Tag Archives: DIY chair upholstery

Do It Yourself Skills, Hoarding Versus Prepping, & Upholstery

16 Apr

I saw a video where a prepper talked about paying off his mortgage and how this was a “prepping” decision. It’s good to be debt free and have financial reserves. That’s just good personal finance. But is it really “prepping”?

In the same vein, when I save money by doing things myself, I can divert the savings to buying things I want or prepping items. I don’t purchase expensive items that won’t contribute to my life. Is that related to “prepping” too? I don’t know. It’s a lifestyle choice.

What I do know is that like many people I have an old rocking chair that’s losing its stuffing and looks pretty worn. Being cheap, I don’t want to buy new. I’m not a fan of used furniture. You could be inviting bed bugs into your home. When younger I would have had at the chair with an axe and disposed of it. I like it though. I want to keep it.

I’m led to reupholster the chair. Knowing the costs of professional reupholstery and being an avid to-it-yourselfer, I started learning about do-it-yourself upholstery.

Is saving a ratty-a** chair essential to surviving cataclysmic world events? Probably not. But for the cost of a professional reupholstery job you might be able to build a small bomb shelter.

As I learned more and more and inspected the chair, it became clear I’d need a sewing machine to replicate the way the chair is constructed. That was frustrating.

Several years ago, I went on a cleaning rampage and got rid of four sewing machines I inherited. I wasn’t interested in ever becoming a seamstress. I can use a needle and thread to make a basic repair, but I didn’t foresee a need for a sewing machine. I totally overlooked its usefulness for upholstery. You don’t need one for the simple things I’ve upholstered. I didn’t know at the time I’d be more interested in learning more advanced upholstery.

Hoarders, they say, don’t want to get rid of things because they think they might need them in the future. But if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you never know whether or not you’ll have a future use for something. You can upgrade your skills. Your interests can take new directions. I should have given away three of the machines and kept one! Oh, well.

I have a curious interest in hoarders. What turns people into pack rats? I watched a video on Youtube about hoarding. A lady picked up some discarded umbrellas and said they worked fine: Why should they be thrown out? I silently found myself agreeing with her.

The show said she had an irrational fear that people would take away her stuff. That made her more clingy of it. The City entered her apartment, dumped all her stuff into a dumpster, and hauled it away. Kind of ironic.

I’m not a hoarder. I do have almost a compulsive obsession with learning how to do things. I don’t like not knowing. I like knowing how to do my own plumbing, electrical wiring, HVAC, and auto repair. If I use a mechanical system in my daily life, I want to know how to fix it myself.

This link has good advice about paying attention to your surroundings to minimize the danger of a personal assault.

Here’s a good discussion about the difference between a hoarder and a prepper. I think the two pictures about sums it up.

Another great essay about preppers versus hoarders.

Hoarding gold? Don’t we all wish we could be $7 million gold hoarders?!

Hoarder or Disorganized Prepper (Youtube):


If you have a ratty-a** old chair (& a sewing machine!), the best chair upholstery tutorial I found online is here (four parts).

This site has some great info about upholstery too.

One final upholstery link for those who like reading about other people’s projects.