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The sheep chair

This was one of a pair of unprepossessing chairs I hauled out of a skip some years ago

 

With bits of spray foam - nice

With bits of spray foam – nice

I wanted to have a bit of a play with this. I love those pieces upholstered in sheepskin. Not something I felt was within my abilities or, indeed, budget. But I had a notion that I might be able to create something similar with an Ikea throw. I realised it may not work and indeed my upholstery classmates were shall we say sceptical. Supportive, but doubtful was hte general tone.

Old fabric - waste not

Old fabric – waste not

All modern for the underneath

More but different foam

More but different foam

And then on with the throw. It was quickly named the sheep chair for fairly obvious reasons.

Not traditional

Not traditional

This was so easy! I had put calico over the foam as the throw was very open and stretchy but the fabric was so stretchy it meant it could easily be manoeuvred into place. I was even able to use the fringed edge of the throw.

A fringe

A fringe

And again, nothing went wrong, no complaints or moans.  The next one is clearly going to be a disaster.

The sheep chair

The sheep chair

A rustic number

This was a sturdy beast, well it will be after some repairs.

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Clamp central

Clamp central

This had been saved from the bonfire and the wood looked as if it had only been pulled out in the nick of time. But the magic furniture restorer worked its wonders.

It's a messy job

It’s a messy job

I don’t know how this had been upholstered previously, or even if it was. I can only assume a board sat on top of the seat frame as there were no nail holes, but it is now webbed, foamed and covered.

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Handsome with a little more polish

I realise that nothing seems to have gone wrong with this, there is nothing I could/should have done differently. Mmmm, it can’t last.

More dining chairs and an Ikea hack

I’m on a roll with dining chairs. Two more for a friend. These are a standard dining chair, for which I don’t have any before photos but that’s because the deal was my friend was to strip them back. Result!

So all that left for me was the pleasant part of upholstering. Well, if I’m honest not even that, this was just a recover. And with some Ikea curtains. A nice teal velvet. Not super plush but just fine for these chairs. And great value, I have lots of fabric left for which I have plans, although not the chair.

Dining chairs, nothing else to say

Doesn’t quite get the shade but you get the idea

Dining chairs

Comfort. That was the requirement here. A friend wanted some new dining chairs where lingering over fine wine (Aldi prosecco) and exquisite food (M&S £10 meal deal) was possible and not cut short due to unsatisfactory seating. She found these contenders on Ebay. When she went to collect the charming lady was disappearing under a sea (I wonder what the collective noun for chairs is, perhaps a seat) of chairs. She had embarked with enthusiasm on an upholstery course but her purchasing of chairs had exceeded her upholstering time. There’s no shame in that.

However it did mean these two lovely chairs

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One of two

were coming my way. Why my friend didn’t scoop up, or at least photograph the contents of her garage for my perusal I don’t know! I was hoping these might be tacks rather than the dreaded staple.

some staples

some staples

hope dashed.

They were sprung. What a good start.

On the plus side

On the plus side

They were also ludicrously over-engineered

Why? Really, why?

Why? Really, why?

This thing went over the springs, I really can’t see what this was adding but they seemed a very nice quality chair.

A sign?

A sign?

Some internetting revealed there was a firm called Lupton Morton manufacturing for Habitat in the 60s. And they did seem a cut above the usual. Perhaps that was their provenance but we shall never know. Even though they were lovely chairs some repairs were still necessary.

broken

broken

But repairs were done as was upholstery as they wouldn’t be comfy without some upholstery.

after

after

Now, it wouldn’t be traditional for me to have a blog post without a niggle.

The niggle

The niggle

The finish round the front of the legs was a bit unusual as there has been a groove where the fabric had been held. I decided not to use that in the same way and finished it with a length of single piping. But I’m not quite happy with the shaping of the seat, I should have gone with more of a tulip pleat but I think that is the only gripe. These were a joy to do, an assessment not at all coloured by the prospect of enjoying many a glass of prosecco on them.

I don’t know what the wood is.

rosewood?

rosewood?

And the legs finish with a brass ferrule.

Brass - check, rosewood - check

Brass – check, rosewood – check

You couldn’t be more on trend!

Back to school

I thought I’d return to college. I did several years when I first started at this upholstery lark including a qualification, I’ve even got a certificate to prove it! But there’s still plenty to learn and more than that, it’s nice meeting people that share your interest. So I signed up and turned up with a new project.

1-IMG_1176I didn’t get a very good before picture

before

before

but you get the general idea.

This was going to have the same spray paint treatment as the last one.

All in the prep

All in the prep

This was trickier than the last one as I would stand back only to realise I had, as the saying goes, missed a bit. Almost a whole can of paint on this was enough to have me looking at a spray paint attachment for the compressor. Exciting, potential new kit – but that looks so involved and I have no idea what I need so that is not something I’m pursuing, just yet.

But the end result was really excellent. The upholstery proceeded apace with no great dramas. So apace in fact I don’t have any pictures. The only issues I had were with the finishing. I was finishing round the show wood with double piping and my teacher suggested using a button feature where the piping would meet. Excellent plan I thought. So I had buttons with a nail back made. Applied the piping, which took forever and huge amounts of glue, and then carefully went to nail the buttons in. But, they wouldn’t go. By the time I had any sort of purchase with the buttons the fabric covering was damaged.

So back to the drawing board or rather the button making machine at college. Plain buttons made and glued. And they look fine.

detail

detail

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One throne – for sale

 

I’ve enjoyed the return to college. At least, I have when I’m there, leaving the house in the cold and dark of a Tuesday evening is always an effort but worth it. Some of my fellow pupils have looked aghast at my fondness for the compressor and staples preferring the traditional approach but there has been the odd longing glance and I may yet win over some converts!

No standing please

This one was picked up from by a skip by a closing down hotel.

a boring chair

a boring chair

It had potential, quite a lot of potential for free. Ripping back revealed why you should never stand on a chair.

broken chair

broken chair

You really can see a craftsman at work on this repair.

But I thought I’d liven up the chair with some painted legs. A trip to hobbycraft resulted in the purchase of some urban art paint (I think that means graffiti) watch out Banksy you’ve got competition. Well, perhaps only if you were thinking of going into the upholstery line. I was going to buy plastikote but they didn’t have it in the colour I wanted so was directed to this Molotow paint. But this is fabulous stuff. Absolutely idiot proof. Bit of prep on the legs and the paint goes on like a dream. The finish is so professional.

foolproof legs

foolproof legs

This chair was intended for sale. I’ve had very mixed fortunes on the selling front but I had a plan and that was to go for something that might be popular at the moment. So I went for Scion’s, I think now discontinued, lunaria in grey and yellow. The upholstery itself wasn’t that noteworthy, the seat replaced, the usual fiddling to get a good fit on such a curved back but that worked rather well and then a grey velvet on the back. And on a thrifty note that was actually left over from some curtains.

lively chair

lively chair

And, in a quite unprecedented move, it was snapped up. Almost as soon as it was listed I had an offer, and it was collected within days! Hopefully it won’t be used in place of some stepladders any time soon.

Quick wins

There have been a couple of little projects, all for me.

The bar stool in the kitchen, rather sad and cat scratched black vinyl has had a revamp.

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