05 Feb 2024

How-to: Planning your Upholstery Project

How-to: Planning your Upholstery Project
Using an upholstered statement chair to create a focal point in a room is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and we love it! We share some of Jules’ tips for starting the work and getting stuck in - from finding ‘the piece’, keeping to a budget, and, of course, making it as low-impact as possible.

“I was on holiday when I spied these two chairs on Facebook Marketplace! They were in a local hair salon and had dark hair dye on the upholstery. I bought two chairs and a matching sofa for £80! I had the fabric from an old sofa found on a free stuff group. There wasn’t quite enough, so I used some thick velvet from our collection. It was in pieces which made it cheaper but perfect for this project”


Chair - £20 each

Collection and Delivery - £40

Fabric - £80

Upholstery - £450 per chair

Did you know that 45% of furniture thrown away could have a second life* (source from BHF). Buying second hand furniture and reupholstering it with surplus is much better for the environment.


Getting Started:

1. The Chair - dig out an old one that needs new life breathed into it or source second hand - Charity shops can be great for finding gems, as can Facebook Marketplace, Vinterior, antique centres, auction houses and YMCA centres. I found these from Facebook Marketplace and collected them locally.


If you can buy a matching pair of old chairs, I always recommend it - they are hard to come by but are so worth it when you find them. If you don't have space immediately, you can always pop one in storage.


Image - Jules' chairs before work started 


2. The upholstery - if you aren't tackling this one yourself (well done if you are!) ask your upholsterer when they can fit you in. Upholstery is hard work, and those craftsmen and women are in high demand, so book your project in advance. They will be able to quote at this point how much the work will cost. If you aren’t able to drop the chair off and collect it, most upholsterers can add this service on for an additional cost.


3. Fabric - for the amount you need, ask your upholsterer. They will probably give you a range of meterage as a plain needs less fabric than one with a pattern as they will need to pattern match. Consider if you want the same fabric all the way around, if you want to save on an expensive design, mix it with another fabric for a unique and cost-effective look.


I found the fabric for these chairs from a local sellers' group online. It was originally a loose cover on an old sofa someone was giving away, so I whipped it off and gave it a wash!


Image - The loose cover Jules found to re-cover the chairs 


Browse our selection of upholstery fabrics to complete your project, using the filter options will help make sure you choose an upholstery fabric with enough fabric. 

Take note that when we refer to light-use upholstery - this is for an item that isn’t often sat on or rubbed - such as a bedroom chair or a headboard. For a busy sofa or kitchen chair, you will want a fabric that is hard wearing or has a high rub count (also known as Martindale.)