New Old Chairs – Let’s Reupholster Some Ikea Chairs!

I have four chairs from Ikea that I’ve owned for 2 years now. They’re looking a little ratty and boring. The rattiness, I think, is attributable to the fact that many butts have been put upon them. The boringness – attributable to their abysmal taste in film and literature. Unfortunately, I can’t recall what model these chairs are and I don’t see them on Ikea’s website anymore. One of the four chairs in question:

Boring Ikea Chair

That is one ratty, boring chair.

Gab and I, therefore, hatched a plan to reupholster the hell out of these babies. We went to Mood on the corner of La Cienega and Pico and picked up 2 yards of wool, plaid, heavy-weight fabric.

Mood Plaid Fabrics

There are two fabrics above. The first has a predominantly yellow pattern on one side and a predominantly blue plaid on the other, with accents of yellow. The second is the same way, but with green. Thusly, we have 2 fabrics, but four patterns. Haha, we sure played you, Mood!

Gab and I do not know anything about this upholstering business. I don’t think either of us even researched this online. It seemed pretty simple, though.

First, Gab unscrewed the stuff that was attaching the seat to the chair frame. He then skinned the seat by cutting off all of the fabric with a box cutter, right against were it was stapled to the underside of the chair. He said, “This is just like doing surgery!” I thought, “Gab knows what doing surgery is like?” I didn’t ask him about it, because it’s nice to have a little mystery in a relationship.

He started with the yellow fabric and cut it to 22 inches by 22 inches.

New Fabric on the Ikea Chair

In the image above, you can see how Gab just cut off the old fabric, leaving the staples and the hemmed edge of the old fabric. Once he cut the new fabric down, we figured that we’d have to cut the corner so that there wouldn’t be way too much fabric at the corners.

New Fabric on Ikea Chair 2

Here, the edge is folded over and Gab has stapled the new fabric onto the bottom of the seat, over the edge of the old fabric. He just kind of folded the corners up and stapled it. It ended up looking pretty darn clean.

Yellow Plaid Ikea Chair

Wowza, hey there, little yellow plaid chair.

Gab, fortified by such a successful first attempt, plowed through one more chair yesterday and finished the last two today. He had started out by cutting the fabric to 22 by 22, but for the last chairs, he cut the fabric to 20 inches by 20 inches.

Four Plaid Ikea Chairs

One two three four cute plaid chairs! They all look incredibly awesome and butt-welcoming.

Three Plaid Ikea Chairs

Three of the four chairs in their natural habitat, around the kitchen table and reading ask.metafilter.

Green Plaid Ikea Chair

The fourth chair in its spot: at my desk.

We did not need all of the 2 yards of fabric we got. We knew this, but planned to have extra, in case of future projects. The most painful and difficult part of the project was, by far, interacting with all the folks at Mood (thanks, Mood!). Cheers to Gab for being so handy and clever. I’m so pleased with how this came out.