Posts Categorized: Tips

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Staple Lengths

different staple lengths

Upholstery staples come in several different lengths. The most commonly used lengths are 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″. I like to keep a box of each at my station at all times so I can quickly swap out sizes when working on different parts of a project. Let me elaborate on how I use each of these staples »

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Reinforcing Panel Nails

panel tip cardboard tack strip

If you are unfamiliar with upholstered panels, let me give you a short explanation of how they work. Panels are often used to cover the front of arms or sides of backs on furniture pieces such as wingback chairs and camelback sofas. A panel nail is first punched through the bare panel before it’s covered in Dacron »

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Hanging Velvet

hanging velvet

Tip time! At Spruce, we often cut out many or all of the fabric pieces for a project before we start upholstering, which helps us be efficient with our time. When working with fabrics that crease or scar when folded, such as velvet and leather, it’s handy to set up a spot where you can »

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Making a Felt Tip Hammer

Sometimes you’ll find that your DIY upholstery project may include decorative nail head trim. Traditionally, a nylon-tipped tack hammer is the best tool for this job because of its lightweight and non-abrasive tip. If you find yourself in a pinch or you’re not ready to invest in this specialty tool, use this easy one-step tip. To »

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Padding Sawhorses

cover shot

Reupholstering can be rough on furniture. With all of the flipping and turning that goes on, it’s all too easy to nick the finished wood or painted surfaces by accident. Luckily, this problem can be solved by padding your sawhorses. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial to make your sawhorses furniture safe and super cute. »

A Note About Fabric Durability…

double rub blog

I was able to catch up on about 10 pages of fun posts over at Apartment Therapy this weekend, when I scrolled and clicked on the most useful article! I thought I’d share with you this nugget of golden information by Stephanie Strickland. Her article, “Durable Beauty: What You Should Know About The Martindale & Wyzenbeek Fabric »

How to Make a Party Hat!

Party hats after

Yay! It’s party day! If you haven’t heard yet, we’ll be having a party tonight at Mockingbird Domestics to celebrate the release of our long-awaited book: Spruce: a Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design. In the spirit of celebration, I made these festive party hats using some of the scrap fabric we have lying around »

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Attaching Double Welt

spruce-tip-hot-glue-weltcord-regulator_LG

When upholstering furniture that has an exposed staple line, double welt can be a handy helper. Of course, there are a couple of other options such as decorative nailheads or gimp, but if double welt cord is what you choose, then please allow me to give you a few pointers to make it look as »

Spruce Design Tip: Railroading Fabric

Hello patriots! Happy 4th of July to you all. A mid-week respite is just what the doctor ordered. Today I bring you a tip from the front of house. Clar and I spend quite a bit of time working with numbers, constantly measuring furniture and calculating the exact number of yards needed to complete each »

Spruce Upholstery Tip: How to Level a Skirt

This trick is simple yet very effective.  A small amount of string proved to be very helpful to Frank while attaching this waterfall skirt.  In cases like these, our eyeballs cannot be trusted to accurately tell if the skirt is level.  This fun little string trick ensures that you will get it right the first »

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Leveling Sinuous Springs

If you aren’t working with coil springs on your piece, you’re likely to come across sinuous springs. These puppies, otherwise known as zigzag springs, offer good support and bounce without requiring the skill and time of tying coil springs. Sometimes one sinuous spring just isn’t the same height as the others. You can spend loads »

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Wetting Leather

Tip time! I’ve had the pleasure of working with some pretty amazing leather this week.  Leather hides come in varying thicknesses and can sometimes be quite stiff. If you ever find yourself handling such leather, I’ve got a tip for you that you’ll thank me for later.  Water is the magic ingredient. Simply sponge water »

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Using a Hole Saw for Button Tufting

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Spruce Upholstery Tips

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Creativebug Creations: Ombre Napkins

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Tips and Tricks from the Sprucettes!

