Upholstery is something I have been interested in for a long time, mostly due to my love of adopting stray chairs. I've seen the huge difference that fresh fabric can make to furniture, but having it done professionally can be quite expensive, and quickly adds to the cost of a "free" chair from the side of the road or a Gumtree bargain. Over the past year I've tackled a few small projects & am slowly getting more confident with what I can do.
Firstly - and I'm aware that this hardly qualifies as upholstery, although it does use a staple gun - I made notice boards for both children's rooms and one for the spare room. I had heard seen tutorials for Homasote bulletin boards, but couldn't source Homasote in Australia. Instead I found something called Caneite / Softboard which seemed similar enough, and had a 1200 x 2400mm sheet (the minimum order) cut in to three - one is 1200mm square, and the others 2 are 1200mm x 600mm. I just wrapped each one firmly with fabric, secured the fabric at the back with the staple gun, and then drilled it in to the wall, with a washer in front of the board. You can just about see Milla's here (it's covered in striped Ikea canvas), and here's a photo of Ali's (also covered in Ikea fabric, but you can hardly see it because it has lots of artwork all over it) - excuse the blurry photo, this was taken about a year ago.
The last noticeboard to be finished was for the study corner in the spare room (photo at the top of the post - but that was in the living room), and it isn't actually even drilled in to the wall yet, just resting on top of the filing cabinet, but it's so handy for school notes and pretty bits of ephemera. I used Cloud 9 Canvas from Spotlight, and then used the leftovers to cover a pouffe / ottoman that we've had for ages (also in the photo at the top). I bought it in Tokyo, and then covered it with Cloth fabric back in 2009 but that cover wasn't ever entirely successful - I'd made it removable for cleaning, but it didn't fit tightly enough and looked a bit wonky. This time I made the cover tighter and staple gunned it to the frame of the ottoman at the base, and I love how fresh and tidy the navy and white looks.
The most recent, and most ambitious upholstery project I've tackled was a bedhead to be used as a prop (sometimes I do custom sewing / making for a set stylist). The client needed a tufted navy velvet double bedhead, and wanted tufts without buttons. I was happy to have the chance to try a bedhead, having seen lots of tutorials for them over the years.
It was hard to photograph in a narrow hallway, but it turned out pretty much how I imagined it. I used this tutorial and also referred to this one, and bought materials from Bunnings (MDF), Clark Rubber (Foam), and Greenfields (velvet and wadding). We don't have a bedhead in our room, so I'm now thinking about making a more contemporary version to put there.
These experiments have only encouraged me, and now I'm scouring the Gumtree and auction houses even more regularly for chairs with "good bones" in need of a makeover.