How to Upholster a Chair

img_20161016_1511251When I told people what my next project would be, my lovely family and friends look shocked…I got, Are you crazy? But your not an upholsterer Kel? What if you mess it up? Do you know how hard upholstery is? It seems upholstery is the untouchable of the furnishing world, maybe my loved ones had a point? So I rang around to get some quotes from professionals and the quotes made my mind up for me, I was looking at £300 upwards. Now these people really do know what their doing and I don’t doubt at all that their mad skills are worth every penny of that £300, but I didn’t want to pay that much for something, that I could likely do myself, all I had to do was learn. So first port of call YOU TUBE, I watched many many tutorials and I found one in particular that I found really useful How to upholster a wing back chair , because of that video I figured out what supplies id need and the tricks of the trade that would hopefully allow me to make a beautiful chair.


Here is what the chair looked like before, it cost me £25.00 of ebay.


I went with Fryetts Breeze, Large check Gingham Fabric, its 100% cotton and colour woven, perfect for domestic upholstery. I bought 4 metres in total, allowing for awkward cuts and the inevitable mistakes I was bound to make.


The first and for me the most time consuming part was removing the old fabric, its tough and messy work, old fibres flying about, achy hands and hundreds of staples that all need to be removed, there’s no getting around it, its gonna take a while. Arm yourself with a heavy duty staple remover like this one


When removing the fabric, try keeping the tricky parts as a template, for example the fabric that covered the wings will come in really useful and save you measuring for yourself. The foam on my chair was in pretty good condition,however I did need to replace the thin wadding on top, its around £4.00 a roll and you just place it over the existing foam and staple in place.


Now you have the bare bones of your chair, its time to get started, I liken upholstery to wrapping a really awkward present! The only difference being your not fixing it in place with tape your fixing it in place with staples, I used a heavy duty Manual Staple gun…it did the job, but I warn you it really takes a toll on your hands, ideally you want an electric or a bradnail gun which I will be investing in for my next chair, but like I say if your not scared of a little more graft then a manual staple gun does the job just fine. The first area I covered was the back rest of the chair, I offered the fabric up and pushed it into all the nooks of the inner wings and made sure the whole surface of the back rest was covered, you want to leave lots of extra fabric on each side, as you will be stapling the fabric to the wood at the bare back of the chair where they cant be seen, when its time to staple just make sure your pulling the fabric as tight as possible to prevent wrinkles. Again refer to the video above as guidance. img_20161018_1140331

So the wings, I was dreading this part! However it was pretty straight forward, as I had already saved the previous wing fabric, I just placed the old stuff on top of the new stuff and cut around it, I stapled the inner wing fabric on first, then fixed on the covered piping and lastly the outer wing fabric..the video can show you the technique far better than I can write it( think I’ll do a video tutorial with my next chair)


The arms, we are again just wrapping an awkward present, start with the arm rests, wrapping the fabric round it, folding under any rough edges, staple underneath where they cant be seen, ive found its all about finding a place to fix the staples, that ultimately gives your chair the best look without seeing the reason for it, with the sides use the inner or under wood of the chair to hide your fixings.

The open back of your chair will no doubt look quite a mess at this point as this is where most of your staples are, measure the back, then cut your fabric leaving a couple of extra inches on each side, the top edge of your chair will be on view, so you want it as tidy as possible, make sure you have this



Its upholstery tacking on a roll and gives you a nice clean edge mine was £6.00 of ebay, refer to video




The seat cushion cover was run up on my sewing machine, I examined the stitching on the existing chair cover and copied it to create the curved square edge.

Now no first upholstery project can go off with out a mistake or 2 and it was right at the final part, the seat cover where I messed up, I had miss measured the only fabric I had left for the underside of the cover…so I had to compromise and here it is


Do you know, I dont mind it! its a kinda happy accident and has put me in mind of maybe having a crack at trying a patchwork chair.

