Upholster Corners

How to Upholster Corners for Beginners

Upholstering furniture is a rewarding DIY project that can transform any room. When it comes to chairs, the corners of the seat cushion are often the trickiest part to get right. This beginner’s guide will walk you through the basic steps of how to upholster corners on a typical dining chair, ensuring a neat and professional finish.

Preparing Your Chair and Materials

Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary upholstery supplies. This includes new upholstery fabric, a staple gun, custom upholstery tacks, fabric glue, and perhaps new plywood if the chair seat needs a sturdier base. Begin by removing the old fabric from the chair, being careful to keep it intact if you need a template for cutting your new fabric. Clean the seat thoroughly, and if you’re replacing the plywood, cut the new piece to match the seat’s size.

Cutting and Positioning the Fabric

Lay your new fabric down, ensuring it’s free from wrinkles and aligned correctly with the chair’s design. Place the chair seat facedown on the fabric, providing enough excess fabric around the edges to pull over the sides of the seat cushion. For a dining chair, you’ll typically want several inches of excess to ensure you can secure the fabric beneath the seat. Cut the fabric to size, leaving enough around the edges to grip comfortably for stapling.

Stapling the Fabric to the Seat

Start by stapling the fabric to the underside of the chair seat at the center of each side, pulling the fabric taut as you go. This initial stapling secures the fabric in place and prevents it from shifting as you work on the corners. Make sure the fabric is smooth and even on the top surface of the seat as you staple around the edges, except at the corners where you’ll need a different approach.

Mastering the Corners

Upholstering the corners requires patience and attention to detail. To tackle a rounded corner, first, pull the fabric taut over the corner and staple it once directly in the middle of the corner to hold it in place. Then, working from the middle staple out, fold the fabric into small pleats, fanning out from the corner. This technique helps manage the excess fabric and avoids bulky gathers. Secure each pleat with a staple, keeping the fabric taut and even. Trim any excessive fabric from the underside once all corners are securely stapled.

Finishing Touches

Once all sides and corners of the chair seat are upholstered, you might find it helpful to add a tack strip along the edges or cover the staples with a cambric dust cover for a professional finish. Check all your corners and edges to ensure the fabric is evenly pulled and the corners are tidy and compact. The last step in your upholstery project is to reattach the seat to the chair frame, and then your newly upholstered dining chair is ready to use!

Upholstering corners may seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and techniques, it can become a straightforward part of your DIY furniture projects. With practice, you’ll be able to tackle more complex upholstery tasks and bring new life to old furniture.


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