Woah, if you are on instagram, you know we’ve been busy busy these last few weeks doing upholstery, painting projects, stripping {not the kind you are thinking} ahem stripping paint, and traveling to SLC for a wedding. So, hopefully you’ve missed me as much as I’ve miss you. We got home late Sunday night after driving through a snow storm going 35 mph for hours and hours. So, today I didn’t do much to say the least. I brushed my teeth, unpacked a few bags, and was plain ‘ol lazy. Unpacking the bags for a family of six competes with the worst activity on the planet. It’s right up there with packing the bags for a family of six. Can anyone relate? Ha!

I hadn’t upholstered anything since my girls’ headboards, and upholstery is intimidating. Believe me, I know. The first time I upholstered a chair by myself, I thought I was going to ruin it about 20 different times during the process. But now that I’ve upholstered a few dozen chairs, I am finally starting to feel confident in my upholstery skills. A few friends found some chairs that needed a little tlc for only $9 at the local Habitat for Humanity Restore. I was happy to help them out. So, we set a date for our “upholstery” party! It was a blast. We laughed, talked and upholstered until 3am.

The chairs turned out absolutely darling! This chair is Tiff’s. Two thumbs up for Tiff!
how-to-reupholster-a-chair how-to-upholster-a-chair
For the next few days, I’ll show you some tips, tools, and tricks that will hopefully help you with your next upholstery project.

First before you get started on an upholstery project, you will need to gather some tools to help you with the process. Having the right tools will save you time in the long run.

In my opinion you need these 10 tools:
1. A rubber mallet
2. Fabric Scissors
3. Pliers {the heaviest duty pliers you can find}
4. Large Flat Screwdriver
5. Small Flat Screwdriver
6. Box Knife
7. Hot Glue Gun
8. Pneumatic Staple gun {first choice} or a Heavy Duty Staple Gun {second choice}
9. Hammer
10. Butter Knife

tools-needed-for-upholsteryEvery single upholstery project brings something new, so don’t stress. BUT, just like I say in my upholstery 101 post, you need to pay attention to how the chair is upholstered.
upholstery-instructionsRemoving the fabric is a big task, and doing it without the right tools can literally add hours to your project time. Just ask my friend Dani. :) But, the good thing about doing projects with friends, is that it’s FUN!

 how to upholster a chair how to upholster a chair

how to upholster a chair how to upholster a chairhow to upholster a chair

Use the old fabric as a pattern.
how to upholster a chair how to upholster a chair

And stay tuned for more tips and tricks about the upholstery process. 

Didn’t Tiff’s chair turn out cute?


If you’ve missed some of our past upholstery projects, check out the posts below by clicking on the images:

how to upholster a chair how to upholster a chair Wingback-chair-upholstery
Yellow wingback chair, Blue tufted chair upholstery, Orange dotted chair {upholstery tips and tricks}


  1. says

    I have a garage full of ugly ducklings too! Do you know what the fabric is called or where it came from? It is fabulous & would go perfect with some fabric I have for my next project

  2. Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says

    Ali- You just described my garage! It's constantly full of "ugly ducklings" waiting for attention!!

  3. says

    One thing that has helped me with upholstering is buying a staple remover. it is way easier than using a butter knife and believe me I ruined some butter knives!

  4. me/mom/NANA says

    I always show your posts to my husband to show him some new project I want to try but this one I will keep a secret. When I starting redoing furniture I insisted I have a few more tools than you pictured and I don't want to hear "I told you so" next time I want to redo something. You are my reference for all my must haves. Thanks for the help and inspiration!

  5. Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says

    The butter knife is not for removing the staples, it is for tucking the fabric on folds before we staple it! -Mr All Things Thrifty

  6. Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says

    Andi- a staple remover?!? I don't know of such a thing. Mr. All Things Thrifty is right, we don't use the butter knife for that, but a staple remover sounds like heaven!! Off to Google "staple remover." :) thanks for the tip!

  7. Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says

    We bought the fabric a year ago at Dorell Fabrics in Southern California, but the fabric is called Pom Pom Play by Waverly. It also says "Modern Essentials" on the side. So, hopefully you can find it!

  8. says

    Um, amazing. I will be forever grateful that you shared this. I've been wanting to tackle reupholstering an old chair. It's so nice to get tips and tricks and knowledge on what tools to use!

  9. Andrea says

    You are so awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I stinking love your site… Out of the “gazillions” out there, you are my “go to ” for it all.. thank you soooo much for sharing:)

  10. Verla says

    I have done small things over the years and recently attempted a wing back chair. When I read your list of supplies I agreed with the ‘gun’ you had listed. I have wanted to shoot the chair a number of times. Then I realized it was a staple gun you were talking about but it did give me a good laugh. Thank you.


  1. […] Brook also recommends 10 essential tools for upholstering in another great post on her creative site: http://www.allthingsthrifty.com/2013/01/10-essential-tools-needed-for-upholstery.html […]

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