How To Upholster A Chaise Longue
This is my post on how to upholster a chaise longue. If you can’t view the video click here.
I have wanted a chaise for as long as I can remember. They have definitely made a comeback in recent years though and you can order new ones in just about any fabric you like.
There are even companies that will make them to order if you send them the fabric of your choice.
But when I get something in my head I know exactly how I want it to be and a brand new chaise wasn’t in line with my dreams. I wanted an antique one.
I’ve been stalking eBay and Gumtree for ages waiting for the perfect one to come along. It just wasn’t happening though.
I decided instead to commit to my most challenging upholstering project yet and found a shabby Edwardian chaise longue on gumtree for £65. Yes, can you believe that’s all they go for with all that history. All those bottoms sat on it over the years only amounting to that!
This one was a dirty orange, and some child had drawn on it. I actually can’t imagine how I’d feel if my daughter Bonnie did that!
Cheap as chaise
I chose a gorgeous Prestigious Textiles fabric with the help from the lovely guys at Brewers in Sevenoaks. It’s ironic that the fabric cost more than the actual chaise, but was definitely worth it.
For some crazy reason I started reupholstering it at 10pm on a Friday night. Great idea Georgina! Please notice in the video my tired husband in the background wondering if he dare suggest he’s going to go to bed at that point!!!
Suffice to say, I made some mistakes, but overall I’m thrilled with the results.
Here are my tips:
If you’re a beginner and the original fabric is in one piece I’d reupholster over the top so it keeps it’s shape. Remove any trim though. Experts will tell you this is sacrilege, but mine seems fine!
You need a heavy duty staple gun and make sure you have more than enough staples when you start. You will need more than you think and there’s nothing more frustrating than running out halfway through.
The fabric you choose should be hard-wearing and suitable for furnishing. You also want to make sure it’s fire resistant. Stretchy fabric would be a nightmare to use by the way.
Work out a pattern so that you make the most of your fabric. Using dressmakers chalk and paper really helped me with this. You can save as much as 50% of fabric by being organised in this way. This is worth doing before you even order the fabric, but you want 10% extra just in case.
Use sharp dressmakers scissors to cut the fabric.
I started on the arm as it was the easiest bit and meant I could get used to the fabric.
Make sure the fabric is taut. It really helps to have an extra pair of hands for this – another reason not to start at 10pm on a Friday night!
Staple wide apart to start and then fill in the gaps when you’re satisfied there aren’t any loose bits or wrinkles.
Don’t worry too much about being neat around the edges as you can pin a trim to hide all your sins!
It was a longue evening!
Picture this. I was tired, I was emotional and then I cut the fabric slightly wrong on the main section at about midnight… This was the hardest bit to get right and if I did it again I wouldn’t just use dressmakers paper but also some cheap lining fabric to test it out to get it right as the bit where the wooden arms meet the base are quite hard to do.
My mistake is covered now by trim though so no one will ever notice if you don’t tell them!
Expect to have sore hands, arms and back at the end of this – it’s a proper workout!
Lady of leisure
I know this sounds like such a cliche but I genuinely sit on my chaise as the sun streams in through the bay window and feel amazing.
It feels so good because I know the pain of the hard work that went into it.
I also think that the chaise has just really made that room, giving it a boutique feel.
If you want to start on something a little less ambitious, check out my video on reupholstering dining chairs.
I also have daily tips and videos on The Home Genie Facebook page and do a weekly session when you can ask me questions and advice live.
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