Monday, October 1, 2007

~Happy Monday, the Backside of a Good Tale (2 Chairs)

You know what? The backside it the easiest part! Oh you are not the only one thinking it was tough. I did it the hard way for a while too. The toughest was when I did the dining room chairs the first 10 times :P because I knew it wasn't forever and I did not want to do anything permanent. So I made fitted inserts and used room for error. Oh that was work! The picture here is the way they are now, and it's done the easy way.

Now the secret.
If you look closely, you will see that the cane is actually installed on the front and then there is a piece holding it in place. Turn the chair around and look at the back and you will see the the cane is snuggly inside that area you just looked at on the front. Gently push the cane away from you. See, there is a tiny space.
That is where the fabric goes. You have about a half inch of room. So you do need to cut it pretty close, but this isn't that hard at all.

Get a larger piece of paper, newspaper works well, just messy on your hands.

Then lay it against the back of the chair and make a template for that area to cover the cane. I like to make an exact one first then cut the larger one.

So cut this a little bit larger at first, then put it up to the cane area, check to see how it fits and trim it a tiny bit at a time until it is the exact fit for that surface area.

Hint: Be sure to mark the FRONT as the side facing you, and mark Left & Right. The opening will be a different from side to side. And you may want to center a pattern.
OK, take the perfectly fitting template and make a new one by taking a ruler and just marking dashes around it about 1/2 inch larger. Connect you dashes and cut it out. If you are using very expensive fabric, make a test piece out of cheap stuff like an old sheet or muslin.

Take your final piece of fabric, center it so that it is 1/2 inch over the inset area on all sides.

Now, gently push it into the area between the cane and the back of the chair, with a blunt tool. A butter knife from your eating utensils works well, or a large flat head screwdriver.

Your are "stretching" this piece, which means that you start at the middle of on side and go to the middle of the opposite side, and top and back. Then you work your way in a little a time 3 or 4 tucks then go the opposite side.

Soon you will be done. Although you can use some glue, I have found that the area is usually tight enough that it is not necessary.

If you feel antsy about making the fabric so small, just start with a 1 inch extra border and cut it down as you feel it is a perfect fit.

New in the Shop, a Boo Cone & Other Goodies!


  1. Thanks for sharing your secrets with us.
    Love the cone too!
    Happy October!

  2. Now I'll be looking for old cane chairs to refinish. Thanks so much for the "insider information". I wish we lived closer. It would be so much fun to spend a weekend (or week :0) with you!

  3. I had wondered if you had taken the cane part out and inserted the upholstered piece. This is so much easier! I'll never pass up one of these chairs again. Thanks so much for the how to!



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