November 18, 2013

Using Covered Buttons and Stripes in Upholstery

Here is another quick fix for you when you try your hand at upholstery. The Throne Chair, as I am now calling, it had a tricky back that someone had used screws to keep the front and the back of the back together. Are you getting confused? Maybe a picture will help. This is how it looked when Cheryl dropped it off at my house. 

see the screws? 

And here you can see that once those two pieces are removed, the back is open.....and you catch a glimpse of the crazy, messy workroom. sorry to hurt your eyes but you just can't photoshop that much crap out of the picture! 
There really is no other way to attach those two wooden pieces. I could have done a picture frame back but then I would have had to use double welting and the chair wood is so ornate that I felt it would be too much visual "stuff" on the back of the chair. So we kept with the original plan that someone else had made up.

I am going to apologize now for the crappy pictures but I was working in my dining room which has exactly one light.....

 So how to cover those screws? 
Just because something is probably going to have it's back to the wall doesn't mean it shouldn't look finished. That is also why all of your stripes need to line up on the back as well. You never know what angle the item is going to be viewed from so make it sparkle all around.
Covered Buttons! 
You get the kind that have a flat back and hot glue it in place over the screw. 

Here is a tutorial on how to cover button covers as well as how to make welting.

When working with stripes, you are going to want to have your button covered using the exact part of the fabric that the screw is in. I cut out my circle from the black stripe, made sure it was centered on the button cover form and then pressed the back in place and gave it a good whack with the hammer. Then make sure you glue it perfectly lined up with the stripes because you only get one shot with hot glue and fabric. You want the screw covered but don't want the button stripe sideways or it will look really visually unpleasant.
If using a floral or more patterned piece, you can probably use any part of the fabric to cover your button. Simpler, more linear or patterned (stripes, chevron, zigzag for example)  fabrics need to be matched to make it more pleasing to the eye.

See how nice and finished it looks? 
Covered buttons versus store bought buttons are the difference between a professional custom finish and a novice finish. So get all professional people and cover your buttons.

Now a word about striped fabric:
 You have to keep them perfectly straight when pulling your fabric taut to staple. Otherwise you have zigzags instead of stripes. I stapled the front and back first very taut to keep it from shifting too badly and then moved to the sides. When I was stapling the sides, I would staple a few times on one side, starting in the middle. Then I did the other side in the same manner to make sure I wasn't pulling on one side to much and making that center black stripe, well, off center. Then I just worked the stapling out to the ends, alternating my sides as I went. 

Just go slow and check often and stripes can be your friend. 
But always go vertical.....horizontal will only make your chair look fat.

Now off to tackle the seat.....Gah!

Can't wait to show you the final product! It looks completely transformed! 

Always being renewed,

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  1. Love this post. I'm having some Victorian pieces redone and will use these tips.

  2. Wow...that is such hard work, but it looks amazing. Good luck with the seat. :)


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