Out Of The Workshop – Upholstery A Lost Art

Did you know that we have a workshop? Yes, our Refab Workshop occupies part of our loft space. It is a place where the team gets to transform the older beat-up pieces we can’t even give away, into fabulous new treasures revamped and ready to give joy for a few more decades. It is very exciting to go into the workshop and see what amazing new pieces are brought to life every day! 

Throughout our ten years of consigning, we have had the opportunity to save many things and we hate to throw out any potential treasures. So, we have collected many pieces of this, and piles of that, which we love to add to a project to give it some more character. There is nothing more ReFabulous than designing for sustainability. The ReFabulous consignment process has also given us the opportunity to acquire items and tools from several retiring upholsterers. Now that is a lost art if there ever was.

Sadly, I do have to say, NO we do NOT do reupholstering that is one “RE” we are not willing to fully participate in. It is not that we don’t want to, it’s just that we don’t want to. It is hard, time-consuming, and expensive. The new materials (especially foam and cushions) are expensive. And it’s hard on your fingers and it’s really hard and it’s so time-consuming and well, I think you get the picture. But luckily for me every once in a while, there is a piece that comes that just speaks to Nancy, one of our workshop artists, and she is inspired to get her tacks and hammer out.

So, these pieces came in a few months ago and we did our best to sell them. But several months and major markdowns later the chairs were still here and the beautiful ornate bones were too beautiful to send to the landfill. So, we applied our workshop magic to them and now they are ready to bring someone delight for many more years!

Here Are Our Basic Reupholstery Tips


Carefully remove fabric and tacks/staples


Use the old fabric as your pattern


Reuse stuffing whenever possible


Get a good electric stapler or pliers and tacks


Pull and tack from all sides to create a tight fit 


A small hammer is a must and the right tacks make all the difference

Good luck and BE PATIENT – All mistakes are good opportunities to learn and honestly enhance any DIY project.

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