10 Steps of Re-upholstery – Step 9 – Reconstruction: Applying Fabric to the Outside Surfaces

After your fabric is securely stapled to finish the inside surfaces of your DIY upholstery project (see Step 8 – Applying Fabric to the Inside Surfaces), it’s time to work on the outside fabric panels. If your chair has a Front Band attached to the front of the seat, attach this first:

4 images showing attachment of seat front band

The front band is attached over the secured vertical surface of the seat fabric


The next step is the outside arms:

3 images showing attachment of outside arm panel

Top: fabric attachment under arm with cardboard strip; Middle: this particular chair needs a cardboard panel to create a smooth surface; Bottom: dacron padding glued in place

2 images showing finished attachment of outside arm fabric

Outside Arm fabric stretched down over dacron creating a smooth finished surface

And finally, the Outside Back:

2 images showing attachment of outside back fabric

The outside back fabric is the last layer of upholstery cover fabric to complete your DIY project


image showing technique for hand stitching in upholstery

Hidden hand-stitching of final upholstery fabric layers is accomplished with a curved needle


2 chair images - upholstery complete

Two completed arm chair styles illustrating ‘tight’ upholstered seat (left) and deck with cushion (right)

The final finishing touch is attachment of the black bottom cloth or ‘dust cloth’ which is stapled to the underside of your chair (not shown). Finishing may also involve application of decorative tacks, trim or double welt.

And… Voila! You have finally finished – it’s time to place your new statement piece in its chosen spot so you can enjoy the comfort and beauty of your new accomplishment! Now, as you anticipate sharing it with your friends & family, don’t forget the final step… Step 10 – Celebrate!

Previous: Step 8 – Reconstruction: Applying Fabric to the Inside Surfaces of your Chair
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  1. tracey turner July 23, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I need to purchase reclaimed leather for 2 small chairs. What would the pice be for the leather apx 4 yards?

  2. Carla Pyle July 24, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Hi Tracey,

    I’m sorry, we don’t sell fabric in our online store. I would suggest visiting an upholsterer near you to purchase fabric or leather. I’m working on a fabric resource page for online fabrics. After some research and hearing from others who have used reclaimed leather, I no longer recommend it for upholstery. You can read more at this blog post (including many comments): https://naturalupholstery.com/2012/09/what-is-recycled-leather/

    Thanks for your question,

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