10 Steps of Re-upholstery – Step 9 – Reconstruction: Applying Fabric to the Outside Surfaces

4 images showing attachment of seat front band

After your fabric is securely stapled to finish the inside surfaces of your DIY upholstery project (see Step 8 – Applying Fabric to the Inside Surfaces), it’s time to work on the outside fabric panels. If your chair has a Front Band attached to the front of the seat, attach this first:

4 images showing attachment of seat front band

The front band is attached over the secured vertical surface of the seat fabric


The next step is the outside arms:

3 images showing attachment of outside arm panel

Top: fabric attachment under arm with cardboard strip; Middle: this particular chair needs a cardboard panel to create a smooth surface; Bottom: dacron padding glued in place

2 images showing finished attachment of outside arm fabric

Outside Arm fabric stretched down over dacron creating a smooth finished surface

And finally, the Outside Back:

2 images showing attachment of outside back fabric

The outside back fabric is the last layer of upholstery cover fabric to complete your DIY project


image showing technique for hand stitching in upholstery

Hidden hand-stitching of final upholstery fabric layers is accomplished with a curved needle


2 chair images - upholstery complete

Two completed arm chair styles illustrating ‘tight’ upholstered seat (left) and deck with cushion (right)

The final finishing touch is attachment of the black bottom cloth or ‘dust cloth’ which is stapled to the underside of your chair (not shown). Finishing may also involve application of decorative tacks, trim or double welt.

And… Voila! You have finally finished – it’s time to place your new statement piece in its chosen spot so you can enjoy the comfort and beauty of your new accomplishment! Now, as you anticipate sharing it with your friends & family, don’t forget the final step… Step 10 – Celebrate!

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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 →

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