Posts Tagged: upholstery how-to

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. »

Quick Tips for Perfectly Plump Pillows!

One of the most frequently asked questions at Spruce is, “How do I get that wonderfully plush look in pillows that designers love?” It’s easier than you think. Half the battle is getting the proper measurements for your insert, and I can tell you just how! First, you need to measure the pillow cover. Remember »

Spring Upholstery Classes at Spruce


Class is in session! That’s right; you’ve been asking about upholstery classes and now they’re back! Spruce is offering a variety of fun, hands-on classes this spring suitable for adults of all ages. With the exception of our chair class, all you have to do is bring your favorite fabric, lunch and comfy shoes and »

Tiny Chair Transformation

evelyn's Chair before 2

When I became an upholsterer, my family thought that they had hit the jackpot. But they soon realized their vision of having their own personal upholsterer was just a pipe dream. After three years at Spruce, I have finally completed an upholstery project for a loved one. I found this adorable vintage rocker at Vintage Tobacco »

Spruce Lampshade Video is on Creativebug!


You can now learn how to do more upholstery projects by going to Creativebug! Yes, this week the website, which curates a variety of video workshops focused on crafts, launches Amanda’s tutorials. The video featured this month shows Creativebuggers how to make a lampshade from scratch ($9.99). Eventually, the site will have instructional videos of Amanda’s upholstered »

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 »

HGTV Project: Geometric Upholstered Door

nailhead upholstered door

In January, one of my many fruitful encounters at Altitude Summit SLC was meeting a lovely lady from HGTV. Liz took our lampshade class and was so excited by her DIY experience, we decided to team up and produce original upholstery projects for the HGTV website. First up is this showstopping Geometric Door.

Spruce Upholstery Tip: Attaching Double Welt


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 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 »

Upholstery Class at Spruce

A few weeks ago, we did some teaching at the Spruce workshop, and boy, did we have a good time.  We had four fun personalities which led to many funny times. We actually got a little work done, too. Everyone left with a much different chair than they walked in with.  The makeovers were rather »

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 Tips

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Upholstery Lessons at Spruce

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Upholstery Lessons at Spruce

Spruce has been helping ambitious do-it-yourselfers tackle their upholstery projects for several years now.  We recently expanded the possibilities of upholstery education by removing any and all restrictions on what type of furniture is permitted.  From spring tying to cushion sewing, the possibilities are endless.  During our first round of upholstery lessons, our lovely pupils, »

Bring Your Own Chair Class

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and has recovered from their holiday splurge.  I may need a couple of more days to detox my body from the massive portions of gumbo and cornbread dressing that I consumed. A couple of weeks ago we held our last “bring your own chair class” for the season.  »

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 »

October’s Lampshade Class!

Everything about last week’s lampshade was unorthodox.  There were only 2 students, one teacher, and a lampshade switcheroo right in the middle of the class.  Amanda and Meredith were busy at Design Camp so Clar manned the Spruce ship, and I flew solo as the lampshade professor.  But you know that class was a blast!  »

A Chair Affair!

We’ve done it again!  Another successful chair class for the books.  We had a very colorful crew of five ladies who kept Clar and I very entertained.  The transformations were grand…we made these sad chairs turn their frowns upside down.  Take a gander… [pe2-gallery class=”alignleft” ] [/pe2-gallery] Robin is no stranger to Spruce classes.  We »

Tools of the Trade!

Where would we be without our tools?  Just as a doctor has his instruments, so too do we here at Spruce.  All of the Sprucettes/Sprucer are very talented individuals but, alas, we are not superheroes, therefore, we must seek a little help from our tool friends.  Recently, we played a little game called “what’s your »

Lampshade Party!

August has turned out to be quite a ‘lampshade-y’ month for us here at Spruce.  We produced several new cuties for the shop, Amanda did a step by step DIY lampshade tutorial for Design*Sponge, and Clar and I just taught a lampshade class.  If you have yet to experience the pleasure of taking a class »

A lesson from our elders

  A few weeks ago our intern Gabrielle brought us a great treat: she found these cool and super old upholstery books.  As you would imagine we were all quite engrossed with it.  We geek-ed out as only true upholstery/furniture lovers could.  The first book, Essentials of Upholstery, was written by Herbert Blast in 1928.  »

Bring Your Own Chair Class!

It’s time for another installment of BYOC recap!  After a brief hiatus from classes, Clar and I were happy to welcome a new group of eager upholstery enthusiasts into our class room.  We had a variety of styles of chairs to work with and they all turned out beautifully.  Take a look at the before »

Benches Galore!

Hey there Spruce fans.  I thought that I would take a moment to show you what you are missing out on.  Our classes are so much fun and  will teach you a variety of skills that you can apply to other DIY projects.  We just held yet another successful bench class this past Friday, and »

Lampshade and Chair Class!

We’ve completed yet another lampshade and chair class and as always we had a great time.  The lampshade class was easy breezy laid back fun.  The class wasn’t full so we all shared a table and  chit chatted while making making lampshades. The special treat for that day was homemade banana pudding. Last weekend’s chair »

Headboards and Benches…Oh My!

We have been busy busy busy at the shop cranking out client and retail pieces, so our classes have been a welcome interruption.  During the past few weeks we have hosted a bench class and more recently a headboard class.  These two classes are pretty cool because you literally show up with nothing and leave »

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.   »

Christmas Affair!!!

Listen up folks…If you love Christmas as much as Amanda and I do then you need to get your booty to the Palmer Events Center.  Starting today through Sunday, Spruce will be among the 200 vendors at the 36th annual Christmas Affair.   We have been counting down the days to reveal some of our new »

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 »

Upholstery Video Tip #1: Labeling Your Chairs

Get excited, because starting now Spruce is going to offer you the tricks of the trade! We will posting upholstery video tips from Spruce periodically, giving you the need-to-know info when it comes to redesigning your furniture. These tips will vary from furniture to fabric and tons more! With as many projects as we have »