DIY Upholstery - Goose Neck Arm Chair

LaurieJanuary 13, 2014

I am finally finished with my diy upholstery of a goose neck arm chair. This originally was my grandparents chair and was given to me in 1987. At that time, I took it to an upholsterer to have the old fabric taken off & the navy fabric put on. I did not have the money to pay the extra it would have cost to have the springs retied & webbing replaced.

After 26 years, the old navy blue fabric didn't look too bad, but it was faded and I needed a change. The seat was getting uncomfortable & I knew that it had to be refreshed and strengthened. I hope this chair will stay in our family for many more years to come.

This was a real challenge because the webbing as well as the jute on the springs were falling apart. None of my prior upholstery projects needed webbing or spring tying. It took me a long time to learn how to re-do webbing and to tie springs. I had posted on this forum about my webbing & tying back in November. I studied books & videos. My favorite online videos were from DIY Upholstery and Kim's Upholstery (Massachusetts). Kim answered all of my emails when ever I had questions. She was very helpful and encouraging to me.

After an office chair, 3 sofas, 1 wing chair, and this arm chair, I can say I am glad to put my staple gun away and move on to other projects!

I hope some of you will give upholstery a try some day. I thought about it for years before I got the nerve to pull out that first staple on that first office chair. Many of you have posted your own experiences with upholstering pieces and that really inspired me to jump in!


Here she is before:

Removing old fabric:

New webbing & springs tied

New layers of cotton

A layer of Dacron

Deciding where to make my cuts (this was all the fabric I had left after finishing my wing chair)

Here she is after:

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow !!!!! Wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 1:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

fantastic! you really nailed it. so professional.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 2:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

wow! beautiful job!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

looks wonderful! great work!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 7:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So inspiring, Thank You!!
You've done a great job, probably better than you might have paid for.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 7:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well done!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 7:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You did another great job! what a fantastic skill to have!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 8:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your posts are such an inspiration! What a great job on that chair!!
My FIL was a professional upholsterer and my DH "helped" as a kid. We have a barn full of antique/vintage chairs that need new lives someday. When we ever finish this house, we intend to try our hand at upholstery. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 9:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Holly- Kay

Oh My goodness, your chair is lovely. The upholstery job is first rate and I adore the fabric that you chose. I would love to see pics of your whole room.

I have a chair in my bedroom that belonged to my DM but I don't think I am up to the challenge of re-upholstering it myself. I also have a pair of Victorian side chairs that belonged to my great, great aunts that I want to have re-done. They are all family pieces so I definitely want to keep them in the family.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Excellent work. Your grandparents would be proud!!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Laurie...fabulous work. I've seen several pictures of your previous work, and am in awe. I wish I had your talent and confidence. I have a couple chairs I would love to do, but it's a big step to start taking them apart. One is a 25 yr old Rowe chair. Looks absolutely like new, but the fabric is so very outdated (pink/blue). Also bought a chair similar to yours at Goodwill for $5.00...with the intent that I would try to recover it someday. Well, 10 yrs later, it's still sitting in the store room. You've given me some inspiration!!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You're amazing in your skill and your good style sense.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am just so impressed with your work! That chair looks wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful! And you were able to revive a chair that had some significance to you. I'm awed.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Laurie, it's just fabulous. I am in awe of your skills.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

nightowlrn,patricia43,michoumonster,kickbox15,mlweaving_Marji,bbstx,cooperbailey,ppbenn,lovestowalk,joyce_6333,holly-kay,yayagal,dlm2000,cat_mom,nutsaboutplants, & marti8a -
Thank you all so much for your kind words!

ppbenn - That is very special your FIL was an upholsterer & your DH helped as a child. I bet some day you will both enjoy working on those items stored in your barn : )

joyce - I hope you will get to those chairs some day, too.
It would be great to start on that $5 bargain!!

holly-kay - below are pics of the rest of the room.

I want to make pillows for the sofa & a small one for the wing chair. I've taken pics of the art prints to show the muted shade of teal blue that I am drawn to. I am leaning towards velvet and I am waiting for a few more swatches to come in the mail.

Someday, I will have a coffee table or ottoman.
For now, the main space is used for daily floor/play time with grandchildren : )

Print above sofa (I like the color of the older girl's dress)

Print next to fireplace (note the teal color dress))

2 swatches I like for pillows (waiting for more swatches)

Toys normally decorate this open floor space : )

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am SO impressed by your work! I have always had the desire to learn upholstery and hear that a local art center may offer classes. You must have a lot of patience - that was always my downfall in sewing. Your chair is just beautiful! Can't wait to see your next project.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thank you for sharing! I too have always had a desire to re-upholster and this is very inspiring. Your chairs/sofa look amazing and your living room is beautiful. Thanks for the information, I'll check out the video's. I'd probably need a class though. I have an old worn-out but very well-made sofa and 2 chairs I'd love to give a try, but am afraid to go at it. Is it easier to do chairs or a sofa? Keep posting your projects, they're truly gorgeous.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 8:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

MarinaGal - Thank you! I hope that you have the opportunity to take that class at your art center. If you do, please share your experience.
You are right...patience is important! Taking out all the old staples & taking photos will be very time consuming. Putting the new materials on is like putting a puzzle back together : )

massagerocks - Thank you,too! I would start with a chair before going to a sofa. Some times, if a chair has coil springs,
they may be in good shape and not need to be replaced or to be re-tied. I could have done this chair much faster if the webbing & spring ties weren't in such bad shape.
Chairs are lighter in weight and take up less space which make it easier to work with. Also, chairs require a lot less fabric.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The chairs look wonderful in your beautiful room. Those pictures are charming. I love the color of the girl's dress. That will be perfect to match for pillows. You have an amazing talent and I look forward to seeing what you do next.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 10:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

natesgram - Thank you very much : )
After making the pillows, my next project will be drapery for a couple of bedrooms.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very impressive and truly inspiring. How did you learn to do all this? If you can have any video recommendations, I'd appreciate it.

Your room looks so peaceful and pretty.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 6:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

oldbat2be - Thank you : )
My favorite book is Singer Upholstery Basics.
The two online videos that helped me most with this chair were:
Kims Upholstery : How to Upholster a Wooden Arm Chair
and DIY Upholstery : How To Upholster A Chair.
Below, is a link to Kim's video (I also emailed her with pictures & questions...she's very helpful!)

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Upholster A Wooden Arm Chair

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Laurie - thank you SO much!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 7:56PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
SW Kilm Beige
If you have used this color, would you please tell...
Broyhill lamps -- help!
A couple weeks ago I saw some lamps made by Broyhill...
what could make these sheers more modern?
The bamboo roman shade in one of these windows fell...
sectional sofa help
hi cross posting this from furniture b/c I really could...
TIGHT Space for Mirrors (Between the Light Fixture and Backsplash) :(
We are coming into the home stretch. Although there...
Monrovia Mom
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™