Thank you for your interest in upholstery education!
Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to expand your existing skills, we are excited to help you learn. We offer hands-on weekend and weekly workshops, as well as ongoing education. Not sure where you fit? Stop by during store hours or give us a call and we’ll be happy to chat!
Weekend Warriors Workshop – 12 hours of supported open studio
Advanced Studio – Weekly supported open studio on Tuesday day or evening
New students: Frequently asked questions
Q. What’s included with the cost of a class?
A. In addition to professional instruction, your registration includes access to a professional work space, tools and basic supplies. Foam, fabric and special order supplies are not included. For a more detailed list, click HERE.
Q. Where should I buy fabric?
A. There are many options for buying upholstery fabric – some students like to shop for treasures online, or at local chain fabric stores, such as Joanne Fabrics or S.R. Harris. These are certainly fine options! However, if you want assistance choosing a first-quality upholstery appropriate fabric, we are happy to offer several excellent vendors. These are fabrics and companies that we are familiar with, so we can offer expertise on how they will handle and whether they are appropriate for your application. You are welcome to stop by during store hours to browse in person, or you can start looking online from home:
C.F.STINSON (Commercial fabric)
Q. What kind of a project should I bring in?
A. Something simple! Don’t worry about sourcing anything particularly old or valuable, in fact you DON’T want to start with a valuable heirloom – upholstery takes practice! Look for an inexpensive second hand chair or, even better, a freebie. For some ideas, you can check out my Pinterest Board, Good First Upholstery Projects.
Q. I don’t want to be bored – can’t I bring in an advanced project?
A: While we understand your concern, the VAST MAJORITY of students find that their project is more challenging than they expected. Most students who bring in complex chairs DO NOT LEARN MORE – they retain less because they are overwhelmed by so many new techniques at once, and end up frustrated or frantic. Choosing a simple first project allows you to be mindful of the process. You will have a better experience, learn more, and leave with better results by starting small. We look forward to seeing you in the future with all the complex projects you’ve acquired over the years.
Q. Can I bring in a sofa etc.?
A. No. Due to space and time limitations, we only allow chairs. The great news is, any technique you may need for a sofa, can be explored and mastered on a similar chair. If you are strictly interested in having one sofa reupholstered, we recommend getting a quote to have the work done professionally. Advanced students may request permission to work together on an oversized project.
Q. What’s your student/teacher ratio?
A. We maintain a ratio of 1:4 or better, ensuring individualized instruction. However, It is our firm belief that that upholstery is mastered through practice and exploration, therefore we’ll demonstrate, advise, and then step aside so that you can spend your time DOING as opposed to WATCHING. This is another reason why it is so important to start small: If your chair is advanced and you’re not yet comfortabe with the basics, you’ll likely end up watching and waiting more than working. We want you to have a very successful hands-on experience!
Q. How long will a chair take me/how far will I get?
A. We cannot give you a specific answer, only guidelines based on past students. Your time will be affected by project selection, fabric selection, and personal standards. Some factors that commonly cause delays are unexpected frame/spring/foundation work, an especially challenging fabric selection, and high expectations for quality.
Generally, a simple side chair (seat/back, no major foundation work) takes 10-15 hours, while a fully upholstered chair takes 20-30. Wing chairs, antiques needing foundation work, complex sewing or patterning fabric from scratch can take even longer. Have a project in mind? Feel free to call or stop by and we can discuss specifics!
Q. Will I save money doing the work myself?
A. Eventually. At first, upholstery is very slow going, especially as you encounter new techniques. If you have only one or two projects, it may make more sense to have the work done for you. If you are excited about LEARNING and have lots of potential projects, then classes are a great choice!
Q. What happens if I don’t finish?
A. If you do not finish, you can always register for additional workshops. You can also purchase tools/supplies to finish on your own at home. If finishing is very important to you, please pay extra close attention to project recommendations!!! Your project must go with you at the end of the workshop.
Q. What is your cancellation/refund policy
A. If you cancel within two weeks of the class, we’ll give you a full credit towards a future workshop. After that date, there are no refunds or credits. This helps us to manage student/teacher ratios and keep prices down – PLEASE CHECK DATES CAREFULLY BEFORE REGISTERING TO BE SURE THAT YOU CAN ATTEND! Cancellations bum everyone out.