Sunday, November 4, 2012

Found from a Friend: Recliner Reupholstery


A few nights ago I was cruising through my Facebook newsfeed and had to stop to gawk. A friend of mine reupholstered an old recliner into the most gorgeous chair I've ever seen.

Because this friend is a frequent crafter, her incredible style and talent shouldn't surprise me, but I cannot believe the transformation this chair has taken.

I asked immediately if she would allow me to share her tips and tricks as well as the stunning piece of furniture with you all and was very grateful when she agreed!! Please enjoy this amazing chair renovation by my friend, and leave comments with your praise. Her abilities are limitless!!


I am basically self-taught on this so I don’t have a specific tutorial or step-by-step photos (maybe next time I will do that!), but I can give some tips. 

Honestly this was a pretty challenging piece (I was even intimidated myself) and I wouldn’t just recommend someone just start ripping their armchair apart, especially if it is something cherished.  

I did reupholster my ottoman and loveseat before this, which I didn’t really care too much for and was going to get rid of them anyway until I redid them! The loveseat was actually a lot easier, because this armchair has so many little pieces and details. 

You need some sewing skills as well for cushions, seams, etc. If you are seriously interested in taking a  project like this on, I would recommend doing a few searches online to find a detailed step-by-step to guide you.

  • My biggest tip would be to go section by section, take photos as you go, and put the new pieces on just how they came off. That’s pretty much how I learned; just seeing out the piece was constructed… Staples are removable so I wasn’t too afraid to go for it. 
  • A flat head screw driver and pliers are needed 
  • Use the pieces taken off as patterns to trace – I used scrap fabric in the beginning to make sure it would work
  • You must pull the fabric as you are stapling or it will be saggy; a good quality home decor fabric is good for this reason
  • Try to reuse pieces if you can, such as the metal tack strips that are usually already on the piece
  • Use batting and polyfill to reshape parts to make it more modern (see my chair before and after)
  • Have someone around to help you as it can get pretty labor intensive! (My husband was super excited to see this thing out of our lives once it was done HAHA!)


Amazing, isn't it?! I am completely inspired and I am sure some of you have a droopy old recliner in the house you can't WAIT to reupholster now!! Thanks so much to my friend for sharing her tips and photos - what an incredible transformation!! 


  1. Wow! Not much more to say than that. VERY impressive!

  2. Your friend did an awesome job! I've been wanting to take a stab at reupholstering for a while now. My mother-in-law is pretty handy with it. She buys stuff from the thrift store all the time and completely transforms it.

    I have an office chair upholstered in pleather that my cat loves to scratch at. I have no idea why. The rest of the chair is fine, but the pleather is, obviously, falling apart. (Thank you, Squirt. Fake leather is stupid.) I have no idea whether it can be successfully reupholstered, since the cracked fabric is probably going to fall apart if I take it off the chair, so I won't have anything to trace. We shall see. If I do ever work up the courage, I'll make sure to do a post on it.

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