Upholstering furniture can be an intimidating task for a beginner. However, upholstering doesn’t have to be difficult if you utilize some lesser known techniques. In this article, I will share obscure methods that make DIY upholstery more approachable.
From unconventional tools to unique materials, these tips will help you upholster furniture like a pro. Read on to learn rare tricks of the trade that elevate your upholstery skills.
Gather Unconventional Upholstery Tools
Upholstering requires specialized tools like staple guns, tacking irons, and upholstery hammers. However, you can substitute unconventional tools from your home or garage to get the job done. Here are some odd but effective tools for upholstery:
Hot Glue Gun
A hot glue gun adheres fabric and batting to the frame like contact cement. The thick hot glue helps tack down seams neatly. The gun allows more control than liquid contact cement.
A brad nailer shoots tiny nails that firmly secure fabric to wood frames. Set the depth correctly to avoid puncturing the fabric surface. Brad nails are easier to use than upholstery staples.
Electric Carving Knife
An electric carving knife trims cushion foam quickly and accurately. The thin serrated blade creates smooth edges on foam. It’s safer and easier than cutting foam with an upholstery knife.
Use Unique Upholstery Materials
Traditional upholstery calls for fabrics like velvet or linen. However, you can upholster with unique materials found around your home:
High thread count bed sheets provide smooth, sturdy fabric for upholstery. Vintage sheets in good condition give a retro vibe. Mix and match sheet patterns for eclectic upholstery.
Ties and Scarves
Silky ties and scarves transform into elegant upholstery fabric. Sew them together into an upholstery-weight fabric. The patterns and textures create a formal, artistic look.
Vintage clothes, like flowing dresses, make comfortable cushion covers. Recycle your own old clothes or source them from secondhand shops. Give upholstery new life with recycled cloth.
Use Unexpected Fillers and Padding
Upholstery requires cotton batting or foam to pad and fill furniture. But you can also use unexpected household items:
Plastic Shopping Bags
Fill cushions with plastic shopping bags for cheap, eco-friendly padding. Make sure bags are clean and dry. Packing them tightly prevents shifting. This obscure method saves money.
Clean, dry socks stuffed into cushions make comfy padding. Choose thick, soft socks without holes. Socks conform to body indentations for cushioning support.
Scraps of Fabric
Don’t throw away fabric scraps! Stuff them into cushions instead of batting for free filler. Use only natural fabrics like cotton, not synthetics. Fabric scraps make cushions firmer than batting.
Unusual Tricks and Techniques
These unique upholstery tricks offer unconventional solutions:
Iron-On Hem Tape
Apply iron-on hem tape to prevent fraying when seams get cut. The tape seals edges cleanly. Use washable double-sided tape for best results. This obscure trick helps beginners.
Plastic Wrap Layer
Place a layer of plastic wrap over foam before adding fabric. The plastic lets you tug and adjust the fabric before final stapling. This unorthodox technique prevents tearing.
For removable cushions, attach Velcro strips instead of buttons or ties. The closure keeps cushions secure. Velcro offers easy on and off access for cleaning covers.
With odd tools, uncommon materials, and peculiar techniques, upholstering furniture seems less intimidating. Apply these obscure methods for creative, budget-friendly DIY upholstery. What uncommon tricks can you utilize? With some out-of-the-box thinking, you can revive furniture with custom upholstery.