Ok, so I bought these cane back chairs for my living room about 6 months ago.
I loved the style and I got the pair for $150! However, what I didn't love so much were the palm trees. I live in the south now, but not that south. I've been wanting to recover them for awhile and finally got some time to start thinking about it. I emailed a few reupholstery places and they estimate about $200 per chair. Um, no way was I paying that much! So, I did some research and decided I could reupholster them myself. I bought 3 yards of fabric from Hobby Lobby that cost me $30. Everything else I needed for the project I already had. So here is the step by step process of how I recovered them!
Time needed: 5 hours
Items needed: 3 yards of fabric
Flat head screwdriver
Phillips head screwdriver
A pair of helping hands (my mother-in-law helped me!)
Step 1: The first thing we did was to remove the seat from the chair. My chairs had a dust cover on the bottom, so we just cut that away and threw it in the trash (it was disgusting!). Then we used my phillips head screwdriver to unscrew the bottom of the chair from the frame.
Step 2: We set the seat aside to work on later and got to work removing the piping on the front and back. The piping was mostly hot glued on so once we got a good hold on it, we just pulled it off (carefully so that we could save it for later). There were a few staples on the corners, so we used the flat head screwdriver to pry them up and pliers to pull them out.
Step 3: Next, we flipped the chair over so that we could get to the front. We spread the new fabric over the existing fabric and measured out the correct amount (leaving a little excess for good measure). We cut the fabric to size and then, while holding the fabric as tight as possible, we started to staple it on. Using the staple gun, we went around and followed the pattern of staples on the old fabric. I recommend starting from the middle and working your way to the ends so it doesn't bunch. Also, be very careful of the caning as it is fragile! We cut the excess fabric from around the edges once it was secure.
Step 4: We repeated step 3 for the back of the chair!
Step 5: Now it was onto the seat cushion. We again measured the fabric, leaving some excess to work with. This is where we hit a snag. We started stapling on the sides first, but when we got to the rounded corners, we couldn't make it smooth around them. So we took our flat head screwdriver and removed the staples we had just put in. We started again but this time we started at the rounded corners. This allowed us to make it smooth and without folds! Once it was secured, we cut the excess fabric off the edges.
Step 6: We then re-attached the seat cushion to the frame of the chair. It helps to mark the holes with a bright colored sharpie so you can match them up with the screws.
Step 7: We took the leftover piping and leftover fabric and hot glued the fabric around the piping. The piping was originally 2 small pipes, but I just opted for making it 1 wider pipe. From there, we hot glued the piping back onto the chair!
And there you have it! I finished one chair in about 2 1/2 hours and I still have the other one to do this weekend.
Here, you can see the side by side comparison:
The palm trees are definitely no more!
I love how it turned out and am so happy that it only cost me $40 and a couple of hours :)