One of the most important things to know about upholstery is that it’s often a lot easier than it looks. You might have seen people on TV or online effortlessly reupholstering furniture and transforming dowdy old chairs into trendy seats in a matter of minutes. But upholstery is a skill, and like any other skill, it takes time to master properly.
But with a bit of patience and practise, anyone can learn how to upholster furniture. There isn’t any special skill that you need to already have to get started – and you don’t need to be especially crafty or have any experience with DIY or art.
Once you’ve learned the basics, you can start practising on more complex pieces, but it’s always best for beginners to start small. Trying to tackle a full armchair or sofa on your first attempt isn’t the best idea. Instead, start off with smaller, simpler pieces and work your way up to more ambitious projects.
So what are the best pieces for beginners to start with? Anything with straight lines is always a safe bet – things like footstools, ottomans, bench seats, dining room chairs, and headboards. With curved pieces of furniture, you’ll need to make a pleat to tuck the fabric in. But with straight lines, you usually only need to fold the corners over in a process that’s similar to wrapping a present. Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, have reupholstered a few simple pieces, and learnt how to use your tools, you can branch out and experiment with bigger challenges.
According to many experts, one of the best things to practise upholstery on is a dining room chair pad. This is an easy project that doesn’t require many tools – just some fabric scissors and a staple gun. To see how simple reupholstering a dining room seat can be, have a watch of the video below.