Recover in a weekend

Cindy Combs
Business Manager
No, I’m not talking about from a stressful work week or a late night outing. I’m talking about giving your tired couch or chairs a new look. All you need is fabric, possibly new foam or batting and a good sturdy staple gun.
I’ve recovered my couch twice in its 20 years, from a woodsy brown to a cream and lavender print and then to a dark green, navy blue and maroon plaid, padding it with extra foam this last time.
I didn’t know what I was doing initially, but I just turned the couch over and began removing all the staples. As each piece came off, I saved and carefully labeled them as to their placement to use as a pattern. I also gave them numbers in the order they came off.
You will need a 60-inch to 72-inch wide bolt of fabric to be able to cover your couch from one end to another without having to do any sewing. I bought my fabric and foam from Jo-Ann Fabrics when they were in Stephenville.
You can find a chart online to tell you how much fabric you will need for the size of your couch. If your fabric has a large pattern or plaid, just make sure to add an additional couple of yards so that you can match the designs up properly.  You will also need to do this if you are increasing the amount of foam or batting.
Whether you have separate seat cushions or one solid one, recovering them will require some knowledge of sewing.  But don’t forget to include these pieces when planning to cut your fabric.
Lay the old pieces on your fabric and pin in place, paying attention to lay them facing the same way as you would looking at your couch. Make sure you have enough material for all your pieces, allowing extra inches for the extra padding, then cut them out.
Replace any pieces of foam that are flattened or torn and staple them to the frame. Then begin stapling the new pieces in reverse order, pulling each piece tight to the frame at the top and bottom middle and work outward.  Trim off any excess.
Now, to do fabric-seated wooden chairs, they were a snap and only took a couple of hours. Just turn them over and remove the screws holding the seat in place. Then take out the staples and tacks holding the material to the wooden seat with a flathead screwdriver.
After I saw the deteriorating condition of the padding, I opted to replace it with a thick polyester batting (you can buy this at Walmart in the fabric section). I cut it to the size of the seat, using the seat as a pattern.
Next, cut the fabric for each seat, again using the seat as a pattern. But this time, cut the fabric three inches longer on each side to have enough to tuck under the seat for securing.
To assemble, place your fabric piece wrong side up on a flat sturdy surface, center the batting, then place the wooden seat (bottom side up) on top of this.
Pull up the sides of your fabric somewhat tightly, making sure the other side has the same amount of fabric to do the same, and put one staple in the middle of each side of the wooden seat about an inch from the edge.
Take a corner of your fabric and pull tightly toward the center of the seat and staple; do the other three as well. Fold and tuck the rest of the corner fabric on each side under your side piece and adjust to make a nice flat corner; staple this. Then pull the rest of the fabric flat and tight and staple evenly around all edges, again about an inch from the edge. Trim off any excess.
Now sit and have a cool drink on your recovered furniture and recover from your recovering.

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