Arm Chair Makeover | 10 months in the making

About a year ago, Claire and I picked up the Frog Prince of chairs from a random furniture collection in the back of the ReStore. It was a little scary and some thought we were crazy, but we’re okay with that. And besides, Claire had been saving some money for a cozy  over sized arm chair and the good bones and free tag on this one made it perfect.

Claire's chair before
The before was scary enough that she let Mason lounge on it…

It would work, with a bit of attention, that is. Like new fabric, and padding and pretty much anything but those fabric covered legs.

And you know what? She was right! Just see for yourself …

arm chair makeover
Same chair – post makeover.

The hardest part of upholstering may be the time investment. It’s a lot like writing a paper, or blog post for that matter. Once you have an idea and get it together, there’s the editing. And then more editing, and just one more edit for good measure. There’s a good lot of editing in upholstering.

Upholstery editing looks a little like this …

upholstery editing
First you gently pull, pry and rip and then you repeat and repeat and …

I would HIGHLY recommend taking lots of pictures and notes during the deconstruction process, especially where different fabrics or “steps” overlap. That way if your weekend project takes ten months to complete, you can remind yourself of how it came apart and put it back together correctly. Ask me how I know…

And eventually you end up with a naked chair

Most pieces are assembled in a similar order, but pictures allow you to put your piece back together by moving backwards through the steps you took in deconstruction.

Depending on the condition of your piece, consider replacing adding extra foam, quilt batting and cushions as needed. And then the reupholstering begins …

cut, tuck, trim, secure
And you cut, tuck, trim, secure and repeat and  …
and repeat
… and repeat and repeat and …

And then you get to add a few special upholstery notions.

chalkboard tack strip
Like this cardboard-type tack strip to create a clean crisp line like this one at the top of the chair back.
metal tack strip
And this metal tack strip to use on edges where it’s not possible to fit a staple gun, like this one used along both sides of the chair back piece.
arm front
Or this flexible metal tack strip to create neat curves.

On this project I ended up hand stitching the bottom straight section of the arm front. It is straight, though the pinning looks a bit crooked here. I am still perfecting  my technique on these different tools, but each project turns out a bit better than the last. So, hey, we’re making progress right?

Claire also decided to go with different feet for her chair.

chair legs
She opted for this style from Lowe’s.

She finished them with a Minwax stain in Cherry and a few coats of Minwax paste finishing wax. It was a change that ended up costing about $30, but made a HUGE difference in the end.

So, months after picking up her Frog Prince chair, it has become a favorite spot to do homework, and chat with her sister and pretty much everything else she needs to do.

The after
The after … quite worth the effort, even with the time delay!

And the next project? Pillows. About six of them to be exact. A few envelope ones and several zippered pillows, in fur and a few prints to add another pop of color. Stay tuned for those…

arm chair makeover
Her new happy place.


About Beth Moore

A Christ-follower, wife, mom to 4, lifestyle blogger, seamstress and seeker of daily glimpses of God's grace and redemption.

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