It has ripped so many times, I've lost count. It is hard to replace because of its size. So over the years I have patched it and partially slipcovered it, but today, I think I've finally fixed it for good and in the meantime, ended up with a gorgeous custom chair, if I do say so myself.
Want to make your own? Don't sew? No problem. Just follow along, it's an easy DIY, I promise. This is Exquisitely Unremarkable, remember?
This is where I started today. Under the red fabric is another huge hole. This chair was a mess and honestly everyone told me to throw it out. It was junk, but I just couldn't.
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Repairing that tear had me stumped. When I reached out for help, lots of people suggested little arm covers. Unfortunately, the arms of this chair are not really pronounced and there is an odd diagonal seam, so covers would not work well. However, my friend Nancy sent me a link to a makeover she found where the woman used Fusible Bonding Web.
It was worth a try...so after examining my craft box and my options, I decided to go that route. Thank you, Nancy.
I started by tucking a large piece of fabric in on all sides of the chair. I wrapped it around the arms and cut off the extra.
When it was firmly in place, I cut strips of the fusible tape and secured the fabric to the chair with the iron. I have an iron that I use just for crafting. It's totally clean, but you never know when you're working with glue, etc.
I started with the iron and the tape, then switched to a staple gun to shape the arms. I pulled the fabric very taut in both cases, alternating sides, until I achieved a very snug fit.
That is key.
I used a very generous amount of the tape. I wanted the cover to be very secure. We really sit in this chair every single day and I didn't want to worry about it slipping around under...pressure.
I followed the instructions on the package at first, but then I ditched the damp rag they suggest using in between the iron and the fabric, because I needed more heat. I tested it in a small spot. All was well, so I kept going.
Once the fabric was completely bonded to the chair, I moved on to the pleated skirt.
Ok, funny story about the pleated skirt. You see, a while back I replaced the fabric on my glass cabinets.
Not wanting to waste the old fabric, I started making a scrap style valance for my kitchen window.
Unfortunately, I kept running into design problems, got frustrated and tossed it in the craft box for a day when I had more time to work on it.
Well, today when I was digging through that box I found it and a lightbulb went on it my head. I would skirt the chair with it. Now, I did sew these piece together, but you don't have to if you don't know how...or don't want to. The fuse tape will work to join your fabric strips.
I also hemmed the bottom with the machine, but again, the iron method will work fine.
I used that tape to attach the skirt to the chair, pleating and ruffling the fabric as I went along. It was much easier than I expected and I was done in a flash.
The key to this whole project is a really hot iron...
...and a lot of the fuse tape.
With the skirt firmly in place, I was ready to add some trim to hide my "seams" and give the entire chair a more polished, custom look. My best friend was needed for this job. Yup, it was my trusty glue gun to the rescue. I have been hot glueing fabric to fabric for years and I have never had a problem with it. It holds up and if it does get a little loose, I just add more glue.
I have to say that I am very pleased with my new chair. I have always been smitten with mixed fabric upholstered pieces and now I have one of my very own. I actually like it better now than when I purchased it.
Although, I could've done without all the nasty holes it took to get here.
I think this method would work well on an ottoman, too. How cute would that be? Might have to make myself one of those next.
How about you? Are you tempted to fuse and glue yourself a custom piece?
I say go for it!