So there it is, I gave myself a full day for this project and believe me I needed it, now ive had my first go at upholstery, ive learned something new and im confident that my next project will run much more smoothly and hopefully take less time.

Hope this has been helpful, have a fabulous day!




Christmas Ice Skates Decoration


How fun are these,I had sooo much of a good time decorating these, I had to use polkadots… everything is better with polkadots. These boots would be great hung on a mirror, fireplace even a front door.

They originally looked like this


My VQ Emma Bridgewater Wallflower Radio


You may have noticed by now, especially if your following me on Instagram. That I have a real love for Retro Styled Radios, I have them all over the house and the one above is my latest addition, Hello pretty!! This Emma Bridgewater Wallflower Retro Mini DAB radio is from and its fabulous, its got that old style Retro look that I love but has all the modern features you could possibly need out of a radio. The guys over at My VQ really know their stuff, they are passionate about sound and style and they stock many different styles of Retro radio’s and bluetooth speakers, make sure you pop over and have a nosy, you’ll be glad you did.

So to start my review I plugged my the radio into the place were I do all my dancing…the Kitchen. So checklist! Got my very over the top polka dot pinny on √ Casserole cooking√ Dancing shoes….Always! 4 noisy children asking when tea will be ready√ 2 dogs barking at the neighbours cat because it enjoys standing on the window sill just to mock them√ Now the reason for the checklist, well if I can hear the radio over, the dogs, the kids and the bubbling pot, then already its doing pretty great! Beside the radios gorgeous leatherette Emma Bridgewater wallflower print it also has Bluetooth connectivity an aux-in connection, headphone jack and USB charging port which is really great for charging my phone as I stream music. Also handy is the alarm clock function, as the Radio is pretty compact, you can pop it on the bedside table or if your like me, pop it on the kitchen shelf to let you know when the chickens got to come out! On to the DAB radio, now sometimes I do have issues connecting digitally to radio stations, I don’t know what it is, maybe my walls are lead lined? However I had no issues at all with this radio, it searched and found the stations, connected and the sound was as clear as a bell.

Dare I say it, Christmas is only round the corner, so if you want to put a ridiculously big smile on the face of someone you love, then you wont go far wrong with this beauty from My VQ ,Im so happy with this Radio that I will be taking it with me on our little 2 day trip to London, however I will not be setting the alarm as I intend to sleep in :O)



Surprise Inside Christmas Jar


So this Jar hides a little secret, apart from the obvious Skittles!..This is a cute idea for them times at Christmas when you have no idea what to get your teenage Niece or Nephew, or you have Secret Santa at work, maybe you want to send a little gift to the teacher at your kiddies school or you simply want to give someone a little something without spending too much money and hey they get the added bonus of some sweets too.

Tunnocks Tea Cake Christmas Pudding


Ok, I said it, The C word, yes I know its only October, but im a bit of a Christmas Nut and I always start my preparations super early, I start morphing into Mama Claus about this time and eagerly await the end of November when its generally understood that its ok to start talking obsessively about it. And hey its only 80 sleeps till the big man arrives!

So ive been making Christmas pudding lookalikies, super easy and no baking involved.

Amara Interior Blog Awards

Morning everyone, feeling a little unwell today, I have a nasty head cold that just wont quit! However I really do not care, because…guess what arrived on my door mat, My invitation to the Amara Awards in London!


Because all you lovely lot voted and got me into the top 5 for my category, I get to spend the evening with some amazing, inspiring people, I get to shed my mummy uniform(jeans, flats and a comfortable top) and dress up. When I found out I was nominated all I wanted was to be in that top 5, I didn’t think I would be, but I thought wouldn’t it be nice if I was. I love my Blog, its almost my personal diary, I get excited about every new post and im constantly thinking about the next one, it makes me happy.

