How to Reupholster a Rocking Chair

How to Reupholster a Rocking Chair
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No doubt, people do get attached to their rocking chairs. It’s a kind of nostalgic attachment. Moreover, rockers also serve as an essential piece of furniture for the nursery.

If you have an old rocking chair and want to reupholster it, you have landed on the right page. We are going to explain the complete procedure on how to do it.

By simply following these steps, you can learn how to reupholster a rocking chair.

Tools You Need

  • Permanent marker
  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Band saw
  • New fabric
  • Chalk
  • Straightedge
  • Cotton batting
  • Staple gun and staples

Steps to Follow

In order to reupholster a rocking chair, you need to follow a step by step procedure. For your assistance, the complete process is given below.

1. Unscrew the Chair

To start with, make sure to unscrew the chair. For this purpose, you have to remove the seat panel from the base of your chair. To remove the fabric, remove all the staples from the seat’s bottom.

However, you should be careful while doing this and try to keep the old cloth in its shape. This is because the old cloth will serve as the pattern for new upholstery.

Label the front and backside of the fabric. While disassembling all the pieces, place the pieces in a secure place. You can keep the foam cushioning if it’s not damaged.

However, you can throw away the cotton batting, which usually wraps the cushion. With this, the process of disassembling comes to its end.

2. Measure the Required Fabric

To create a pattern of the cushions of your rocking chair, make sure to measure including the extra seam for stitching. Follow this rule for all the measurements.

Most of the upholstery fabrics are available in 60-inch widths. Therefore, you will have to calculate the total required length and then purchase the fabric.

3. Mark the Foam Pieces

The pieces of foam should also be labeled, and it will help to know which piece goes with which part. By doing so, you can eliminate the chances of losing the foam.

If you place the wrong foam, the design pattern of the upholstery might change. Now place the old foam pieces on the new foam and create an outline with a permanent marker.

In this way, you can also transfer the markings of the old foams to the new one. Now you can throw away the old foam pieces.

After that, draw another line almost 1/4 inch away from one that you have drawn before. It is imperative that the line should be straight, otherwise the cushion might show some imperfections.

4. Cut the Foam and Fabric

The next step is to cut the foam and the fabric. To cut the foam, you should use a band saw. Cut through the second line that was drawn later.

When it’s time to cut the fabric, just place the old fabric on the new one. The right sides should be facing down. Make sure to line up both the back and front sections.

Now trace the lines with chalk. The second line on the fabric should be drawn 1-inch away from the first line. It will allow you to sew the fabric easily.

After transferring the markings from the old to new fabric, it’s time to say goodbye to the old fabric. Cut the new fabric from the second chalk line.

How to Reupholster a Rocking Chair

5. Attach Cotton Batting on the Foam

Once you have both the foam and fabric ready to staple, the next step is to create a new layer of cotton batting. You need to wrap it around the lower and bottom edge.

The cotton batting is different for front and back labels. Therefore, it would be better to mark each of the sides. The cotton-covered foam should be placed on the new fabric.

Make sure to center both the foam and cloth. It would help to line up each side perfectly. Once it’s done, the labeling marks made by you will be hidden. So be careful when you are going to fit the front and backside of the cushioning.

6. Staple

Put the hard seat panel on top of the foam and try to pull the fabric on the front. Staple each part when it’s done.

Make sure to include 1/2-inch fabric into the edges and staple it to the hardboard. After that, take the fabric and stretch it on the backside of the rocker.

As done in the case of the front side panel, wrap it over the backside of the panel. Next, try to smooth out the wrinkles and flaws. It is essential, as your finished panel should look tight and must offer a proper fit.

After that, staple the stretched fabric. Repeat this process with any other side of the seat and armrests. It would help if you continued stapling the fabric until it is finally in place, and the fabric offers no more stretching.

While performing this step, it is important to keep the staples at a reasonable distance; make sure that the space between two staples aren't too small or too large.

Don’t hesitate to put as many staples as required. It will make the fabric perfectly stitched to the hardboard. Moreover, delicate fabrics need more staples, as it offers extra strength to the fabric and avoids peeling.

In order to check the old screws placed in the surface of the seat, the simplest way is to run the tip of a screwdriver over these areas. If you come across a screw, it would be appropriate to either press it down or remove it.

Similarly, you should cut away the additional fabric before finishing the installation. It will help to give a nice and snug fit in the end.

Final Words

To conclude, it is obvious when you can convert your old rocking chair into a new one, there is no need to spend your hard-earned money to buy a new one. Reupholstering is an excellent way to give your old rocking chair a new look.

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