I actually got this work finished last Sunday, but have been so distracted that I haven't been able to get the post up all week. I steadily feel this project coming to a close. In my last blog I had done most of the work on the couch without mistake. The main piece of fabric that went on the couch didn't really want to cooperate though. So it was definitely the most frustrating piece of I had to put on. I even got so mad I had to quit, do something else for a bit, and then return.
One thing I do have to say is the compressor, while awesome, does have a downside... When you staple with a compressor and it's heavy duty staples, they aren't coming back out. So it really doesn't lend itself to mistakes very well. For a first time upholsterer, that proved unwise on one piece. I was doing so well! But when I tackled the middle piece I stapled prematurely and it resulted in a giant problem for me to try and work around. I kept at it and definitely prevailed.
After the middle piece was on, then I just had to put the back of the couch on, followed by the cover along the bottom of the couch. Both of those pieces were giant and square, so I didn't feel they would be too difficult (and was right). Here are some pictures of my latest and greatest steps!
A few bits of advice from these few pieces:
1-Get complicated fabric placed before you staple
I can't tell you how much I really wish I would have done this!
2-Staple low on the wood
What does this even mean? Well, when I would be putting on a piece of fabric, I'd pull it around and staple it pretty close to the edge of the wood as soon as I reached it. This isn't wise because if you pull the fabric farther across the wood and then staple, it makes it easier to cover the staples with whatever piece will be serving at the "finished edge".
On the back of the couch, I had to pull the fabric as far as I possibly could to get it to the very, very edge of the wood so that it covered the stapling from previous pieces. Had I been more generous earlier with these parts, it would have been less complicated. I'm not sure if this makes sense to the general reader... but if you start upholstering, I think you will see exactly what I mean.
Basically its like wrapping a present. Have you ever cut the sides a little too short and when you went to fold them, part of the present showed through the side? That same concept, except you don't necessarily see the couch frame, but all of your staples that should be underneath.
3-Clean tools are a good idea
One of my favorite parts of the couch was using the tack strips to create the finished edge on the back of the couch. You poke it through the fabric and roll it to create a nice edge and use a rubble mallet to hammer it in. Quite easy, quite fun. The rubber mallet I was using was a touch dirty. I didn't even stop to think about that! So after a few hits, I noticed the fabric was getting dirty. :( So then I tied some scrap fabric around it and continued, this time with no dirty rub off.
Just a few things left and I'll be through! I need to sew the cushions and pillows, then figure out what I'm doing with the front of the arm rests... The light is at the end of the tunnel and I'm definitely excited to be done with this project and move onto some other creative ideas I have.
To learning from your mistakes,
5 years ago