When I found this bench/stool last year at an Antique store and it was on sale I knew that I had to have it. Its pretty old and I loved the fabric on it. My daughter’s room is all vintage and antique type pieces with Red and Pink being the main colors, so I knew it would be perfect in the space. Fast forward a few months to when we move and her room looses a significant amount of space and all the non essentials have to find a new home. As much as I hated it, this bench became a non-essential. I moved it up to our living room.
I put it in our hallway space that you can see from the front door, however the colors do not match our decor AT ALL. I love the look of the chipping wood, its perfect for the space but the fabric was definitely not what I wanted in the space. HOWEVER, I did not want to get rid of the fabric because if when we move again our daughter has room for this bench I want it to go back in her room with this fabric. So I knew that I needed to recover it so that it would fit in the space better but I did not want to ruin the current upholstery. Re-upholstering a stool or a chair is a quick way to change the look of a piece without spending a lot of money.
I first did the upholstery trick that I always do when looking at furniture. I checked underneath the stool to make sure I could easily remove the seat. I do this at the store all the time. I’m sure people think I look like a weirdo bending over and looking under all these pieces right there in the Goodwill or Thrift shop…
But hey, a girls gotta know if she can re-upholstery it
Thankfully on this piece all I had to do was remove 4 screws from the bottom. All four corners were just attached with a long screw in each joint piece of wood. EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY!!!
Also if you’ll notice this super old piece still has it’s tag. That tag is so brittle and close to falling apart but it shows when and where it was made. I love that the date says 14th day of the month of June A.D. Ahhh you don’t see that kind of wording anymore unless it’s on a wedding invitation and then its still not A.D. Perfect antique piece to speak to my antique heart. It says its made of Wholly New-curled hair and Cotton Felt. It was made in the United Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and was a registered piece. I can’t wait to do some more research on this piece.
Moving on from my Antique tag love…..
I simply unscrewed the 4 screws and the seat piece popped right off.
I had purchased this grey and white stripped Duck Cloth fabric at Hobby Lobby awhile ago to make a pillow. I usually buy a half a yard at a time to make pillows, so this size was more than enough for the piece. I laid it over the seat and set it back on the piece just to make sure it was the look I was going for.
Make sure its baby tested! Kid approved! Before you move on to actually assembling the piece. Note that this step is not necessary and can’t be omitted if you like. He was just too cute I couldn’t pass it up.
I laid the fabric flat on the table and put the seat on the top and cut around one side to make the piece fit.
Then I did
my most favorite thing ever the part that is the bane of my existence, I ironed out the wrinkles and folds. I don’t think my iron knows how to iron clothes because I don’t use it for that. I only use it for crafting. This part can not be omitted because if you don’t iron it, your fabric will be all wrinkly and not sit right on the piece.
Lay the piece back down on the fabric and get it centered on your cut piece.
Start by taking one side and stapling it to the piece. I used a staple gun for this. I HIGHLY recommend using a staple gun. I have heard people talk about glueing it, which just sounds messy to me, and I wanted to keep the fabric underneath still in good shape, so a staple gun was the best option for me.
Staple all along the side while pulling the fabric tight so that you have a tight fit on the frame. For this piece since I knew it would get used for sitting I placed my staples about 1/2 inch apart to be a strong hold. I stapled as close to the inside rim as I could.
Continue stapling all around the side of the piece while leaving the edges opened.
Fold up one side of your corner and then pull the other side up and over the piece, making sure that you don’t have a folded piece showing on the sides. You will have one edge fold on each side of the corner and that’s fine, that will be the professional look you are going for.
I placed 3 staples in as I pulled the fabric tight so that I could get a strong hold. Continue this on all 4 corners.
Trim the remaining excess fabric off your piece because you don’t want anything to be hanging down when you put the seat back onto the frame.
Return the seat to the frame and screw it back in. Then stand back and marvel at your beautiful piece.
Then of course no piece is really done until you have staged it and found the perfect piece to go on top of it. Am I right?
I love the linen look of the fabric. Now it fits my color scheme perfectly, took me less than 20 minutes to do AND I still have my other fabric underneath still perfectly intact.
Don’t be afraid to re-upholster things. I have done chairs, a stool and a bench and as long as your piece can easily come off the bottom, it’s really easy to re-upholster these types of pieces. So the next time you are out thrifting and you see a bench that’s got beautiful lines but ugly fabric, do the Aurie Trick and look like a crazy person bending over and checking the bottom. If it’s an easy screw off piece then you are golden. Bring that bad boy home and work your re-upholstery magic.
Do you have a piece you have been working on re-upholstering? Id love to hear all about it.