DIY Fabric for Upholstery

Vulnerability is always quite uncomfortable, right?  I’m feeling it as I give a little peek of the unfinished studio.  But I thought I would ease into it gradually by starting with some DIY fabric projects there.  First off, bleach + fabric!

These chairs were brown and ugly before.  Now the pair is a cross of a starry-starry night and your favorite 80s mom jeans.  I’d say that makes for a cool combo.  I first tested several solid blue swatches with bleach before buying this twill that took the spray beautifully.  I bleached the yardage before upholstering.

[Chair sniffs, “Why do you take my photo at this angle…it makes my bottom look so big!”]

Chair #2 has two removable upholstery panels that were previously covered in zebra.

Oh, and a little tangent real quick:  I’m indecisive on where to put the art.  See?

I used gesso to paint the pattern on canvas.

It swivels, ya’ll!

Remember this $10 chair from Scott’s?

Pam of My Happy California suggested I just paint the chair instead of reupholstering it.  She is genius!  I covered the chair first in primer and then a semi-gloss latex paint.  Then…

…I invited my kids, friends, husband to draw silly faces all over it with a Sharpie.  I’m still working on filling in all the spaces with doodles.  Cheap therapy!

 Bleach, gesso, Sharpie–nothing is sacred!  And, you better believe we aren’t taking anything serious at the studio.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. this post made me soooo stinkin’ happy!
    I am giddy over your loft adventures, and living vicariously through you.

    oh, and I am not the only one.
    My children are now going to want to live vicariously through your children:

    they long to taste the forbidden fruit:

  2. LOVE them all, but especially the sharpee chair. Years ago when I was very young and impressionable, my father took me to a party at the beach house of some fabulously wealthy friends of his. Elvis Costello on the stereo. Lots of art (the man of the house was the curator for a local museum and the entire family collected art). And the downstairs bathroom had something I have dreamed about ever since: walls covered in quotes, drawings, pictures, doodles and squigglies by various guests of the house over the years. I was in LOVE with that bathroom. I have fantasies about doing the same thing with the bath we plan to install in our basement during its massive renovation.

    Sharpees are just wonderful. That chair embodies it all–the humor, the humanity–of collective art-making. I love it!

  3. Lazy Susie says:

    Chair #1, when I see you, I know that the 80s left their mark on Angela. Chair #2, you are perfect and so, so smart to make your upholstered dots removable. I think that I saw you at a Mensa mtg. Your cousins live at my house. Chair #3, you’re workin’ it! Keep on keepin’ on!

    (Mr Skull looks much better on the dresser peeking out. A little warmer too.)

  4. Really, you have the soul of an artist. No question about it. Your makeovers are amazing, Angela. Truly. And you are such an inspiration. The last chair is so fabulous and reminds me of a Wary Meyers handpainted chair that I dream of reproducing. Seen this?

    Can I commission one??? 😉

  5. Hi! I’m an upholstery teacher, etc. may I repost your projects on my blog? Giving all the proper links and credit to you, of course?
    Shelly Leer

  6. Ack! You amaze me! I so love that you take “risks” {not sure that’s the right word, but I’m hoping you know what I mean} and let your creativity fly! It’s so inspiring! I’m totally in love with the Sharpie chair!

  7. Nelya nudged me and told me to take a look pronto-like at your post — and it’s more thrilling than she said! Your fabrics are stunning!!! I love them. You are a genius, girl. Could we come for a studio tour some time???? It’s gotta be totally fabulous!

  8. Wow! Super easy and great solutions to chairs! Love it! You are very creative and resourceful !

  9. I can’t decide if the bleach spot chair or the sharpie chair is my favorite…they’re both SO great!!

  10. Oh Angela, I love it all sooooo much! The chairs are amazing. Maybe we should start a new blog–‘sharpie designs’ (obviously, you would come up with a much more creative blog name…) I can’t wait to see more!

  11. I know your space makes me so happy and can’t wait to see it in person. I too am dying over that sharpie art on the fabric..reminds me of a box I still can not throw away. I truly love everything about this space. it is a little edgy and were better to express yourself then here at the loft.

  12. Peggy says:

    I love how all the chairs turned out! I especially like the last one where the family was included in the artwork. What a neat idea! May I borrow your kids this summer for some redecorating at my house?

  13. margaret says:

    Love the Sharpie chair! I have a leather chair I would like to try this on – could you tell me what primer you used? Also, does the paint crack at all when you sit on it?

  14. I’ve got beach weekend laziness (yep it’s Wednesday) and then I see this post…zing! pow! all energy. Love your chairs, the sharpee chair, come on, amaaazing.

  15. Wow! Such fun chair updates….so clever and low cost/high style!

  16. I have been thinking about this post all week. Looking for something/anything in my house I can splatter paint or doodle on. I am continually impressed with your creative mind and abilities. You make my happy heart pitter patter. My hero!

  17. Goo Lord…these chairs are amazing…..talent up the wazoo…..wherever that is :)

  18. Pam Carolus says:

    I was so inspired that i found a cheap vinyl chair and set out to work. It is so much fun to doodle on a chair. My biggest worry was that it would be uncomfortable to sit in- not the case- the paint does not change the comfort level. I did find that markering was hard on the markers though. Too fun to stop!!! My wondering is if the color will last for the long hall??? Anyone have an answer????

  19. Patrice Angiuli says:

    Incredible and I love it!

  20. Millie says:

    Love the idea. Question… does it rub off when you sit on it… Can clothes actually be ruined by the sharpie ink? I thinking of re-doing some old vinyl chairs… HELP!

  21. There’s simply no need to get worried about your dog when booking these sleeper trains, as dogs travel on the
    sleeper train with regard to a €30 fee paid to the particular staff on board, as long
    because you and your celebration have booked a new whole
    sleeper or even couchette compartment (so if you’re alone, you may
    need a single-bed sleeper).

  22. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people
    you really know what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked.
    Kindly additionally discuss with my website =). We can have a hyperlink exchange agreement among us

Speak Your Mind