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Beginner Chair Upholstery Workshop

3 images of beginner chair under deconstruction

Let us help you reinvent your piece! Learn how to repair, restore & restyle your own Beginner Level Chair!

Register now.

Class includes a 2-hour Prep-class two weeks before the 2-day Workshop.

3 people working on chair upholstery

Students work on their chairs during the workshop in Carla’s studio

2 views - student & chair - before and after

Before & After: Deb chose a 50’s style rocker from our inventory to restore

Carla is such a resource for Livingston. This class was a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of upholstery and it came at the perfect time. I’d been fascinated in furniture for a while and was excited to find the course shortly after moving to town. The class size was small, so each student received individualized attention and guidance in addressing the intricacies of their chairs. Carla brought each of us through the process of upholstering our chairs step by step. I’m not a seamstress, so I was nervous about sewing. Carla showed me how to sew the welts, accurately measure the pieces, join the fabric, stretch the burlap & tack and staple the upholstery. I ended up with a beautiful chair that I’m super proud of.”

–Cheryl Watson Cooney, Livingston, MT
Beginning Upholstery Class Student

Before taking this class, I was unsure how to measure my project to figure out how much fabric I needed. Carla’s worksheets provided a handy outline for how to measure and lay out my fabric to be sure I didn’t over-buy. This class also clarified for me how to make and sew cording into my cushion-top ottoman. I am more confident about tackling my next project and meanwhile enjoying putting my feet up!

–Lill Erickson, Livingston, MT

Ottoman from Upholstery Class
3 images of beginner chair under deconstruction

Carla demonstrates deconstruction of a beginner-level dining chair

How do I know if I have a ‘Beginner Level Chair’? A Beginner Level Chair has open/un-upholstered arms (or no arms).

Note: All chairs must be pre-approved prior to registration.
Please read the Class Policies before registering for the class.

Don’t have a chair? Check out the chairs we have available for students here. Thrift store pricing makes these affordable!

4 chair images

4 examples of chair styles acceptable for the Beginner Chair Upholstery Workshop

Three sessions: Session 1:  (2 hours) – Bring your pre-approved chair (see examples on this page of chairs suitable for the class). In this two hour Prep-class we will walk through the steps of beginning deconstruction of your chair. Learn how to evaluate your chair’s frame condition and how to measure and calculate how much fabric & foam to buy for your project. You will take home a customized fabric layout map for your project to assist you with the homework of purchasing your fabric in preparation for the second session. (scheduled 2 weeks later). If we determine that your chair needs structural repairs, a new plywood seat foundation, or refinishing/repainting you will be advised on options for how to get this done or do it yourself before the second session.

HOMEWORK: 1. Purchase fabric & new foam (if needed) 2. Deconstruction: remove the old fabric from your chair 3. Complete any repairs and refinishing/repainting that your frame requires, if necessary – prior to session 2 4. Optional: cut out your fabric using your completed layout map and detailed instructions from the Prep-class

Session 2 & 3: two consecutive days – 2 weeks later (8 hrs/day) – Bring your chair, fabric and padding materials that you purchased after the first session. We will walk through the steps of fitting & attaching your new padding & fabric to your chair frame, including any stitching required such as welt or minor piecing of sections, as necessary. Participants will work independently on their projects with support & hands on instruction personalized to each person’s project. Throughout the class, individual challenges will be addressed to provide a learning experience for the entire class.

2 images: chrome-framed chair before & after reupholstery

The possibilities for your chair’s new look are endless…

Note: Fabric & padding materials will be optionally available for purchase from Instructor Carla Pyle’s studio with a student discount.

*** Important: Your registration signifies your agreement with all Class Policies. Your chair must be pre-approved before the class: please email a photo of your chair to carla(at)livinghomefurniture(dot)com or call Carla at 406.224.4057

We provide:

  • use of all tools and sewing machines, thread, spring twine, tufting twine, staples, adhesive, covered button molds and hot glue
  • professional tips & tricks of the trade
  • helpful charts & handouts that you can take home for future reference
  • a memorable experience and and skills you can use throughout your life

You provide:

  • your pre-approved chair
  • upholstery fabric, foam and embellishments such as decorative nails & trim – amount to purchase is determined in the Prep-class
  • A nominal fee will be applied to these extra materials used in class: jute webbing, dacron batting, cotton batting, burlap, welt cord, zippers, springs and muslin
  • a willingness to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty!

Nothing beats the satisfaction and fun of restoring a chair in your own unique style and making new friends in the process!

DIY upholstery class student with chair before & after re-upholstery

Leslie with her chair Before & After the Beginner Chair Workshop


Beginner Chair Upholstery Workshop
Instructor: Carla Pyle
Class size: 3-4 
When: 
Begins with a 2-hour prep class Thursday, Jan 26, 2017 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, followed by a full weekend workshop Sat & Sun, Feb 11 & 12, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm both days.
Where: Carla’s Studio, Livingston, MT
Workshop fee: Single participant: $285 or take advantage of a Bring-a-Friend discount ($259 each when you and one friend sign up together, or $229 each when you and two friends sign up together).


Number of Participants




Check out the Class Policies to bring yourself up to date before registering for the class. (Note: your registration signifies your agreement with all Class Policies)… So appreciated!

Note about Beginner Chair class offerings: This class is currently being offered in September and February. Watch the class calendar for dates. Other times are available by request: get 3 friends together and we’ll make a date! Also, if you have a group of friends who would like to do a class around a theme (like, say, wedding or birthday) or just want to CREATE your own chairs together, contact me (Carla) to schedule a special class just for your group!

Note about mailing list: If you’re not already on the mailing list, be sure to sign up to be reminded of important dates & class schedules, and to receive upholstery tips, design ideas, free video content and more!

See more about other class offerings.

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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