Before & After // Plycraft Mulhauser Chair

A few weeks ago, Chris and I picked up this Plycraft chair from a gal who had every intention of fixing it up but never made it happen. It needed lots of work. Even when I saw it I was questioning our ability to set this chair right again.

At first glance, it only looks like the seat is missing. I really like the mustard vinyl however sourcing that same material has proved to be impossible! The worst part about this chair was the smell. The vinyl and foam underneath were incredibly stinky. As I removed the staples they were gummy with filth. Always the worst part of the job! 

I am often asked how did I learn how to upholster. Really most of it comes from dissecting the original piece and learning from how it was put together. In this case, the frame of the back was made by 1/4" thick plywood, that had been cut out to form the curved shape. It was a four separate pieces that were stapled together. Chris and I had never seen this before. But it made so much sense, the frame needs to be bendable to conform to the curved shape of the chair. The 1/4" wood allows for this to happen. Using the back as a guide, Chris made a new frame for the seat. 

After all the fabric was stripped, Chris cut the foam. He has become good at cutting foam and drilled holes into the foam for the tufting. It was the first time we had done this technique, but found it worked out perfectly! 

I stapled muslin to the back of the frame, then began inserting the buttons one by one. We used pronged buttons as this was the type of buttons we found on the original chair. Chris helped make sure the buttons we pronged open far enough. 

After both cushions were complete, Chris screwed them onto the chair frame. I'm really happy with how this chair turned out. I'm excited to do more tufted projects in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into our process!
(It was sold at Hawthorne Vintage on 8/13)


  1. WOW, this is really beautiful! Way to go, guys.

  2. I'd love to see more tutorials on how to upholster!

  3. The chair is great I love what you guys did with it.

  4. Oh that's lovely! I really like the fabric you guys chose.

  5. Wonderful job! These chairs are on of my favorites.