabric(s) and the gazillion nails first.  Then I added some new batting to pad it.  I had some beautiful linen fabric I wanted to use.  I cut a piece of it larger than the seat and draped it over the vanity seat.

Yes, I'm doing this on my fold-out card board cutting board on my daughter's bed.  So professional.

The next step is to staple in the center of each side.  Make sure you pull the fabric tightly.  This step is important because you want the cover to be tight and straight. 

I use an electric staple gun and 5/16 staple size.

I then work my way around the bench top.  Continue around the bench, stapling in the center between the staples until you make it all around the perimeter.  You'll be going around and around several times but this process will keep it straight and tight. Notice that I had to make folds in the corners.  Make sure the folds all face the same way.

I followed the lip at the edge of the bench seat and cut away the excess.  (Sorry for the blurry pic.  I didn't notice it was blurry until this step was covered up and it was too late to re-take. )

Now you need to cover up those staples.  I used some braided trim.  You could use gimp, hem tape, grosgrain ribbon, double welt cording, or something I'm wanting to try--- narrow burlap on a roll.  Find it here.

Braided Trim

I attached mine with fabric glue.  You could also use a hot glue gun.

Fabric Glue

The trim does a nice job of covering the staples and the rough edge.  Glue wasn't dry when I took the photo but it dries clear.

Normally, I would cover this trim with nail head but I decided I liked the trim alone and only put nail head in the corners.  Here's the final project again.


Love the leg.

Are you ready to give it a try?  I have a chair I'm going to attempt next.


To see my previous tutorial on how to re-cover a simple chair seat--the easy one--- go here.

BTW, my friend, Mary Alice, bought the bench at Vintagepalooza.  She said that it will be perfect at the foot of her bed.   She writes the blog, Chateau Chic and sells her vintage wares at Rust and Feathers.  Please take a peek at her blog and the shop.  You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. this looks great Kathy and invaluable information. Thanks so much for sharing! xo