Monday, February 14, 2011

How to Upholster Over a Cane Back Chair

Happy Valentine's Day! I personally had a VERY productive weekend giving some love to my free craigslist chair! My first time ever tackling upholstery turned out purty darn good, I think! You're only getting the booty shot because the front isn't done yet.

If you recall, It used to look like this:
Now, given that I pretty much just dove right in, my pictures are lacking on a how-to, but I promise I will be most descriptive.

For this project I needed:
Sturdy Cardboard- I used foam poster board from the dollar store.
A needle and thread
Fabric of choice
Staple Gun
Exact-o Knife

First, I cut the poster board to fit inside the wood frame, over the existing caning. I cut it slightly smaller, allowing about a quarter inch gap, knowing that it would be upholstered. If your poster board doesn't fit beautifully into the curves of the space allowed (as was the case with me), you can beef it up with batting before covering the board.

Next, using your staple gun, cover the board with batting, then with your fabric of choice. If you need a tutorial on how to do this you can see my technique for covering a seat cushion here. Same concept.

Now to attaching it. If possible, choose thread that is sturdy and is a color match to your fabric. Work your way around the perimeter in small sections to sew the upholstered board through the caning and securing it on the other side with lots 'o knots and super glue. When sewing, you don't want there to be a huge stitch visible. Try to pass the needle back through as close as possible to where it came through the fabric, so you get something that looks more like ( . ) that instead of ( ------).

If there are perhaps some areas where you can still see the caning shining through, I stretched the fabric and sewed it in place to cover these up. Since I still have to tackle the front, I can take some pictures on the attaching technique. I assure you, its nothing that you can't handle. The most sewing I've ever done consisted of girl scout crafts in the 3rd grade and this turned out pretty okay! Neat!

PLEASE let me know if you have any questions about how I did something - I am mentally berating myself for lack of photographic evidence, so please let me know if you have any questions.


This Post linked back to :
Transformation Thursday and The Shabby Chic Cottage


  1. I have two chairs that I would love to brighten up....I am just a bit too nervous! I might actually give it a shot this summer!

  2. Believe me, If I can do this - ANYONE can! Let me know if I can offer any help/ tips at all!


    1. Have you ever attached the batting and upholstery by stapling directly to the frame?

  3. that turned out beautifully, but i also wanted to say i love the name of your blog! so cute!

  4. Thanks, girl! Thanks for stopping by!


  5. i LOVE this!! send to jersey please :)

  6. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case IĆ¢€™ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

    cheap nolvadex

  7. Love the results! We are are redoing our 4 dining chairs that have holey cane backs and upholstered cushions. Looking forward to giving this a try.


Leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you!