DIY: Re-Upholstering a Parsons Chair

beforeandafterparsons
I have always entertained the idea of re-upholstering this old parsons desk chair but always reverted back to the old saying, “if it’s not broken don’t fix it”. Well several years of Chloe (my Shih-Tzu) jumping up and down the chair  took it’s toll and the fake leather fabric was falling apart. The cushion wasn’t feeling quite as springy as it did in its earlier days either. We’ve had it for several years and I was ready to part with it when I thought I’d give this project a go. What’s the worst that can happen right? I was ready to admit failure and dispose of the chair if I needed to, but I wouldn’t mind squeezing another year out of this chair. Confession, I have ulterior motives. The desk is currently a dark wood, the same wood as our bed. The desk is in our bedroom so for right now, it all matches. When we move, I’d like to move the desk out of our bedroom and replace it with a white one. Well, new desk means new chair. I could purchase the chair for my future desk now but then none of it would match until that time came. You get the idea. If not, maybe I’m the crazy one. (muahahahaha staple gun in hand) Okay but in all seriousness, I’m not a professional and just kind of made it up as I went along.
parsonschair
I highly recommend you get an actual tool to remove the staples. I’ve seen it in the craft stores but decided to skip it and severely regretted it for the first few minutes. Don’t use a knife! This will not work. Oyster shuckers on the other hand… Yes, I admit I felt like a genius when I thought of this because it worked out great. This is probably the most tedious and annoying step but remove all the staples, old upholstery and foam. Also, it doesn’t hurt to keep a little jar of some sort near you as you do this as there are a TON of staples and just the thought of stepping on one of them makes me wince.

parsonschairscrews
Next, remove all the screws from under the chair so that the seat and back part of the chair separates and all four legs can be removed.

parsonschairstaplegun
Add 2-3 inches of foam extending about an inch out, cover it with batting and staple gun it all into place. I used an extra curtain I had from when I redid the nook in my bedroom. Pull it tightly and evenly as you staple.

parsonschaircorner
Similar to wrapping a present, fold the corner up into a triangular shape and then down so that you get a straight edge.

parsonschaircut
After you staple everything under the chair, trim off the excess fabric.

parsonschair2
You’ll want to follow the same steps for the seat back of the chair as well. I was a little short on fabric though so I chose to use it as part of the design. I wrapped the top part of the chair first and then wrapped another piece of fabric around the chair. To give it a little more flair,  I purchased buttons that you can cover yourself from the craft store for about $2 (for a pack of 4) and glued them on. You can sew them on as well but I found it was easier to stable gun down into the wood to get the indent, and then glue it into place. To finish the exposed edges, I used a curved needle (found in the upholstery section) to sew everything into place.

It’s not perfect, but it looks and feels so much better. The best part? It cost me less than $20!

 

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