Inspired to improve your life in 2017? Start by revamping some tired pieces of furniture
Words Sonia Lucano
Line the drawers of a work table
Small Scandinavian worktable with drawers, printed fabric, iron, strong spray adhesive, assorted braids, wall stapler & fabric glue
1. Choose your table: Choose a typically Scandinavian table – one made in light polished wood, and with metal or wooden compass legs is ideal. You can buy one for around £100, although be prepared to pay more for a signature piece. Or find a small chest of drawers, which will cost around £140–200.
2. Prepare the table: Rub down the wooden legs with a soft cloth and some antique polish. Vacuum clean the inside of the drawers.
3. Line the drawers: Measure each drawer– width, length and depth – to determine the size of fabric you will need, remembering to add a 2-cm turnover at all edges. You can use the following formula as a guide.
Fabric length: drawer length + 2 x depth + 2 x 2 cm (the turnover).
Fabric width: drawer width + 2 x depth + 2 x 2 cm (the turnover).
So, for example, in the drawer illustrated, which is 39 x 27 cm, 5.5 cm in depth:
Length: 39 + 2 x 5.5 + 2 x 2 = 54 cm
Width: 27 + 2 x 5.5 + 2 x 2 = 42 cm
You should, therefore, cut a 54 x 42-cm rectangle for the lining of your drawer.
Carefully mark the position of the drawer’s interior corners on the fabric. Then cut from each corner of the fabric to a point 0.5 cm from the drawer corner. To reduce overlap, trim away the fabric in a V shape at each corner, either side of your cut, making sure to leave a 2-cm turnover.
Before positioning the fabric, fold the 2-cm turnover to the wrong side and iron flat. Fold and iron the lines of the drawer’s inner edges. Apply spray adhesive to the drawer and lay the fabric inside, making sure that it fits neatly into the corners. Press the fabric firmly into place, taking care to smooth out any creases: start at the centre and work your way out to the sides. Once secure, staple the fabric at 5-cm intervals, 5 mm down from the upper edge. Repeat at the corners, again inserting staples 5 mm from the join.
4. Add the braid: Measure the length of the braid you need: 2 x length + 2 x width + 1 cm overlap. Apply glue to the braid and position on top of the upper staples.
Revamp a 1950s chair
1950s chair, khaki cotton upholstery fabric (3 x 2.3 m), fabric spray adhesive, wall stapler, yellow piping (2 m in length), sewing pins, sewing needle & assorted cotton threads
1. Choose your chair: Items such as this Pierre Guariche barrel-style chair were very popular in the 1950s. They can be easily sourced online or in shops that stock vintage furniture. They will often be covered in imitation leather, and have compass legs of metal or wood. You can expect to pay between £20 and £40 for such a chair in reasonable condition. Don’t worry if the imitation leather is damaged – it won’t be visible once the chair has been re-upholstered.
If you see another style of chair that you prefer, don’t hesitate to buy it: the technique of re-upholstering will be the same.
2. Prepare the chair: Clean the imitation leather and the legs with soap and warm water, removing any grease with a cloth and some stain remover.
3. Start covering: This is a three-stage process: starting with the back rest, then the outside back and finally the seat. Cut a generous-sized rectangle for the back rest; estimate the size by holding the material up against the chair. Allow for a 10-cm overlap, which will be fixed to the outside back, and 7 cm for the internal join. Spray the adhesive on the back rest, position the fabric on top and press firmly to secure. For a close-fitting finish pull the fabric tightly across the surface, following the direction of the weave. Now cut away the excess material. Cut 7-cm-wide notches in the overlap, apply adhesive, and pull tightly onto the outsideback. Repeat with the hole at the bottom. Use a knitting needle (or screwdriver) to push the fabric into the internal joins, ensuring that there are no folds or creases.
Repeat this method for the outside back. Cut a large rectangle of fabric. Cut away the excess material, leaving a return of 10 cm. Cut 7-cm notches in the return and fold under before sticking to the back of the chair with the adhesive. When you reach the underside of the seat, turn the fabric under by just 1 cm and pull firmly, using the stapler to fix in place. Position the yellow piping along the top of the back to hide the join, pin down to secure, and sew to fix in place. Repeat this process for the hole at the bottom, this time sewing together the front and back sections without the piping.
To cover the seat, cut a generous-sized piece of fabric, estimating the size required as before. Apply adhesive to the seat, position the fabric on top and pull hard to avoid creases. Cut away the excess material, retaining a margin of 10 cm. Use a knitting needle to push the fabric into the internal joins. Turn the chair upside down, turn the fabric under by 1 cm and pull tight on to the underside, using the stapler to fix into place as before.