Furniture is expensive. I could send my kid to a semester of college for what they want for some sofas! Luckily, you don’t always have to go out and buy new. If your existing furniture has good bones and a solid, sturdy frame, chances are you can reupholster it. Think it’s just for the pros? Nope. Here is our round up of projects that prove you can reupholster almost anything! BTW, if all you want is a good tutorial on how to reupholster a chair, head on over to our post on TBD and we got it for you!

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

Our feature project above, is from Jen at ‘Chronicles of Home’. We figured we would start with the most requested reupholstery tutorial… how to reupholster a sofa! She has several different parts to this project, so be sure to read carefully! Lots of great tips too…

 

how to reupholster almost anything

 

From Brit + Co, learn how to reupholster a thrift store chair in just a few easy steps! This tutorial is not just upholstery though, it’s a whole chair makeover!

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

 

This reupholstered foot stool brings back the midcentury charm of this beauty. From ‘Design Sponge’, this is a simple tutorial, and project!

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

 

Bet you didn’t even think of this one! Learn to reupholster a folding chair with Erin from ‘Design for Mankind’.

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

 

From ‘How Joyful’, take an ugly desk chair and make it happy and… well, joyful! Did ya know? An office chair redo!

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

 

Ok, just to prove that you can reupholster almost anything, over at ‘Retro Renovation’, they have a good one. Melissa, one of their readers, used their video tutorial to reupholster a 1950’s high chair. Just goes to prove! So I am assuming you could reupholster a more modern one too.

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

 

Have an upholstered headboard that is outdated? Cut away all the old upholstery, then use the base to make a diamond tufted headboard from ‘Homemade with Carmona’. You could even just make a new one from scratch with her tutorial.

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

 

You know those cool papasan chairs you always see at thrift stores that are so comfy? 9 times out of 10, their upholstery is too worn out (my nice way of saying gross) to sit on. Learn how to recover a papasan chair with Krista from ‘The Happy Housie’.

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

 

Reupholster your patio chairs with this tutorial from ‘The Altered Past’. Great way to spruce up your outdoor rooms!

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

 

Putting together a nursery? It’s not cheap. Learn how to reupholster a glider rocker to save you some bucks, and customize your baby’s room at the same time. From ‘Alex Haralson’.

How to Reupholster Almost Anything!

Ok, have we proven it? How to reupholster (almost) anything!

Image Credits: Design Sponge, Chronicles of Home, Brit + Co, Design for Mankind, How Joyful, Retro Renovation, Homemade by Carmona, The Happy Housie, The Altered Past, Alex Haralson

 



53 Comments

  1. Rebecca Baker May 24, 2016 at 4:16 am

    I loved the result! I’ll make the chairs here at home since my sister loved it too! Thank you for sharing! Love your blog =)

    Reply
    1. Veronica MIller February 15, 2017 at 11:11 am

      I was disappointed. All you actually posted on an actual tutorial was the one chair. All the others were different websites.
      I expected to see instructions on how to do all these different items on your blog. I wanted to print every tut. down the line without having to go here and there.

      Reply
      1. Kathy Woodard February 20, 2017 at 3:13 pm

        Hi Veronica,
        Like we said in the first paragraph of the post, it was a round up of great projects we found on the web for all of you… we apologize you found having to go to the sites for the instructions inconvenient! We wish we could be so talented as to have all those tutorials done ourselves, but we hope sharing them with everyone will make it easier for people to find the projects that help them the most!

        Reply
      2. Akexis March 5, 2017 at 6:02 am

        Although I highly appreciate a professionally upholstered piece of furniture it’s very silly to suggest anyone trying their hand at it would somehow be offensive. Should we not cook because there are professional chefs? Or paint our homes because there are professional painters? Or plant our own vegetable gardens becausek there are professional farmers?

        Reply
        1. Akexis March 5, 2017 at 6:04 am

          Sorry that was put in the wrong place. It was a response to Kate.

          Reply
          1. Darla Welch March 9, 2017 at 10:46 am

            OOooo! I so agree with t he not cooking because there are professional chefs! Where do I sign up? ;-D

  2. Katie Elliott January 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    It takes years of education and skills to learn upholstery. This totally trivialises the entire trade. You are putting skilled craftsmen out of work so I hope you are happy and can sleep well at night after writing your blogs.

