Upholstery - Upcycled Chairs CityEast College

Course Outline

Transform that chair with ‘good bones’ into a beloved feature in your home. Whether you go funky or traditional, this course provides practical introduction to the craft of upholstery as you take your simple chair from drab to fab. Learn the techniques needed to reupholster a chair and acquire the confidence and skills to tackle new projects on your own.

Bring your chair to this workshop style course where you will be guided by a traditional craftsperson and artist. You may just want to recover your chair with fabric, or you may elect to do a complete stripping down and rebuilding of your upholstered areas. Your project can be big or small, but please be mindful that you will need to take your project home at the end of each session and not all projects will be able to completed in the allotted time.

Basic materials (excluding upholstery fabric) and tools required will be supplied and are included in the course fee. Some chairs may require specialty materials, this will be discussed at the first class and guidance will be given as to what additional items you will need and how where to get them from.

A couple of pointers to help you select your chair:

  • When selecting your chair it is important to make sure the timber frame is structurally sound, no wobbles or loose legs etc.
  • For a complete reupholstery job (i.e. rewebbing, stuffing, etc), choose something that has one or two flat planes – a seat and a back – as curves and arms are more complex and take longer to achieve. However if you are doing a recover of the top fabric only, your project may include arms.
  • Examples of suitable projects for reupholstery: dining chairs, bedroom chairs, ladies, gentlemen’s and occasional chairs, ottomans, footstools, piano stools.
  • When choosing you chair please consider that you will need to take your chair home each week as there is no storage space available for projects tobe left onsite.

Any questions regarding your chair choice can be emailed to

NB: Depending on your chair and your own working pace, some projects may not be able to be completed within the timeframe. If your project is more ambitious and requires re-springing, stitched edges, buttons or piping, advice will be given to help you complete work in your own time. Alternatively you can re-enrol in the next 4 week workshop.

Ideal for...

Anyone who wants to get started on a simple chair upholsery project as well as those with basic skills who want to tackle more complex upholstery projects.


  • Complete a simple chair reupholstery.
  • Gain fundamental upholstery skills

What to bring

  • Bring your own chair to work on. (see tips for chair choice above)
  • Leather or hardy canvas gloves (gardening or riggers gloves are perfect). You will use them for the strip down so they don’t need to be new or particularly clean.
  • A notebook and pencil.
  • A bottle of drinking water.
  • An old blanket.
  • Plenty of enthusiasm.
  • Closed shoes must be worn.


Specialised tools are available for use during class, but to if you have any of the following please bring them along:
• Pliers
• Wooden Mallet
• Ripping chisel – this can be an old chisel – no longer required for chiselling.
• G clamps
• Staple Remover
• Staple Gun
• Pincers
• Magnetic hammer
• Webbing stretcher or canvas stretcher

About your tutor

Fiona is an upholsterer and sculptor who is enthusiastic about sharing knowledge of both her trade and artistic practice. Originally trained in Traditional Upholstery at the London College of Furniture, she ran her own business restoring antiques for private clients before moving to Australia.

In 2009 Fiona graduated from the National Art School, Sydney and now divides her time between making sculpture and practicing her craft as an upholsterer.

Fiona has had a broad spectrum of experience teaching both children and adults. She has run upholstery studio sessions and workshops for adults, tutored HSC visual arts students and for many years ran art classes for young children.

Other information

All courses need a minimum number of students to run. If your course does not have enough students it will be cancelled prior to the commencement and you will be informed. For your convenience information about class cancellations or changes are made initially via email and SMS, please ensure these details are correct.

This course has no current classes. Please to be notified of vacancies and similar courses.

  • Course testimonials
    I learnt a new skill with a great teacher who is inspiring and passionate.
  • Course testimonials
    Individual attention, small class size.