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DIY Antique Rocking Chair Recover

I apologize in advance for not taking anywhere near the amount of photos I should have for this project! I promise lots of description instead.

First, a little background about this great rockin chair and footstool. According to my mother, her grandmother (my great-grandmother, Yiayia Maria), brought this over from Greece (or may have purchased it shortly after her arrival in America -- details are a little hazy) in the mid 1920s. There are unfortunately no markings that I have found to indicate Greek or American origination.

When I was in middle school (mid-1990s), my mother had this rocking chair restored from the tatters it was in to this state:



I remember finding the footstool in my parents' attic sometime while I was in college (early 2000s) and decided to adopt it to my dorm afte a little recover. After the rocking chair came to live with me in Chicago around 2006, I found a scrap of fabric in mom's storage that matched the chair and recovered the footstool. Score!

Today, we are going to recover both pieces. Confession: When I did this project, I had only ever recovered the footstool -- no other pieces of furniture. I watched a couple of reupholstering YouTube videos to make me think I knew what I was doing, then I started to demo the pieces.

I lucked ou that, since mom had the chair professionally restored in the 1990s, I had a great base fabric to work with under the other layer:


As I pulled apart the chair, I left the lower layer of muslin intact to be my base for the new fabric. I used the old pieces of fabric I was removing as a pattern for the new pieces I was going to cut.

I found this great fabric in the "expensive section" (re: upholstering fabric section) of Hobby Lobby. 40% off coupon? Don't mind if I do. I ended up purchasing 3 yards of fabric for this project. Original price was $16.99/yard, but I had my 40% off coupon and ended up paying about $30.00 for all of the fabric.

I cut only three pieces of fabric for this whole project. 1) The front piece, which extends down the front and seat of the chair (see photo below); 2) The back piece which was one flat piece to cover the back side of the chair; and 3) the small piece for the footstool.

To attach the fabric to the base, you guessed it -- staple gun.

Seriously folks, do NOT separate me from my staple gun. I couldn't find it for the Motorola redo this past Monday and called The Captain in a panic while I searched. Crisis averted though. It was under the Master Bathroom sink. Exactly where you would expect to find it.

Back to the rocking chair. I stapled the fabric in a fairly neat line of staples only 1/2 between each so that I could create a flat surface to glue on the edging ribbon.


I also found this great white/gray ribbon at Hobby Lobby ($3.99/50 ft. spool) and used fabric glue to 'finish' the look around the front and back of the chair. I did not use the ribbon on the footstool.

Do you not LOVE this fabric? The background is a light gray and the printing is white and olive green. Which is a pain to try and match up for other upholstered furniture in the room -- this will likely result in a white sofa slipcover down the road, but that's OK, because I love this fabric that much.

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