The DIY Toolbox: What You Should Have on Hand for Upholstery Projects

The DIY Toolbox: What You Should Have on Hand for Upholstery Projects

Natalie Espinosa
Feb 7, 2012

If, like me, you have been thinking of undertaking a re-upholstery project you might want to take a look at the tools needed before you start. I have learned that there are several specialized tools that will make the job a lot easier, and depending on the type of upholstery, you might consider acquiring or borrowing some or all of them.

Basic tools include:
Magnetic Hammer: One end of this hammer is magnetic, allowing you to lift the tack and hammer it in place with just one hand while your other hand is pulling or holding things in place.
Screwdriver: To remove the parts you need to work on or disassemble furniture before you begin.
Fabric Scissors: You will need very good scissors to cut through thick fabric or several layers of fabric at once.
Measuring Tape: To measure fabric, webbing, welting, etc.
Staple Gun: To staple fabric or webbing in place.
Staple Remover: This will help you pull staples from a channel or a flat surface without damaging the area.
Upholstery Tacks: Use these to tack fabric and webbing in place. There are many types and sizes so make sure you are using the ones that are best suited for the job you are doing.

For more complicated jobs, you might need some of the following:
Webbing Stretcher: This tool (shown above), works like a lever and will allow you to put enough tension on the jute webbing before you staple it.
Rubber Mallet: With this mallet you can install tack strips without damaging the surrounding area.
Curved Needles: These large curved needles are great for hand sewing cushions, blind stitching panels, etc.
Button Needle: You can use this needle and heavy twine to install buttons through furniture backs, cushions, etc.
Upholsterer's Pins: You can use these pins to hold fabric for machine or hand sewing.
T pins: You can use these pins to hold the fabric in place for tacking or sewing.
Electric Carving Knife: To cut and shape foam
Sewing machine with a welting foot: To make welting and sew it in place.

There are several outlets online that sell individual tools and tool kits:


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