80s barstools re-upholstered

I recently finished upholstering a set of 1980s swivel barstools for a client. They loved the comfort of these stools, however the fabric and wear on the cushions were showing their age.

Read on, to find out how I did it.

Chairs after re-upholstery (swivel base removed)


Making the Pattern. First I copied the plywood base, then added my seam allowance, laid old fabric on my pattern and revised it to add extra length to waterfall over front edge of the stool

Patterning side boxing. Make note of front curve, and length of boxing - stretching it straight.

Plywood base, old foam stripped away. I ordered new 2" high density foam, 1/2" bigger all around than plywood base.

Old bottom cushion pieces- seat fabric, piping, and boxing

Sewing piping to back cushion

Tip: Clip into piping seam to ease around corners

Cutting underway. My littlest seamstress hard at work.

Pinning boxing to seat bottom

New foam cut for back cushion, it's in 2 parts to ease it over the back of the chair.

Cushion, before adding buttons. Notice the margarita and pile of polyfil (some little girl has been here making her nest)

Button tufting underway. I'm a first timer here, I have blisters on my hands to prove it :)

Tufting ready to be tied off. I used a standard overhand knot to tie these. Easy but tough on my hands. I'll be trying other knots next time.

Not shown is the new seat bottom foam, topped with a layer of dacron. Here's a nice shot of my favorite tool - a staple gun! This is where upholstery gets fun!

I finished off the cushion bottom with black dust cloth, and mounted it back to the chair frame.

I love doing projects like these, and hearing from my clients that they love the results, and are happy they had them re-upholstered instead of sending them to the dump and buying new. These are well built stools and will last another 30 years.

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