Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery)

Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery) abeautifulmess.com        Stretching yourself is a part of life. A necessary, yet usually uncomfortable, part of life. I have this weird personality tension of always wanting to learn new things but hating situations where I don't know what I'm doing. Thankfully, the learner part of me usually wins, and I get myself into all sorts of new situations where I have to figure out something as I go and end up with a new skill/knowledge at the end.

I haven't explored the realm of DIY upholstery until this past year—it just seems so daunting I didn't even really want to try. But I got into a few projects where I really couldn't get the "wow factor" I wanted unless I learned to make some new cushion covers, so I decided to jump right in and see what I could come up with. I'm so glad that I decided to give it a try! I'm certainly not an upholstery wizard yet, but it does feel good to have a few simple projects under my belt. Like anything new, you feel more confident each time you do it successfully (even if it takes a few hundred tries to get it done right), and I love the satisfaction of having done something myself—isn't that a big part of what doing DIYs is about?Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery) abeautifulmess.com         We needed some new cushion covers for our styling room table and chairs. The white covers the chairs came with were too small and already dirty when we opened the box, so it seemed like a good idea to make some colorful replacements. Now, if this project had come up even six months ago, I would have yelled, "Not it!" and run away to hide somewhere in fear, but having already dived into the upholstry pool, I took the project on with excitement. Let's do it!Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery) abeautifulmess.com We used a super colorful blanket as the material for our covers. Thankfully, I could get all four covers made out of one blanket, but let me tell you, it was a tight squeeze!Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery) abeautifulmess.com  Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery) abeautifulmess.com    Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery) abeautifulmess.com   Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery) abeautifulmess.com     So I know you're probably wondering, "Well, how did you do it? How did you make the covers?" and I'm afraid that your answer is going to be a bit delayed. While I did manage to get the covers completed (and looking mighty fine if you ask me), the woven blanket material was really hard to work with and quickly unravelled as soon as it was cut and handled at all. I mean, threads were everywhere! So, this isn't the best project to show the process of upholstering, but the good news is that I have another chair makeover in the works that will totally show how to make your own awesome new cover—just remember, patience is a virtue….Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery) abeautifulmess.com           Learning New Skills (Adventures in Upholstery) abeautifulmess.com      It's no secret that we love color and patterns here at ABM, so these cushion covers are just what the doctor ordered for our little styling room. This room is really coming together (and we are still so obsessed with our DIY feather pendant light), and I can't wait to see how the rest of the finishing touches come out. Who knows, maybe I'll get to learn another new skill in the process—I hope so! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography by: Laura Gummerman & Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from The Signature Collection.

  • I’m in the process of buying my first home and you are such an inspiration for learning new DIY skills. I can’t wait to take on some new projects!

  • wow I love this diy project Laura. I have a really old chair from my grandpa. It’s so old that the straw is coming out and poking me in the butt 😀 I wanted it to be professionaly upholstered but over 100 euros. No way. So what I did is, I took a beige fleece blanket and wrapped it around the cushion. Pretty simple and it looks neat. I love it, but I know that I have to get it done professional in the future 😉
    Oh and I can totally feel you, I love to learn new skills, but I’m always afraid to try and when I finally started I’m like “Why havn’t I done this earlier, it’s so easy.” 😉

  • What a great idea to refresh and give new life to something! I love it! It brings so much energy to the room! Thanks for sharing.


  • Fun project! I absolutely love those seat covers!


  • So gorgeous. I redid my dinning chairs too but I used an industrial stapler. It was a fun project and super easy too. 🙂


  • Love love love the colour of these! I can’t wait to see the DIY for these, since I’m thinking of doing this to my computer chair, but want to see how intensive it might be first!

  • A quick google search on working with woven fabrics would have told you that you need to fray-check, interface or over-lock your fabric before cutting.

    Or isn’t Katie an accomplished sewer? A quick phone call?

    No offence, I know you’ve said it’s all about learning etc etc, but it seems like a waste of a blanket because as soon as these go in the wash they’re going to stretch out and get mishapen and look not good.

  • I seriously love you guys, and I may be a whimp, but for some reason that fabric gives me the creeps.

    I cant explain why, but great DIY none the less!


  • this is sucha great idea! How did I not think of doing this myself?

    francesca from

  • So smart! Love the bright print popping in the white room – such a European aesthetic – you guys nail modern Scandinavian eclectic style better than the Scandinavians!!


  • I’m still so obsessed with that feather pendant too! genius


  • Yes.

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    everything you guys touch turns to gold. The color against the black is genius and it might be killing me in the best kind of way

  • ^^ I do that every time! I always scroll up — mind you, as Beth said, you can usually figure it out by the content/style/photography

  • White + Brightly coloured patterns = Perfection! Love the chairs so much!


  • I love the look of this but really what I love about this blog is that you girls are always learning. I love to learn and you remind me all the time that even in the craziness of life, taking time to learn new things and make new things is so rewarding (and fun)

  • This is lovely! What a great idea to use a blanket for your material…must have been some very meticulous measuring and cutting! Great job!

  • As a full-time upholsterer myself, I think you did a great job!

  • Where do you find all that imagination or inspiration??? Everyday you surprise me a lot. Great job!

  • This is so fun, my quest to have a rainbow colored house is afoot! Great post!

  • This cushion covers are beautiful! I’ve been meaning to reupholster a chair that I have.. but seems like too big of a project.. and I’m afraid to mess it up :/



  • In love with the black ceiling and walls and how they make everything pop.

  • Amazing colors, nice detail in this simple deco!


  • THIS IS BEAUTIFULLY AMAZING AND AWESOME AND WONDERFUL. I can’t handle it. I’m running in the opposite direction of any sewing machine because I’m creatively inspired and mathematically challenged with a tinge of OCD. #thestruggleisreal So I’m kind of glad that you don’t have tutorial on this or else my tension would be toppin the charts! Good job, Laura!

  • Or at the bottom! I’ve seen posts where the writer is featured at the end of the article and it looks pretty. But yes, good idea! I usually have to scroll up mid-read to make sure whose work I’m reading.

  • Hi guys,

    Just a suggestion for you next web do-over… Could you put a thumbnail picture of the person writing the post next to it? Now that there are so many of you it’s getting a little confusing working out who is writing the post. Actually, you can work it out by the style and what’s being posted, but it’d be cool to be able to put a face to a post.

    Beth x

  • I really really love that lamp!
    And bookmarked the diy, so I can make it later.
    It is just so boho perfection.


  • I remember feeling so accomplished the first time I reupholstered my vintage dining room chairs. They were this brown pineapple and checker print from the 70s… which I actually didn’t mind, but my cat decided to use them as a scratching post.
    It’s so fun to transform things, and so simple! Love the print you chose for these.

    <3 dani

  • Looks great! I love the mid century modern set paired with this colorful rug- such an unexpected combination that looks fab!

  • I love the use of color here and that you aren’t afraid to use it! It looks so bold and pretty, I kinda want to steal them for my own, lol 🙂

    Love and luck,

    Laurali Star


  • You described by EXACT personality tension as well!I to am learning to get over it by trying things out but man oh man it is NOT easy!

  • Absolutely Beautiful! The contrast of the mod chairs and the old world style fabric is lovely! The black lines in the fabric really tie in the color of the walls. Well done!

  • i like how the more rustic fabric balances out the modern feel of the table and dark walls. contrast is always fun! excitedly awaiting your next tutorial!

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