Guide to Up­hol­stery

Want to try up­hol­stery but not sure how? Here’s a sim­ple project to start with.

Good - - HOME - Styling and craft Sarah Heeringa. Pho­tog­ra­phy Amanda Reel­ick

Fol­low Sarah Heeringa’s easy-to-mas­ter up­hol­stery craft

Step 1: Look out for a stool that has good bones and is sturdy in shape. Think about how you are go­ing to use it. For a mini step stool you’ll want to choose a prac­ti­cal, hard­wear­ing fabric for cov­er­ing and a firm pad­ding.

For a lounge foot­stool you might choose a lighter or fluffier fabric and a softer pad­ding.

Step 2: Use sharp scis­sors to snip away the top layer of the orig­i­nal fabric. Only re­move as much as you have to, as you may find some of the orig­i­nal pad­ding un­der­neath is fine to re-use (as in this case).

Step 3: You can re­move or lighten old wood stain us­ing su­gar soap and el­bow grease. Lay out news­pa­per or a drop cloth and wear gloves be­fore coat­ing all wooden sur­faces with su­gar soap. Leave this to soak in for at least 10 min­utes be­fore scrub­bing the stained sur­faces smooth us­ing warm wa­ter and wire wool. Re­peat as nec­es­sary. Wipe the wood clean with a rag. Al­low to fully dry.

Step 4: Cut a piece of new pad­ding to size. Sponge rub­ber can be used for this. Or for a firmer ef­fect, use sev­eral lay­ers of soft fabric, such as a woollen blan­ket.

Step 5: Mea­sure the top of the stool. Cut a new piece of fabric to cover the pad­ding, mak­ing sure you al­low enough fabric on each side to turn it over by 2cm on each side. Iron the fabric fold flat on each of the four sides.

Step 6: Lay the stool on its side. Place the folded edge of the fabric over the pad­ding and se­cure in place us­ing fur­ni­ture tacks. (Push tacks into place with your thumb, then tap down us­ing a small ham­mer.) Turn the stool over and re­peat on the op­po­site side.

Step 7: Shape each cor­ner by fold­ing one edge of the fabric in and then the other. Tack the first fold in place us­ing a reg­u­lar flat-head tack, be­fore cov­er­ing it with the sec­ond fabric fold. Se­cure the cor­ner fold us­ing a fur­ni­ture tack. Add any re­main­ing tacks and tap into place.

Flower power Love this wall­pa­per? So do we. Give a wall an in­stant up­date with a whim­si­cal print from Pip Stu­dio, brain­child of Dutch de­signer Anke van der Endt. Avail­able from Re­sene ColorShops (de­sign #375000 pic­tured here.)

Above: You may find, as you strip back the piece of fur­ni­ture, that some of the pad­ding is in good con­di­tion and can be reused. Right: You can use old woollen blan­kets to restuff your stool.

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