On the day the shortlists were to be announced, we were told that the results would be live on their website at 12, so at 11.55am I was sat at my laptop with my baby on my lap watching the time tick, I was filled with nerves but also with excitement at the unlikely possibility that I would see my name. The only problem was I couldn’t get on the website, for some reason the page wouldn’t load aarrgh, so im clicking and refreshing the page like crazy and nothing. Then PING! My phone made a familiar sound, informing me I had a message and right there in the Subject box was CONGRATULATIONS YOU’VE BEEN SHORTLISTED. At that moment without any warning I burst into tears, jumped up with my baby still in my arms showing him my phone saying ‘look Leo,look what mummy got’ My boy is 2 and didn’t have the first clue what I was so excited about , but whatever it was he was happy to be excited too and he threw his arms up and said  ‘yey mama’ . At that moment I suddenly realised just how much it meant to me and right then it really wasn’t about winning, im not gonna lie, im only human so winning would be amazing, but it wasn’t what I was thinking about, I was thinking wow, people I don’t even know have taken the time out of their busy lives and voted for a stranger, just words and pictures on a screen have urged people to show kindness to me without expecting anything in return…and it blew me away, I cried again.

The next few hours were about calling everyone I love and telling them my good news, getting on Instagram letting everyone know just how happy and thankful I was, whatever happens next month at the awards, win or lose, it will never be as important to me as the support ive received from you lovely people. So from the bottom of my heart, thankyou, you’ve made me happier than you will ever know.

Sending Love


Raleigh Spirit Review


I have wanted an Old Retro Style bike for as long as I can remember and just 3 days ago this beauty arrived, ive been out on it every day since, its been many years since I have rode a bike, so for the first few minutes lets just say I was a little wobbly, much to the amusement of my hubby! But its true what they say, you really never do forget how to ride a bike, my first trip out was so much fun, I found the longest steepest hill and glided down like a pro, the wind on my face reminded me why id always loved it so much as a kid, it brings a kind of freedom and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The basket…I love it, I rode to the shop and bought a few groceries, Ill be honest at that time I really didn’t need anything from the shop, but I couldn’t wait to put something in that basket. It also has a little bell, ive not really “needed” to use it, there’s not been any oncoming traffic that ive needed to inform of my presence, however it has the sweetest chime and its fun to ring it, again to the amusement of my hubby! So that age age old question, Is a bell really necessary on a bike? I would have to say yes, yes it is! My mum who hasn’t rode a bike in 40 years kidnapped it and went on a quick ride, she couldn’t resist having a go, smiling and declaring ‘god that brought back memories’. And that’s the thing isnt it, this style of bike does evoke memories for some people, its classic design takes people back and reminds them of their old bikes and all the fun they used to have on them.

The Curious Department

whitespiro3The life of a Butterfly is sadly a short one and though in life they grace us with their presence for only a short while The Curious Department, an Independent Interiors Brand and studio in London, find a way to preserve their beauty for ever more .The Curious Departments latest collection Metamorphosis showcases their fascination with Nature, the founders Chris and Ross design and produce limited edition art prints, hand crafted taxidermy Butterflies, fine bone china and decorative home accessories. The passion and dedication they both have for their brand is truly evident in the distinctive quality of their designs.The Butterfly above is a Purple Spotted Swallowtail and is only found in the Highlands of new Guinea, having something in my home that I would of likely otherwise never seen is pretty special. My kiddies are fascinated by it, so much so it prompted a little lesson on the life cycle of a butterfly…educational too!

Flower Dyeing


In my house Teapots are not just for tea, ain’t it pretty! I thought id try my hand at dyeing some flowers, its a really simple process, all you need is food colouring and patience.

Minamalist or Maximalist


That title’s a mouthful isn’t it? Bet you can’t say it 5 times fast!…. I could never ever be described as a minimalist, I love to fill my walls, pack my shelves and stuff my pillows, I love the stuff, its the stuff in my home that best shows my personality I am most definitely a Maximalist.