Here at the Spruce shop we are steady cranking out furniture.  While we like to make sure that our client’s pieces leave the shop in flawless condition, occasionally we have an unexpected “bump in the road” that needs resolving.  Through many heart-crushing experiences we have accumulated a handful of remedies for different complications!  I would »

Calling all Designers, Join us at Design Camp!

An exciting event will be coming to Austin from October 24-26! It’s called Design Camp, and if you’re an interiors fanatic, like we are,  you’ll feel like a kid in a candy shop! This three-day workshop is the brain child of celebrity designers Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis. Both have spent years mentoring interior designers »

Tip: Seat Cushion Remedies!

There are a few quick things you can do to make your limp, dehydrated cushions fabulous once again! Consider the next few cushion-rejuvenating activities to perk up your loose chair or sofa cushions. 1) Did you know that foam becomes dehydrated over time? You can rehydrate your cushion by steaming the foam with a high-steam »

Tip: Salvation For Your Wood-Framed Furniture

I don’t know why we haven’t mentioned it before, but we hold a couple products near and dear to our hearts here at Spruce. We use them daily to give new life to the most beat-up and dehydrated wood frames and tables that we encounter. Here they are folks: Howard Products: Restor-A-Finish: If you have »

Tip: Choosing a Fabric for Upholstery

There are those of us that have great difficulty visualizing a makeover, be it with interiors, paint color, or even upholstery. I often hear the musings from our customers, “I love this fabric, but what would it look like on my chair/sofa/ottoman?” For a quick illustration, check out the two different sets of dining chairs »

Sewing Tip!

This may sound too basic to really make a difference, but trust, try! You’ll see! We recently bought a hand-stapler from Capital City Upholstery Supply. I’m finding it particularly handy to “baste” my fabric together before sewing. Of course, there’s the traditional pinning method below… Or the other way with your brand new hand-stapler! While »

Check out the February Design*Sponge Post!

February’s Upholstery Basics column is up on Design*Sponge. Click HERE to learn how to transform your plain-Jane coffee table into an upholstered beauty! Take a look at these previous posts to learn tips and tricks for other upholstery projects: upholstery basics: boxed cushion sewing upholstery basics: picture perfect backs upholstery basics: leather bookshelf  

Class is back in session!

Now that the madness from the holidays has subsided, Clar and I are ready to get back to teaching classes!  We have a variety of courses that are sure to excite you.   Back by popular demand we will be hosting a  BYOC (bring your own chair) class, bench class, headboard class, and a lampshade class.   »

September Upholstery Basics is Live!

Constructing Coil Seats – Part II is officially up on Design*Sponge. Check out how to rejuvenate your tight seat HERE! ALSO, be sure to stay tuned tomorrow to Design*Sponge for registration and details for the Austin Design Sponge at Home book tour. That’s right, Grace is making a special stop in Austin, and it’ll be »

Industrial Strength Style

Working at Spruce has really provoked me to start questioning what exactly is my style of design.  I have never been able to put a defining label on my aesthetic or declare a favorite era.  Lately, I’ve been flipping through design books on my lunch break, and as I drool over the astounding rooms, I »

Do It Yourself…With the Help of Spruce!

[pe2-gallery] [/pe2-gallery]   I’ve always considered myself to be a do it yourself-er.  I find little to be more gratifying than being able to say, “Yep. I did that myself.”   I was super eager when Amanda asked me to be the proverbial guinea pig and test out the new DVD.  I was perfectly qualified for »

Top 5 Ingredients for the Perfect Custom Piece

Perhaps the best part of custom upholstery is the “custom.” And whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer like I am, or a “custom”er, there are five important ingredients that make a delectable recipe for the perfect custom piece. 1. The Frame Have you had your eye on Grandma’s sofa or a flea-market bargain? Before you inherit or »

Collaborative Blog Series THIS WEEK!

I am excited to announce that thanks to the leadership and coordination of Lia Fagan, designer and owner of Mod Nest, I will be joining forces with four lovely ladies who share my affinity for vintage and antique furniture. Each day this week, we’ll take turns sharing useful tips and tricks that turn our flea-market-finds »