How to Upholster a Miniature Chair with Custom Made Fabric

balloon chair miniature dollhouse tutorial

In my previous blog post I shared how I printed my own custom fabric for the miniature upholstery project. Today I will be sharing with you how I applied the fabric that I made for the balloon chair and share some tips about how I made the chair.

chair upholstering

I had 3D printed this Balloon chair a while back and wanted to make it look like the reference image. For a while I looked to see if I can find a similar looking fabric, but that was a total waste of time. Then I thought why not see if I can print the chair's design onto my own fabric. The problem here was that I could not even find a fabric swatch that was big enough to replicate the design. 

materials listMost of these items can be found on Amazon. Here are some links 

 

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Let's continue with the project ~

You can use a fabric scrap that you have and scan it, or take a screenshot of any design that you see online. Since I could not find my fabric I had to use a pillow I found with the same fabric print as the chair. 

how to find fabric to print

Now it's time to duplicate the pattern. For this you will need a software or app that allows you to copy and paste and move images into place. I am using Photoshop, but you could do it on Canva and even in Cricut design space.

duplicating the pattern in photoshop

flattening the pattern

duplicating the pattern design Now that the pattern is recreated it is time to print it onto our fabric. Unlike actual upholstering you want to use a fabric that is not too thick  and that can take glue well. Cotton usually works pretty well. If you have printed on silk, leave me a comment and let me know what you did. 

print any design on fabric with an ink jet printer

 

If you do not use the Avery Canvas fabric and are using your own fabric you need to give it extra support so that it won't snag while the fabric goes through the printer. This is why we use freezer paper to give the fabric extra support.

freezer paper

Don't forget to remove any water that might be left in your iron's water tank!

iron

Place your fabric into the printer and print at the best quality setting that your printer has at 100% scale. The Kodak Varite printer has a fabric setting since the printer is made for crafters.

printed fabric

 

I love how the fabric has taken on a sort of velvet look that you would see with this type of fabric, even though it is printed on canvas fabric.

making the pattern

If you have separate pieces you can just place the pieces on a piece on printer paper and trance them. Since my chair is already assembled, I cut a piece slightly larger than the size of the cushion first. Then I pressed it in place and while securely holding it traced over the contours with a pencil. take your time at this stage and repeat making the pattern until you have a perfect fit. Only then transfer the pattern onto the fabric. It also helps to pay attention to where the seams will meat, so that your design matches. 

chair pattern

 

 

Once you have all the pieces it's time to glue them into place.

glue pattern pieces

I like to use Aleene's Tacky glue, because it does not set right away, but allows a bit of time to slightly pull things into place if necessary. It does not seep through the canvas fabric either. 
chair upholstered
For some of you this might be the end of the project, depending on how much more embellishment your chair needs. In my case there are furniture tacks all along the fabric pieces. I had to think a while how to make the tacks and decided on using Arteza 3D Fabric Color in Copper.

I actually purchased a large set of Arteza Fabric colors because they lend themselves great for miniature embellishment projects.

3d fabric paint by arteza

I can not believe how long this blog post has become, but I hope that you found it useful. Make sure to subscribe! I will be posting more tutorials since I still have to make a lot of furniture pieces for the chateau.

balloon chair miniature dollhouse furniture

Final thoughts ~ I was surprised how easy it was to print on canvas fabric and how quickly the upholstering process went. Since I glued the fabric pieces and did not have to go around corners the canvas fabric worked wonderful. However if I had to upholster a couch that had rounded sections the canvas fabric might still be a bit too heavy. If you like to order a Balloon Chair click below for more information.

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The Artist

My name is Enzie (pronounced "NC") and I am multidisiplinary artist based out of California, USA.  

I specialize in life size commissioned portraiture of pets and people and one of a kind handmade miniatures.

While I am creating, my team is hard at work to make your shopping experience easy and smooth. 

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