Project Notes: Welting

Making welting is really easy to do and since I’m adding it to Tessa’s desk chair, I thought I’d share the process here.

1. First, I had to determine how much cord is needed.  For the chair, I measured the perimeter of the seat which is 58″.  I used about 62″ of cording to make sure I have plenty of welting and can trim down the excess in the finishing.

I purchased 1/4″ cotton cord from JoAnn’s and I found this great purple fabric in their remnants section.

2. To create the welting, I also needed a 2″ x 62″ strip of fabric to wrap the cording in.  My fabric is only 45″ wide so I cut two 2″ wide strips and sewed them together.

I love using my Omnigrid and rotary cutter for projects like this.  Both are quilting tools and make measuring and cutting quick and easy.

3. Once I had my fabric cut out and pieced together, I placed the cord on the fabric.

4. Then I folded it in half like a taco.  You don’t need to pin this all together, but I put a couple of pins in so that I could get a good photo of the cord tucked into the fabric.

5. My sewing machine has a special foot for sewing with decorative trims.  However, I learned on my last machine that a zipper foot also works well.

6. Starting 2″ inches from the top, I stitched the entire length of the cording.  Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t pin the cording into the folded fabric.  That would be SOOO tedious and is really unnecessary.  Instead, I take my time and make sure the cording is tucked in where I want it as I sew.  I left the last 4″ open.

New welting for our chair!

7. Next, it’s time to add it to the seat.  Starting at the back end of the seat (so I can hide my seams), I left a 2″ tail and stapled my welting to the edge.

After going around the edge with my staple gun, I stopped a few inches from where I started.

These next steps are where the real magic happens!

8. The two ends of the cording need to come together and be joined.  This is why I left the ends of the welting unstitched.  Both ends are a little longer than I need them to be so that I have some play to get them the exact length I want.

9. Lining them up side by side, I decided where the two cords would meet up end to end.  I marked the one cord so that I would know exactly where to cut.  Wrapping the cording in tape before you cut it keeps it from unraveling.

10.  I cut the cording and then I wrapped both ends (butt to butt) in a single layer of tape.

11. Now I have one “continuous” cord on my chair seat.

12. To finish, I smoothed the fabric down one one side.

13. And then I folded the last edge and over-lapped it onto the other.

14. I stapled the rest of the welting down and I’m officially done with the welting.

I then added the duck cloth and screwed the seat back onto the frame.

Tessa’s chair is complete and ready for her room.

I’m really loving how the gray and white look together against the purple.  And we are so close to having this space finished just in time for school to be starting.  Perfect place for homework… check!

So I’m curious… What’s your favorite trim options?  Have you made your own welting before? Do you get crazy bored with your chairs and change out the fabric as much as I do?  Seriously… I’m starting to eye my dining chairs and get ideas.

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  1. Stacey says:

    Nice touch, Danielle!! Looks so good and really finishes off the chair.
    Is it crazy to love doing this? Welting is one of my favorite things to do. I learned to do it when I reupholstered our first couch and it’s so fun. (I’m weird, I know) But seriously… it makes a big difference when doing a project.. even simple throw pillows. Does Tessa like to sew or show an interest? I remember watching my grandma sew and couldn’t wait to get my first machine.
    I use to sew all my own clothes since I’m so tall… the internet changed that. Thank goodness!
    Great project – beautiful results. I’m loving it!!!

    • Storypiece says:

      If you’re crazy then you’re in good company because I love it too. I like that the details can make something go from nice to WOW. I’ve never done a sofa though and my sewing skills stay with home decor; I’ve never done clothing. You’re a rock star!! And I need to see photos of that sofa.

      Tess has shown some interest in sewing, but I think she’s a little gun shy now. One afternoon when Tyson was working and I was out, she asked her daddy if she could sew me something. Being unsupervised, things did not go well and I ended up having to take the machine in for repairs. Now that she’s older, we need to pick a project to work on together. I think she would be great at it!

  2. Victoria Elizabeth Barnes says:

    I was going to say something about the project, but then I got distracted by the last photo. The white mirror against the purple wall is really great. Did you paint it? Or find it that way? Sometimes I see really hideous oak mirrors on craigslist that would be great painted… But I haven’t ever bothered to go and get one and see how it turned out.

    Unlike Stacey, I loathe that kind of small sewing detail, but I do think it makes all the difference…especially when you use an accent color like you did, instead of just more of the same of what you upholstered with.

    • Storypiece says:

      I picked the mirror up at Home Goods. I found it this way, but I was tempted to paint it because it’s slightly off white. But once we got it hung, I really liked it in the room as is. I’ve never painted a mirror, but I would think it would be really easy. I’ve seen a couple done where people use a lighter Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and then rubbed a darker wax in the detailing… it always looks so beautiful!

      As for the welting… I’m with you in that I think my new favorite look is using welting in an accent color or pattern. We were in a pub last night and I saw a chair done this way. Loved it!

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