Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Office Chair DIY

I've been coming up with all these fun things to do to revamp my home office and I was leaving one big thing out. My office chair! The one I sit in ALL the time. It is comfy but a terribly ugly shade of maroon that has faded into a pinkish color. I was just driving around town this weekend and it hit me. I could recover it! AH! I couldn't wait to get home. I realized I could use the grey and white chevron that I planned to use for the curtains. Don't worry, I will still use it for the curtains (and by curtains I mean valance) I have plenty of it. So I got home, took the back off of the chair and got to work.

 The original chair.
 First I removed the back plastic panel. That part was easy, no screws, it just popped right off.
 Now I can see what I'm working with.
I'm sure there is some kind of handy-dandy staple remover I should have been using but I was home alone and went at it with a basic flat head screwdriver. Worked pretty well!
Fabrics coming off!
The screwdriver method basically lifted one edge of the staple out of the plastic. This let the fabric slip off but one side of the staple was still stuck in the chair. I then turned to a wire cutter (b/c I couldn't find the pliers) and pried each one of those bad boys out of the back of the chair. Tedious, but much easier than screwdriver segment.

Fabric off - check.
Staples out - check.

Next I used the old fabric I removed from the chair as a pattern to cut the new fabric to replace it with.

My first attempt didn't go so well. I was a little too conservative in my cutting. Luckily for me it was too small for the seat but plenty big enough for the back so I didn't waste any.

Lesson. Just put the fabric in place and make sure it is big enough before you start stapling it.
We then placed the new fabric on the seat and started to staple away.
But wait... This plastic is apparently super strength and our staple gun would not penetrate it. We tried everything and found the only thing that would work was screws. Not ideal b/c it twisted the fabric all up but I'd already spent a few hours removing all of the staples and fabric so we were going to find a way to MAKE IT WORK. We didn't have time to go to the store to buy more screws so we just took a break for the night.

After a good nights rest I called my dad and ask if he had a staple gun with a little more oomph. Lucky for us he did! I grabbed it on my way home from work and we gave it a try. We started with staples that were a bit too long and got the same crinkled-staple result. Tim and I both were instantly frustrated once again. Then we decided to try a bit shorter staple. Whew, that seemed to be working.

Then we hit a tiny bump. There is a safety on this staple gun where you have to have it flush against the surface or it won't release. That's great for safety but crappy when you need to get in little cracks and crevices on the back side of a chair. Tim pretty much gave up and I continued to tinker with it. I got in a rhythm and it started to work! I just had to staple the fabric back a bit farther than we had originally planned. Tim, not wanting to be out-smarted by a girl, came back over and took the reins. He really did end up being the master stapler.

He liked to ram-rod just a bit so I had to keep a close eye on him to make sure it was all tight in place. I would hold it and he would go to town.
Once the fabric was secure I went around and trimmed off the excess and Tim went back around for a final layer of staples.

Popping the back in place. (We actually finished the back part of the seat the night before, hence the change of outfits on my part.)

And done!! For our first re-upholstery job we did pretty dang well if you ask me! We never even got into a fight, which sometimes happens while working on home improvement projects. I am sitting in it right now as I type this!

My office is well on it's way to being hip and updated.

Before and After

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! We should bring my chevron DIY front porch chairs over and have a CHEVRON party :)


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