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We reckon an armchair is one of the first upcycling projects most people want to have a crack at. But it can also be the most daunting. So we’ve compiled some inspiration below to get your upcycling juices flowing. We also have two guides on offer once you’ve decided on what you want to do with your chair. The first guide is about ‘having a go’ at reupholstering an armchair and the other about how to paint one (see below).
Here are our top picks for ideas to upcycle your old and worn out armchairs!
Surprise on the Side
We love this idea to upcycle an armchair from just fine to just wow. This is a great project for using up fabric remnants from other projects that are eye catching and fabulous but maybe not hard wearing enough to be used as upholstery fabric for the seat area of the chair. This idea from Oh Everything Handmade is to use this eye popping fabric on the sides and the back of the chair. It certainly makes this chair a statement piece. We love it and we think the same principle could be used on the sides of a sofa or the back of a dining room chair to add some surprise factor and personality.
If you aren’t an upholstery pro try adding some decorative nail strips or other trim to cover any unsightly staples or using fabric glue instead of staples (though this might need re-touching sooner than if you used staples).
Personality on Display
This is a similar idea to the one above but in reverse, for those of you who want to make an even bolder statement. This will require a bit more of the expensive fabric, especially if you have more than one chair to do, but what an eye-catching statement. We’ve found some similar fabrics to try this with here:
Brave and Bold
Already have an armchair with velour, velvet or leather upholstery in good condition? Try painting the legs and adding a throw cushion with a matching or contrasting pop of colour. Go bold or go home we say! Want this yellow? Try this one we found. We picked a spray paint, to use this you’ll want to put a garbage bag or tarp over the chair, turn it upside down and tape around the top of the legs to keep the rest of the chair covered and safe from your bold paint choices. Then just spray and let dry. Instant makeover!
If your velour or velvet isn’t the colour you would like then try painting it – see the item below including a link for how to do it.
Paint it Perfect
You don’t always have to remove old upholstery to achieve a dramatic transformation. You can paint many fabrics including velour and velvet – what you are essentially doing is dying the fabric as most techniques advise watering down the paint a bit. So this won’t work if your upholstery is ripped, torn or bobbled, but if it is otherwise in good condition and you just want a change of hue then this could be the way to go.
This fabulous velour chair was painted from a dated and dull brown to this gorgeous teal blue. Alison West from Ayr Brushed has provided us with a tutorial for how to do this. So head here to see the dramatic before and after photos and the step by step guide. We warn you hands will get dirty with this one!
Classic Grey & White
We love this grey and white makeover from the DIY Mommy, it went from brown wood and orange upholstery to soft whites and greys. So unlike the bold ideas above maybe you have a chair that was bold in its time that needs a bit of modern toning down? Grey and white is a classic and we suspect it will stand the test of time longer than some other colour choices.
In Black and White
You read it in black and white folks, you don’t have to go colourful to go bold. Pick a houndstooth, stripe or geometric print in black and white and stand out from the crowd. We think a black and white armchair revamp would be perfect for a study or an office setting. There is something about bold black and white to focus the mind and make you feel productive!
Here are some of our black and white fabric finds: