June 3, 2013

Jenny Lind Chair, Part II

Ready for the saweet reveal of the Jenny Lind Chair? 
(You can find Jenny Part I here.) 
The reason I am just a little bit tickled is because this is truly my first "real" upholstering job. I have done it for myself, like in recovering benches, dining room chairs, etc. But this is the first time I had to take it down to bare bones, re-tie coil springs, and everything that goes with upholstering and build it back up to look like an actual chair!  I was nervous and excited at the same time.
Ready? I am even nervous showing you, like pee your pants nervous!

Ha! sorry had to show you the original one more time...

This chair looks so great with just about any pillow because it's lines are so classically cool and the neutral background makes them pop. Since Megan (my cousin, turned client) wanted to be able to change up the pillow, the neutral choice is a real winner and I love how it lets the spools on the arms and legs really shine.

Taking it down to bare bones is nerve racking and I took a lot of pictures just in case I needed a reminder of how things were put together in the first place. I always do this when I take something apart and will need to put it back together. You never know if your memory will serve you or leave you hanging. Mine usually leaves me....often.

But as I started to add layer upon layer of batting, muslin and foam and see it start to come back to life, my jitters turned into squeals.

 And the squeals turned into some awesome dance moves.
And then I sat in it......
 and felt pure joy and happiness. 
And I dare say I was a little bit proud of myself. I think it is okay to say that sometimes. I hope no one thinks I am bragging on myself. I just think that if you overcome a hurdle that you were seriously doubting you could jump (I mean, have you seen those hurdles? How do they do that!),  it is a good thing and it is okay to do a happy dance.

 Here is a little bit of the process:

I did find it really helpful when I did the seat to have it on my dining room table. Just probably a good idea to first warn the Hubs about it.

I loved learning how to do the picture frame back and the different layering of foam and batting and muslin that make a seat so comfy. I used the tutorials from Design Sponge as my guide. Just search upholstering on the site and it will take you to upholstery tutorial heaven. If I can do this, you can to I promise!
 I do think I am going to invest in a staple gun for my compressor as my knuckles are killing me from that manual staple gun.
 Question for ya': Is it okay to call off work because you can't type or write? I guess the fact that I am posting this right now would serve as incriminating evidence to the contrary....Crap.

So a quick re-cap:

Before                                                                           After

Tickled beyond words.

I think I might be a little bit addicted. 
I have a chair in the basement that is calling for a sassy new frock! 

So now that I have shown you how easy it is (wink, wink), do you think you might try your hand at upholstering? 

Always being renewed,

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  1. Absolutely amazing! Way to go on your first big upholstery project. Fantastic transformation, Kim.

  2. Intrigued to see the huge springs, then the layers of fabrics, batting and finally the finished product. I am quite afraid to tackle such a thing. You have given me the courage to try even the most basic re-upholster of simple chair seats, at least. And the advice to go to DESIGN SPONGE...
    Thank you so much.

    1. No problem! Love sharing information so others can DIY as well.

  3. Beautiful job on the chair! And you should be proud of yourself!! I'm working on an old rocking chair very similar to yours. I took it down to the bare bones and discovered it was stuffed with hay! Could you tell me what thickness of foam you used? Thanks!

  4. So, so, so beautiful! You SHOULD be proud of yourself! Thanks for all the photos, tips, and instructions...can't say I would ever undertake such a project but it is great to see that a regular (i.e. non professional) can pull off such great project. Congratulations! You have given that chair a whole new life.

  5. Love that Jenny Lind chair, and you did an AMAZING job. The shape is beautiful and I love the neutral fabric.
    - Lora

  6. You've been featured on homework. Thank you for sharing your project on The Inspiration Board.

  7. Great work! Tying springs can be daunting for a first time upholsterer! Take my word for it...if you are going to do this even if it is just for yourself, invest in a compressor and an air stapler. Even the cheapest furniture uses hard woods for frames and as you found out it can be impossible to put staples in with a manual stapler. I could not wait and bought a 1/4 inch brad nailer (works well but you need to be absolutely sure of your staple placement as they are not easy to remove) - but they make air staplers specifically for upholstery work that use a very thin wire brad. I also found a brad puller (as opposed to a flathead screwdriver) to be very helpful in removing the old staples as well as misplaced staples while I was applying the new fabric. Love the double welt on the back of the chair.

    1. Thank you Betty! It was tricky but felt great when it was done.

  8. Wow, I'm impressed! You did an amazing job!

  9. you really took that down to the bare bones! brave girl! Your chair looks amazing! super job.
    catching you!

  10. I love it! The shine on the paint is awesome too! Fantastics job. I love reupholstering chairs, though you almost always run into something a little different each time.

    1. Thank Sara. I do love a challenge and now I am off to do another wee chair.
      We will see how that turns out

  11. Oh wow! great tutorial.
    I've got a chair that needs redo-ing...actually, I have a few pieces, but I'm still not brave enough to do it!

    I'm pinning this tute to my ::Settee:: board!

  12. okay. Seriously. You are ridiculously talented, Kim!!! I totally want to start doing this type of project -- I'll have you over and you can see what I'm talking about - SO many mid century pieces that need some elbow grease. But i'm scared!! ACK!


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