How to Reupholster an Arm Chair

Upholstery can be an intimidating project, but it seems more complicated than it actually is. A thrift store arm chair with simple lines, a sturdy frame and good padding makes a perfect subject for a novice upholsterer.

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Trim Fabric, Apply Trim

Cut off excess fabric with a sharp pair of scissors. The fabric should be cut as close to the staple line as possible (Image 1). Apply a line of hot glue along staples and press gimp trim into it (Images 2 and 3). Hold in place until glue is cool. Work in small 6"-8" sections to prevent glue from cooling too quickly. Where trim ends meet, cut trim to size and secure ends together with hot glue (Image 4). Apply trim where needed to cover staples. Trim threads and remove glue gun strings before enjoying your "new" old chair (Image 5). Tip: Don't wash fabric before use. Most decorative upholstery weight fabric is treated to resist staining. If fabric is washed prior to using it for upholstery, that protective treatment will be washed away.

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