Upholstering 2 Chairs For My Living Room #12: The Inside Arms

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by MarkTheFiddler posted 02-02-2014 04:05 AM 980 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Padding the Arms Part 12 of Upholstering 2 Chairs For My Living Room series Part 13: Form and Pad the inside back. »

We have formed the arms. We have padded the arms. What’s left? Fabric!

I have four cut pieces labeled IA or inside Arm.. I just threw it on top of a padded arm and started laying it out like a bedspread.

It looks like there is plenty of fabric to reach under the arm but very little fabric staple down.

I’m going to sew a “pull” onto it.

Funny thing Is I had the opportunity to be real selective about where I wanted ‘what’ stripe on the inside arm. I didn’t give it a thought. I just started stapling.

Just kidding! I decided to put this at the front of the arm.

Holding by selection in place I smoothed out the fabric to about the center of the arm and added a few staples.

I worked from that center to to within a few inches of the front of the arm and a few inches from the back of the arm.

I then threw stuffed the bottom of the arm (with the green pull) into the slot under the arm.

I added 3 staples so I could see how things were shaping up.

Back around to look at the inside and I see the have created some ripples. That’s totally expected because we are pulling the fabric on fairly tight.

Now can do some of my smoothing tricks. I smooth the fabric at the bottom of the chair forward, while my other hand pulls it tight from outside arm.

A few holding staples on the other side.

We already went through a big snipping class on the deck and seat so I’m going to let you review as you clip the arm fabric so we can tuck it under neatly and wrap around to the front of the arm.

Ok – it’s getting late – I’ll flesh this post out soon.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

2 comments so far

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2211 days

#1 posted 02-08-2014 01:45 AM


It’s been hard to dedicate some time to this blog during the week because I been havin’ fun! I’m trying a little carving. So far – Looks like hell. :)

Last time we laid the inside arm on the chair and stapled it down in a few places. The whole front of the arm is still loose. Let’s get that stapled down.

We’ll start where we left off. I only added a couple of staple to the bottom side, front arm.

Now I’m going to pull the fabric medium up and medium forward, I just want to see if my stripes will shift as I start stapling.

That looks almost perfect, I’ll just throw in a staple right now.

While I’m at it – I’ll staple it from the bottom staples to the top staple.

Warning! I’m going to use a cover up on the front of the arms. I need to make sure the staples, cuts and whatever “Mess” I make on the front of the arm will not be exposed. This picture jumps way ahead but it shows a little of what I’m talking about. It is just a cardboard template.

Ok back to this blog.
I’m going to pull the fabric up a little more. I don’t want to get odd stretches or loose fabric but I need about two more inches.

Don’t staple just yet. Fold the fabric into a pleat and see if you like it.

If you like it – staple it. Woo Hoo!

In fact – keep testing and stapling.

Make sure you have enough fabric to hit the outside rail of the arm – OR you don’t a bunch of excess. If you have either problem, carefully remove your staple to the first pleat and try again.
Here was my first try. Not too shabby – that is – unless – you don’t like my one handed, I-phone photography.

I can now staple more of the front.

I didn’t staple all the way to the end yet because I have a small snip to make. Go EASY on this one. TEST each fraction of material you snip.

Pull the fabric at the snip forward medium and ever so slightly down. You can add a few more staples.

That’ll do it! Here is another nasty photo showing the stripes from the inside of the arm. I maintained them through out. That thing on top of the arm is my hand blocking most of the glare.

Front of arm – Complete! Let’s get the rest.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2211 days

#2 posted 02-08-2014 02:21 AM

I have a big mess of fabric at the back of the arm.

The first thing I want to do is fold all of it neatly toward me. On this chair, there is a gap between the top of the arm and the back. I tucked it in a little.

I cut the fabric straight back on the inside part of the arm. Notice the wooden support for the back of the chair. Check out which side I made the cut on.

Warning! If I had cut on the other side of that back board, I would be removing the entire arm and starting over.

I checked out the outside part of the arm and I see a little snipping will be required.

And there it is.

I also started to tuck the fabric into the slot at the back of the arm so I can see where I’ll need another snip.

I cut the fabric toward my snip point. (Where the fancy pointing finger was)

And I just tucked all that in.

At the bottom tuck I smoothed the fabric down (smoothing method) then pulled out the slack at the bottom and stapled.

I also stapled the whole inside arm down through the back slot.

Now – I have a wrestling match. I didn’t like the way they tailored the chairs on the exposed side at the back. I want to maintain some of the curved shape and give it a few pleats.

I had a little bit of scrap cotton with me to help shape the arm here. I had to play with it. I added a few staples here and there then removed them. I did add a little fluff of cotton to help me keep the shape. I went under the Dacron to avoid lumps. In other words, I messed with it enough so I can’t give you precise picture of the process. It was trial and error. 3 attempts. BUT – they were quick attempts. I didn’t like what I saw the first 2 times so I tried again.

And Finally.

Now – a quick word about matching. This fabric is a one direction stripe, There is a definite UP direction and a definite Right left direction. It is impossible to match the arms to each other unless I put one arm on upside down. Just lay the fabric for the second arm out and look across the arms. You can play with how you lay it out until you are pleased.

You are not going to believe how long I took putting the fabric on the second arm. It was less than 12 minutes. ;) Don’t race me. It took me almost an hour and a half for the first one as I thought about how I might show you HOW I do it. Spend some time thinking about ‘How’ Before you make any cuts.

Mom told me once as I complained about ironing my own pants – Well actually after I sheepishly STOPPED complaining, Most of the ironing work should be done before you ever pick up the iron. Hope that helps. Next time we work on the Inside back.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics