today’s second diy project comes from the incredible pool of entries we received this year in the ds diy contest. based in the netherlands, jane schouten is a phenomenal graphic designer and artist who has a seriously impressive portfolio full of incredible textile-based projects (really, it’s a must, must see). jane’s beautiful doily-bowl was a finalist in the diy contest (full instructions coming next week) but she also sent along a fantastic re-upholstery project that i couldn’t resist sharing.


jane is the proud owner of a vintage pierre paulin oyster chair, but was unhappy with the state of its thread-bare original upholstery. so she decided to customize and personalize its upholstery using decorative cut-outs, crocheted flowers and embroidery. with a large collection of vintage blankets to draw from, jane created a patchwork-style upholstery base, on top of which she added the details mentioned above. while we certainly all at the level of upholstering and embroidery that jane is, after examining her photos for a few days i felt strongly that the essence of this project was something that most clever diy-ers could tackle. if you have some leftover fabric, old blankets or maybe even old shirts, you could create a similar patchwork background to reupholster your favorite seat or stool. so, i hope jane’s project will be as inspiring for you as it was for me (or at least provide some much-needed chair eye-candy). click here for jane’s instructions or just click “read more” below.

Jane’s Reupholstered Patchwork Chair

You will need:

-a chair, an ottoman or anything else you want to re-upholster (for those with less upholstery experience we’d suggest something small like a stool or ottoman)
-vintage blankets or fabric (those with a quilted or thicker texture work best)
-scissors
-pins
-power stapler (optional, but very helpful)
-flowers or other interesting objects cut out of fabric
-crocheted flowers (click here and here for tutorials)
-embroidery thread and needle (click here for a great embroidery tutorial)

1. Remove any existing upholstery cleanly from your chair or ottoman. You will use this to make a pattern for your new upholstery pattern. Using the old fabric as a pattern, cut your new upholstery pattern out of your blanket. (If you have more than one blanket you want to use, sew them together before cutting the pattern- see photo below). If you’re unfamiliar with the process click here for an illustrated look at cutting a new pattern from an old upholstery piece.

2. Gather any cut-fabric shapes or flowers you’ve created (there is a tutorial for creating these in the supply list above) and arrange them on the new cut-out blanket in a pattern or arrangement that you like. Pin them in place and then hand-stitch them onto the blanket.

3. At this point Jane added decorative embroidery and embroidered text to the chair (see photo below), but you can either skip this step if you’re not comfortable with embroidery, or follow the simple embroidery tutorials in the supply list above to add some personal embroidery details to the blanket upholstery.

4. Now you should have your blanket upholstery cut to size, decorated with cut-out or crocheted decorative details and embellished with any embroidery you like- so you’re ready to attach it to the chair. Jane used a power-stapler to reattach her form (which was cut to match the old pattern so you shouldn’t have much overlapping fabric to cut) but you can also stitch the new upholstery to the chair if you’re an experienced sewer or upholsterer. If you’re like me (DS) you’ll want to get a strong stapler and attach (wherever the staples will be less visible) your new fabric that way. This method works best on a small chair seat, stool or ottoman where there are good places to attach and staple that won’t be visible. If you’d like to watch a fun video tutorial with DS DIY editors Derek and Lauren, click here (this will show you how to attach and staple new fabric onto a chair. Just scroll down to the “re-upholster a chair” video)

5. Voila! You have a newly upholstered chair/ottoman/stool. Have a seat and enjoy your the results of your hard work.



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