Drop Cloth Upholstery

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Years ago, I inherited this chair from my parents.  They had it as long as I can remember. Initially, it belonged to my great grandmother, so it is easily close to 100 years old. The structure of the chair is remarkable and it’s my husband’s favorite place to sit and read. Over the years, my parents probably had it reupholstered 3 or 4 times. (When I was very little, I actually remember it being a lovely cream colored ‘pleather’…..oh my). The material that I covered over has been on the chair for well over a decade.

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This material/print is completely NOT my taste. I love the look of linen and french grain sack, but did not want to spend that kind of money on fabric. So, I decided that some drop cloths (washed well and dried) would fit the bill perfectly. I purchased 2 of these from Home Depot @ $11.98 a piece.

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And seriously, they wash up so lovely. I put them in with some bleach, detergent and fabric softener and then dried them well. So super soft and easy to work with. I began by piecing together the frame of the chair, minus the cushions.

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Then I began tucking, as deep as possible, down into the frame. The sides, back and arms were aligned and hot glued into place, as I was not sewing a slip cover for the body of the chair. Hot gluing is the way to go, plus I didn’t want to see staples all over the fabric and I was concerned about being able to reach the wood beneath the existing fabric. However, if you are a sewing wizard (I’m a basic skills gal with a sewing machine) then you may opt to quickly whip up a slip cover instead.

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I just folded the seems where I wanted and hot glued it into place, pulling taught and allowing it to cool and dry before letting go. This part moves along quickly. The blessing is, drop cloths have a stitched seam all around. So I strategically made sure to have those seams exposed at the base of the chair for a finished look.

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I then decided on the location of the folds/pleats at the front of the arms. Pinning them in place and then removing pins as I hot glued them in place.

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Cutting a small stip, I created a finished edge as I glued, folding the fabric under. Then finished off those seams with nail head trim….so super simple.

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This is when I broke out the sewing machine. I did sew a boat load of thick piping. I wanted the 2 cushions to be finished on both sides, that way I can flip them if necessary. So I traced around the cushions, sewed on the piping and hot glued the remaining seams together, since I was not going to insert a large zipper.

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Overall, this would be easy enough for any DIY’er. I suppose if you worked diligently, you could complete this in a couple of days. For me, with my kiddos sports activities, daily chores and other home improvement stuff going on, I sort of piece mealed this project to the end result….taking me just under a week.
My cost –
2 drop clothes = $ 24 (some left over)
Piping – $7 (lots left over)
Nail head trim $11 (lots left over)
Glue sticks $5 (tons left over)
Total = $47 + my free labor

Professional reupholstery would’ve run about $400. (I’ve had an estimate in the past). So my $47 cost has truly brought about outstanding satisfaction. Its such a clean and fresh update.

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Drop Cloth Love!

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