How to Do Custom Reupholstery on a Needlepoint Stool or Chair Seat
Time to give your favorite chair's seat pad or your favorite footstool a custom reupholstery face lift? Coordinate the colors and designs perfectly this time by using needlepoint canvas that you've hand embroidered!
Use a durable stitch type and fiber for custom reupholstery because seat pads and stools receive a lot of wear. Good choices for needlepoint upholstery are 3 or 4 ply wool tapestry yarn and stitches such as diagonal tent stitches. Tramé is even better because it is so thick.
Do you need to replace the padding?
If the padding is worn down, you'll need to fix that first so you can get an accurate size of the area you'll need to stitch. Follow steps 1 to 3 below. Give the pad a new bounce by adding a piece of foam with a layer of batting on top. Cover the batting with a layer of muslin or burlap as described for the canvas in steps 4 through 8, then go back to step 4 and cover it with the final needlepoint embroidery canvas for custom reupholstery!
Supplies for Custom Reupholstery
- Decorated needlepoint canvas the size of the seat pad or stool top with a 2 inch (5 cm) unstitched canvas border all around.
- Base cloth of muslin or burlap cut to a size slightly larger than the bottom of the seat pad or stool top.
- A staple gun or tacks and a hammer.
Steps to Reupholstering
- Remove the needlepoint chair seat pad or stool top. Some push out, but others need to be unscrewed.
- Place it on your workbench bottom side up and pry out the staples or tacks. You can use pliers, a staple remover, or slide a screwdriver underneath and use it like a crowbar.
- Put the old fabric in your recycling ragbag. If you need to replace the padding, pry that off, too, and follow the padding instructions above.
- Place your stitched canvas face down, then put the seat pad or stool top on it bottom side up. Make sure the design is centered.
- Staple or tack the unstitched canvas edge to the seat pad or stool top in the middle on a side. Work outward to each corner, spacing staples or tacks about 1 ½ inches (4 cm) apart. Stop 2 inches (5 cm) away from the corners. If youre doing a circle, just think of it as a hexagon with six sides and six corners.
- Now work on the side parallel to where you just stapled. Pull the canvas tight, staple in the middle of the side, and staple out to the corners with the same spacing as described in step 5.
- Repeat the same process in steps 5 and 6 for each remaining pair of sides on your custom reupholstery furniture piece.
- To do a corner, pull the canvas so that the corner points to the center back of the seat or stool bottom and staple at the corner. Now trim the canvas point off, fold the extra flaps in, and staple them down. Repeat until all corners are done.
- Cover the bottom with the base cloth to hide your work. Turn under the base cloth's raw fabric edges as you staple or tack. The only staples or tacks visible on the finished furniture will be these, so try to make these lined up evenly and extra neat.
You now have a beautiful new cover done in custom upholstery, and best of all, when someone says how nice it looks, you can say, "I made that!"