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard January 24, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      We don’t agree with you Katie, although we’re sure it’s an art, my bet is that if people could afford to pay reupholterers, they many times would. For many, it’s either DIY or not have it at all. For the creative of us, anyone has the right to be creative on their own terms and try new things, even if they are hard.Thanks for sharing your esteem for your trade though! We agree, its not an easy trade!

      Reply
      1. Paula January 25, 2017 at 5:17 am

        I agree with you Kathy. I started with 4 kitchen chairs and then upholstered a recliner. Patience & attention to detail is key. Does it look professional? Almost….but I couldn’t afford to have the recliner professionally done. Can you give us pointers on finishing the corners?

        Reply
      2. Hellowakeup toyourself January 27, 2017 at 4:05 am

        Definitely dont agree Katie Elliot. Most people would rather buy a mass produced and brand new couch than have it reupholstered as its cheaper.

        Reply
      3. Frances Hawe January 28, 2017 at 8:46 am

        I agree with you Kathy. With many people it is a case of needs must and if a person has an itch to try something why not give it a go. If nothing else it is a great way to learn to appreciate the Masters.

        Reply
      4. Sandy Hendrickson January 29, 2017 at 10:57 am

        Cudos Kathy! To pay to have something rehupolstered is for myself,not in the budget! I so appreciate this blog and your tips and tricks of the trade,for this working mom,it’s priceless!!

        Reply
      5. Inta February 1, 2017 at 6:10 am

        Completely agree with you … it’s not taking anybody’s job away, it’s for people who likes diy

        Reply
      6. Brenda Hooper February 4, 2017 at 10:23 pm

        If if you are smart enough to perform the task, then go to it. It does take practice and time. But it is not rocket science. So those need to realize many of us have this talent which we learned on our own with practice and patience. Just remember it is just a piece of furniture and fabric, if you screw up it is not a matter of life and death! Try try again and you will learn from your mistakes. Soon you will be just as pleased as the so called pros can do for you. Remember love for your art is in the eye of the beholder !

        Reply
      7. Rosemary Jackson February 5, 2017 at 6:34 am

        So true Kathy! I also agree with Katie that it’s a difficult skill. Most people would rather pay for it to be done than to risk the expensive fabric, the headache & the time to do it. Trust me, people will pay for it if they can. In the meantime, this is awesome for those who can’t afford to have it done. One other thought, I’ve heard so many people say that it’s better to just buy new than to reupholster. I hate that because some older pieces are being thrown out simply b/c of the cost to do it vs buy new. Many times they are better made. So DIY isn’t the only thing going against the reupholster. But I’ll keep mine in business when I can & enjoy the DIY tips for smaller pieces when I have a moment & gumption to tackle a project.

        Reply
      8. Robyn February 5, 2017 at 4:11 pm

        Terrific answer!

        Reply
      9. Raine February 7, 2017 at 12:53 am

        I think your info is great! Thank you for the help!

        Reply
      10. Shirley February 7, 2017 at 5:26 am

        I believe that it might be challenging to reupholster bigger pieces, but it can be done. Thank you very much for this. I am going to try my hand on some projects.

        Reply
      11. Veronica February 7, 2017 at 8:31 am

        Reupholstery is very expensive. It’s cheaper to just buy new furniture than to get your old and worn furniture reupholstered. Even cheaper than buying new furniture, is to just do it yourself. That’s what I am doing. I don’t have $2k to get it done by someone else. But I have $500 to get the supplies and do it myself.

        Reply
      12. Tony Coles February 7, 2017 at 9:40 am

        I agree with Katie Elliot that it takes years of education and hands-on experience to be a skilled and knowledgable reupholstery professional but I don’t believe websites/blogs that support the DIYer are hurting the trades or minimizing it in any way. My wife and I own a reupholstery business and trust me, we get plenty of customers who had great intentions but the furniture was different than in the blog, it took way longer than they expected, they didn’t want to buy the tools or they chose the wrong fabric, etc. If you are a skilled craftsmen, you will never be out of work, unless, of course, the robots actually do take over, lol.

        Reply
      13. Julie coyne March 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

        What a gracious gal you are Kathy! These sites are free to come to for the public and for you to be criticized is so odd to me. I’m not a rocket scientist or professional upholsterer but I can figure out how to move about a site and read instructions and decide if it’s over my head or not… I would Love Love Love to find a reasonable upholsterer for my big projects and I am on the hunt for one. (I live in Orange County, Ca. any referrals would be appreciated?) For the time being I am going to attempt to make a cover for my sofa cushion, like a giant box pillow, first with an inexpensive fabric, then I will take it from there. Do you have any suggestions on how to sew heavy bulky fabric on a regular sewing machine? I’m thinking it just won’t work even with heavy gage needles, I would think the feed plate and possibly more would have to be a professional grade…regardless, thank you for effort with this site.

