For a long time, I've had a cow chair on my wish list. After pricing a few coming in at at least $1,000, I decided to take action and make my own, even though I had never reupholstered before. My friends and family know I'm crazy like that. I've covered seat cushions and made a couple of slipcovers but never reupholstered an entire chair. But that wasn't going to stop me. As usual I was so excited to start the project that I neglected to take a picture of the chair before I started taking it apart and I didn't take any pics of the cowhide, shucky darn. It would have made a great tutorial.
This great chair came from Revival, a consignment shop in my area. At $80.00 it was actually more than I normally pay for a chair to redo but it had great bones,was hand tied, and I fell in love with the style. Looking past the burgandy vinyl I could see a diamond in the rough.
I purchased a Stanley electric staple gun for the project and it was both a lifesaver and fun to use. With my old manual one the staples would never go completely in and I would have to hammer them down. I did take pictures as I took the chair apart so I would know how to put it back together, and I used the old vinyl as a pattern to cut out the cow hide.
We purchased our hide at Nebraska Furniture Mart, they had a promotion going and the hides were on sale for $179.00. I had looked on line for one but I wanted to see it in person before buying. From my research you need to be sure to purchase a quality hide, it should be soft and pliable. Stiff hard hides are not good as they can eventually crack. The hide was easy to cut with regular sewing scissors and just a little of the hair around the edges fell off after cutting it. Each section of the chair is stapled except the back and that is attached with the nailhead trim. I sewed all the cording on the sewing machine.
I hardly had any hide left after the project, just a few small pieces that I made into a pillow. I would recommend that if you plan on doing this project that you carefully measure how much you need. Cowhides vary in size and you have to take into consideration that the pieces have to be symmetrical for a chair.
I knew I wasn't going to have enough hide to do the back of the chair so I got some basket weave vinyl that looks like leather to do that part. I have to say vinyl has really improved over the years, I found this at JoAnn's, and it really does resemble leather. The back of the chair was the final step. It covers up the staples from the front piece and cording. To attach the back,center the fabric at the top and work your way around both sides folding the edges under and using the decorative nail heads to hold it in place then tuck the bottom part under the chair and staple.
This is where the cow chair normally sits, in the family room, but it is on the north and the room is kind of dark so I was having trouble getting good pictures. I need to get a new camera.
I moved the chair to the living room for better picture taking light and I think he looks kind of cute there.
I spent $80.00 on the chair, $179.00 for the hide and probably $25.00 for upholstery supplies plus the new stapler, so for a little over $300.00 and some hard work, I got my cow chair!
I am joining in on these parties
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Inspiration Friday At the Picket FenceFridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
The DIY Project Parade at The DIY Showoff
Deborah Jean's Dandelion House Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop