Makeover — Ribbon Upholstered Chair
by Diana Durkes
We are in for a treat today, when furniture makeover and upcycler specialist Diana Durkes joins us as a HomeWorkshop.com Contributor. Diana gives “New Life to the Tossed and Found” at her blog, Fine Diving in Chicago.
I’m a plaids and stripes kind of person. Something about vibrant colors arranged in sensible lines and angles will have me forever gravitating to a vintage kilt or a store full or ribbon.
So when I came across a photo of these striped chairs, the idea of combining all kinds of ribbon for an upholstered piece stayed near the top of my inspirations file.
Shortly after, I sized up a rescued orphan chair as the perfect shape to try out the ribbon design. The seat and back were in excellent condition once the old upholstery was removed, and the chair’s generous seat and back proportion made it easy for a DIY upholstery project.
To start the chair rehab, I removed the seat and back from its wooden frame. I used an orbital sander to take off the old finish and rehabbed it with a thick coat of Minwax Ebony stain.
Next, I removed the old upholstery fabric and cording from the chair’s seat and back. With a yard of medium-weight cotton, I traced around each piece to make a template for the outer ribbon upholstery. I bought approximately 20 yards of grosgrain and satin ribbon in varying widths from a local fabric store. I pinned the ribbon in overlapping lengths on top of the cotton templates I previously cut. Using a sewing machine, I zigzagged them in place.
When the chair seat was completely sewn, I used a staple gun to attach it to the seat cushion. Doing the same to the chair back was a challenge since I lacked a long-nosed upholstery stapler, a tool now on my wish list. I switched to plan B and took the chair to an upholstery shop for their assistance. They stapled the back and glued on the double row of black cording.
The original, a product of Dransfield and Ross, retails for $2,300. The DIY chair, though of unknown origins but much TLC, cost $150 for the ebony stain, ribbon, cotton fabric, staples and upholsterer’s labor.
How’s that for a Makeover?
And what furniture have you rescued and resuscitated? Send your Before and After photos with a description of your Makeover to firstname.lastname@example.org