10 Steps of Re-upholstery – Step 8 – Reconstruction: Applying Fabric to the Inside Surfaces

2 views showing first steps in applying upholstery cover fabric

When applying the new cover fabric to your DIY upholstery project, you will begin with the inside, or the surfaces you are in contact with when sitting in your chair.

2 views showing first steps in applying upholstery cover fabric

This chair’s cushion will sit atop the deck, which is the first layer to be applied, followed by the inside arms


2 views showing first step in applying upholstery cover fabric

This chair’s seat has no cushion – instead of a deck, the ‘tight’ seat is the first layer to be applied


A general rule of thumb is to always begin with the seat, following the reverse order of removal of the old fabric. This is a handy time to refer to your notes and photos from Step 4 – Deconstruction if you have them.


2 views - applying upholstery cover fabric to inside arms & back

The cover fabric is applied to the inside arms next, then the inside back. Note that part of the inside arm will overlap the inside back as it wraps around to the outside


The majority of the fabric attachment will involve stapling the fabric to the frame or wood elements.


2 views - back & front showing button attachment to inside back of chair

Covered buttons are attached to your chair after all inside fabric is secured

If there is any machine stitching to do – such as making welt (also known as piping), stitching panels together or sewing a cushion cover, it will be completed in this step or in the next step.

Previous: Step 7 – Fabric Layout & Cutting
Next: Step 9 – Applying Fabric to the Outside Surfaces

About the Author

CarlaHey there! I'm Carla Pyle. I love the stories that our furniture tells. For me a picture of my Granddaddy Milton's green upholstered arm chair brings to mind the vivid rhymes & colors of 'The Cat in the Hat' and his soft low voice in the telling. I love too that there is always an element of nature in furniture - the warm-toned curving grain of a walnut leg or the reflection of life in a mid-century chrome piece. The best part of teaching & sharing natural upholstery is that it ties all of these things together. Stories - of individual experience and of the planet - help us build happy & healthy homes.View all posts by Carla →