        Reply
        1. Kathy Woodard March 21, 2017 at 3:29 pm

          Thank you Julie, for the kind comment! I honestly think you would be better off contacting one of the bloggers in our post about your sewing question, as they have more experience in this area! I’ve been able to sew fabric as heavy as denim on a home sewing machine, but beyond that? Good luck!

          Reply
    2. ann calcave January 24, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Are you for real??? It also takes a lot of money to have a chair skilled craftperson do the job, but if u have that kind of money give them your upholstery jobs and I will thanks for all the tips, do it myself and put the money I saved in the bank for things I can’t do.

      Reply
    3. Darcy DeBlanc January 25, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Some people won’t even try to reupholster a couch or a slipper chair so don’t worry the trade is not going anywhere. I own a construction company and DIY hasn’t put us out of business. Most people don’t have the patience and that’s ok. ?

      Reply
    4. Paulette Gautier January 31, 2017 at 9:30 am

      I don’t agree with you Katie I reupholstere my furniture I have done it for years they turn out absolutely beautiful, not everyone can afford to pay to have there furniture done by a professional

      Reply
      1. Julie coyne March 19, 2017 at 9:08 am

        Hi Paulette, good for you, you gave me a boost of confidence with your comment. How do you sew with heavy fabric on a regular sewing machine? I don’t think it’s possible or am I wrong? The needles break, the feed can’t pull the fabric through, I’m thinking I need a different machine. Or do you just use lighter weight fabrics. Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you

        Reply
        1. Diana April 12, 2017 at 3:00 pm

          you need to loosen your tension on your sewing machine and use a good quality needle for heavy weight fabric

          Reply
    5. kim February 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Katie, it is very expensive to have a chair recovered, rightfully so, it’s a lot of work. That being said, there is nothing more satisfying than doing it yourself. When I recovered my wing chair, I was so excited, and I have had many compliments on it. I am very thankful for blogs like Kathy’s and all the youtube videos out there…

      Reply
    6. Elizabeth February 2, 2017 at 8:42 am

      Maybe you shouldn’t charge so much for doing a job most people can do themselves. I think she sleeps just fine. Hahaha

      Reply
    7. Nancy M February 3, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      I DOUBT highly us DIY upholsterers are putting professionals ‘out of business’ Katie. I absolutely LOVE learning and doing DIY projects for my home and I LOVE getting tutorials and tips from my fellow DIY’ERS . Also, I’m sure others will agree that we sleep VERY WELL at night being constructive and working hard and taking pride in our projects.

      Reply
      1. Maria Vidal February 21, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        I would like to learn how to reupholster a wing back chair. I need to ? ow what kind of materials and tools to use. Does it need any sewing

        Reply
        1. Diana April 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm

          great class on Craftsy todo exactly that.

          Reply
    8. Geri February 4, 2017 at 3:58 am

      Kathy,I felt I needed to reply. I have been teaching upholstery and soft furnishings for 30 years so while I am appalled at the quality and finish of the project it is just a DIY job for..herself. I can imagine the delight and feeling of achievement of recovering her sofa. No it would not pass inspection, quality control. or paying attention to detail. Hopefully she be inspired to learn the craft properly. Having the correct tools and materials (Upholstery fabric must meet stringent fire retardation regulations )is a good place to start. The stripping of the furniture is a laborious and dirty job, butit must be done, you should never, ever cover over the old cover, a big nono, you would be amazed how much dirt and grime has seeped through.It’s a much dirtier and very difficult process to redo an antique piece , chair or sofa with horse hair filling stitched in. That would be a very labour intensive project but Wow! the job satisfaction.fantastic…all the time!! So keep trying and enroll to learn dying craft skill. We need more young blood in the industry.”Practice makes perfect,”they say in this part of the world ( Ireland).

