How to Upholster Tiny Rattan Furniture

How to Upholster Tiny Rattan Furniture

Getting started

Getting started

Recently, I received a salesman’s sample set of Paul Frankl rattan furniture. It didn’t come with cushions of any sort, and I don’t know if it ever had any. Even if it had come with cushions, they may not have been in good, or even passable, shape.

But I knew I had to make some. Would you sit on a rattan sofa with no cushioning or upholstery of any kind? You might not be very comfortable.

So I used a technique I’ve used before, when making cushions for 1:12 scale chairs.

First, I cut two pieces of card stock to fit the seat of the chair – one for the top of the cushion and one for the bottom. If this doesn’t make sense yet, it will momentarily. (Always start with the seat cushion. The back cushion will sit on top of the seat cushion, so it’s best to fit the back AFTER the seat cushion is done or your seat cushions may be too tall.)

Cutting to fit

Cutting to fit

Next, I cut batting to fit one piece of the cardstock and glued it on. When the glue dried, I fitted fabric over the batting, carefully gluing it to the back of the cardstock. I repeated this for the cushion’s batting-free bottom piece.

Be patient when gluing – it takes time, and it’s not worth getting glue smears on your fabric.

So. Much. Gluing.

So. Much. Gluing.

When the glue dried, I glued top to bottom, sealing the exposed cardstock inside the cushion. I used a book to weigh down the top so it wouldn’t pop out of place.

Bottom cushion done - time to fit the top cushion!

Bottom cushion done – time to fit the top cushion!

Then I repeated the process, this time vertically fitting the cardstock on top of the seat cushion to ensure the top cushion would be the right height.

All finished!

All finished!

Note that the cushions are NOT in any way glued or otherwise affixed to the furniture. That could damage these rare and delicate pieces.

Now to repeat the process for the sofa…

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