Rocking Reupholstery

Updated: May 22

Let's just start with saying that I am not into floral fabric. I am typically drawn to more graphic patterns or something simple, like ticking fabric. But then, this chair found me. Well, technically, I found it at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago. I really loved the wood and the carving on the chair.

$20? What a deal!

That gold fabric? It had to go! Fortunately it was really clean, just not my taste. As I thought about what fabric I would use, I didn't really love anything in my current stash for this particular piece. For some reason it was telling me it wanted to have a floral print. Yep, floral. Hmmmm, where was that coming from? Maybe it was because spring was in the air, maybe it was because I knew I wasn't going to paint the wood. Maybe I have been spending too much time (never!) with my Goddaughter who is very passionate about floral fabric, which is why I have done some floral covered pieces in the past. Whatever the reason, I went in search of fabric with my Goddaughter. Now that girl that has a passion for floral fabric! When I told her I had envisioned a floral fabric (small print, muted colors) for this piece, she made it her mission to find one!


We struck out at Hobby Lobby, nothing was really calling my name. But as I was wandering the upholstery fabric aisles at JoAnn Fabric, I heard a squeal from a couple of rows over.

She had found it. THE perfect fabric. Small pattern, muted colored, but oh so lovely. It was perfect. This was so pretty, I had decided to buy the rest of the bolt. One small-ish problem—there was only a yard and an half left on the bolt. There were no other bolts of this fabric in the store. A yard and a half was plenty to do the rocking chair, but I thought I might use this on other projects (who AM I right now???). I bought what they had in stock and when I left the store, I ordered 12 more yards online from their website. And they sent me two yards. The rest was out of stock. Phooey. I will keep checking so I can have some in my stash.

Look how well this fabric complements the wood! So pretty. Enough admiration, I needed to get to work.

I removed the old tacks, taking care to avoid marring the wood. I saved all the fabric pieces so I could used them as patterns when cutting the new fabric.



After the fabric was removed, it revealed the old foam to be disintegrating. I removed the fabric covering the springs.

The twine tying the springs to the chair were mostly detached so I removed all the twine, and watched a YouTube video to remind me how to re-tie the springs.



After re-tying the springs I added upholstery webbing over the springs.

I used the old fabric as patterns to cut the new and began to attach it to the frame.


I added a little padding underneath the back of the chair.



I added a two inch piece of foam and batting on the seat and tacked down the fabric.

She is fresh as a daisy now—ready for the next 50-ish years.


I am not an expert upholsterer. I watch a lot of videos online and learn something new on each project. I make mistakes and have to pull out tacks and reposition. Paying close attention to how it was originally upholstered also helps me figure out how to add the new fabric. Just dive in on a small project and give it a try!



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Whether my junk is from a garage sale, estate or farm auction, flea market or the side of the road, I love to find it, fix it, clean it, sell it or keep it. So come along the backroads of Indiana with Junk is My Life (me), let's find something vintage and do something cool with it! Formerly Junk Journal.