      Reply
      1. Nay March 2, 2017 at 10:21 am

        I have to agree that professionals in the field have the knowledge and tools to get the job done in half the time and probably a better result, but us DIYers sometimes get more satisfaction by doing the job ourselves. I have reupholstered one chair that belonged to my grandmother (probably over 80 years old) and am now working on the matching rocker. It took me several weeks from start to finish. I stripped the material (and you are right, it was a dirty job from dirt, grime, dried up straw, and dirty batting), filled holes, and refinished the wood. I have to admit that it looks good for a first timer and I know my grandmother would be proud that I didn’t throw it out and found a use for it in my house. She would also be proud that I did it myself. You are right the satisfaction that you fee when the job is donel is fantastic!

        Reply
    9. Beckie Griffiths February 13, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      I 100% agree with Kathy. I have several pieces of furniture that I am going to attempt to reupholster, and really appreciate tutorials that guide me in doing that. Otherwise, I would just be donating them to charity because I for sure am not able to pay someone to do it for me. There are plenty of people out there who are willing to pay the big bucks to have someone do it, and trust me, they are not out looking for tutorials to help them learn how to upholster. I don’t think this would take any business away from people who do this for their job!!

      Reply
    10. S jones March 5, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      In this economy, people are trying to preserve what they have and save money where they need to. Thank you for this blog.

      Reply
    11. Rochelle May 8, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Katie,
      Everyone can follow their own excitement , and if that excitement happens to be experimenting with reupholstering tutorials- that’s wonderful! This is an excellent way to s e e if one has the kna ck for it.,

      No bother to let it worry you about taking business away from professional upholsterers, not everyone has the same talents, everyone is certainly justified to try ANYTHING they want.

      Reply
  3. Ethika Yourn January 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    The tufted headboard or any tufted piece :: the fabric should be just a little looser so that right after or during putting a button in place, you are able to arrange the folds that are made are all facing up or down. Folds facing down to the right and left are most often used by the professionals. Good ideas and encouragement from you. I taught myself upholstery and crafty people can too !!!

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard January 24, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Great tips, thank you Ethika!

      Reply
  4. Keren Luna January 24, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    This is great. My dinning chairs are so bad from when my kids were younger and now I can make them look brand new! I’ll choose a darker fabric then the original light color they came with. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Cha January 25, 2017 at 8:33 am

    I think this is brilliant!&as for putting professionals out of business it won’t happen so long as ppl can afford their rates etc so this gets my thumb’s up!!!!!

    Reply
  6. Katherine Jones January 25, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Kathy,

    Where did you get that mustard and grey geometric fabric from? I have a cushion in the same fabric and I would love to buy some fabric!!

    Thanks

    Katherine

    Reply
  7. joyj February 2, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Great job. now it takes time to do this kind of work and the vast majority of us will not want to do it, but for those of us who are willing to try, this is encouraging. Thank goodness for people who are willing to share their gifts/knowledge with others. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  8. Erin Dye February 3, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Great blog. I laughed out loud at Katie Elliotts comment about you putting tradesman out of work. Give me a break. You can say that to any blogger. Showing how to paint a wall, isn’t going to put a nation of painters out of business. Just as showing how to upholster isn’t effecting anyone’s job. As you said most people can not afford to pay to have pieces professional done.
    Digging the headboard idea!

    Reply
  9. Sabera Anwar February 4, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    What are the name of the tools you are using like the one which puts pins into the seat? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard February 7, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Sabera, Each one of the projects has a link back to the original instructions, you can go there to ask question about the project you are interested in… Hope that helps you get going with your project!

      Reply
  10. VJ February 8, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Thank you for sharing on how to reupholster everyday house hold items. I love getting instructions like these. You keep doing what you’re doing and share your work with everyone…. There will ALWAYS be SOMEONE or SOMBODIES who don’t agree. You have been called for another purpose. Continue your work in your purpose.

    Thanks – VJ

    Reply
  11. Jeff Ashner February 11, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Adding new fabric breathes new life into any piece of furniture. All these ideas are really great and can certainly be done by anyone, maybe with a little practice.

    Reply
  12. Kristina February 15, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Kathy, this looks like a fun project. I have a chair with me that I am going to reupholster. I will let you know how it goes :)

    Reply
  13. Joni March 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Love the blog, thanks!!

    Reply
  14. Jeannette Gravett March 19, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Thanks for this – so timeous for me and great to be able to do this and not have to consult a “professional”. Thanks again!

    Reply
  15. Penny Fisher March 20, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Interesting projects but they are not really reupholstery, they are recovering. There is a huge difference. Upholstering, especially a sofa is a very skilled job, any one with a modicum of sense can recover. Maybe if the terminology was correct people would not get so upset!

    Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *