I was so excited this weekend to finally get to reupholster the seat of this thrifted Bentwood rocker for the nursery (read the story of how I obtained it for a mere $15 here). It was definitely in need of a good cleaning and lots of TLC. I decided, for now, to leave the scratched and damaged wood as-is. It will probably get beaten up even more living in a kid’s room and I’m no place physically or mentally to take on another big refinishing project (the whole dresser saga pretty much wore me out).
So, I removed the plywood seat, gave the whole thing a good wipe-down, and set forth to reupholster the seat with this fabulous fabric that I ordered a yard of online a few weeks ago with this project in mind.
First things first, I needed some cush for my tush. So I placed the plywood upside down on a piece of 3″ foam ($13 at Hobby Lobby). In retrospect, 2″ foam might have looked a little better and would probably be perfectly comfortable, but I’ve got no regrets about springing for the 3″ foam and the extra cushiness it provides.
I traced the outside of the plywood onto the foam with a sharpie, then cut it out. The best way to cut foam is with an electric knife, but I don’t have one. I used a pair of heavy duty scissors instead and it was much easier than I thought it would be. Then, I used a little bit of spray adhesive that I already had on hand to stick the foam to the plywood.
Next, I needed to wrap the foam and plywood with a layer of batting to make it nice and smooth. This big sheet of batting was $5 at Hobby Lobby.
I just stapled it around all the edges and trimmed off the excess.
Tired of sitting on the floor, I moved the whole operation to the dining room at this point. I laid my fabric face down on the table and placed my seat cushion upside down on top of it, careful to make sure everything was lined up nice and straight.
I put in one staple at a time, first in the top and bottom, then each side.
I flipped it over to make sure the pattern was looking nice and straight before moving on.
Then, I just worked my way around the edge of the cushion with my staple gun. My strategy went a little something like this: staple staple, rotate, staple staple, rotate…repeat. As for the corners, I tried to keep them as neat as possible, but I’m no perfectionist. I did pay extra attention to making sure the front two corners looked nice and smooth.
I got Nick to reattach it to the chair, which was not as easy as we’d predicted. The plywood was a perfectly snug fit before and the batting and fabric wrapped over the edges made it pretty much impossible to get it back in all the way. One of the corners is a little bit higher than the rest because we just couldn’t get the plywood to sit down in its little cubby like it used to, but I think the generous amount of foam hides it pretty well.
I love it. Especially the fabric. I love it so much that I now want to upholster the back, as well, but the caning is in perfectly good condition and I can’t bring myself to make anything more complicated than it needs to be with mere weeks left to go before little Jack makes his arrival. I’m so glad to have this one checked off my to-do list, because something tells me I’m going to be spending am awful lot of time sitting here in the months to come.