UpholsteryTools (11)Really, I have the best intentions of keeping up my blog posts, continuing ‘theme’s’ I start (like upholstery tools), but the busy-ness of my real brick and mortar business gets in the way. I love what I do, so I’m not giving up, you just need to be patient.

So, why am I explaining the upholstery tools that I like? Because my online course, Upholstery Knockouts is schedule to launch TOMORROW!! I’m so excited to get you going on your journey to upholstering like a pro instead of guessing. I’ll be working with my new online students to get you up and ready with your home workshop, tools and materials, so you’ll be ready to start class the second week of January. You have plenty of time and I’ve tried just about every set up, so I have some good solid advice on work areas. ( What can I say, I’m a born nurturer!)

This is a COURSE, not just a few videos. You’ll get the nuts and bolts of upholstery, from the inside out.  And I am just loving the name-Upholstery Knockouts.  See, you’ll be knocking out projects, and they’ll be knockouts in your home. The first class-Create Stunning Benches and Ottomans for Every Room in Your House-might make you think you’ll be repeating the same project, but that is FAR from what will happen.

We’ll be restyling two existing pieces of furniture and creating two pieces from scratch. It’s a comprehensive Beginner’s class to get you comfortable with tools, materials and terminology.  You’ll learn how and why we use specific techniques and tools, and then I’ll illustrate and explain how those are applied to more detailed pieces of furniture (which will come later).  After this course, if you do the work and pay attention, you’ll be ready to move on to the next class. It’s not a class of strictly videos, it’s not strictly still photos, it’s not strictly step by step written instructions. It’s a fully integrated curriculum that has been carefully developed after years of observing and teaching students just like you! Plus, I’ll be available to give you feedback and answer questions-that’s the best part of this.  You’ve sent me emails asking if I’ll come to your town to teach upholstery classes, NOW I’m coming right to your house! It’s the next best thing to coming to my studio once a week. In fact, you’ll be in class more than once a week in Upholstery Knockouts, so block out some time.

After launching (fingers crossed for tomorrow), and getting you enrolled,  I’ll be working with you to get you prepared for the course work. Again, this is a course, not just a few videos (although, you’ll get plenty of videos included with all of the information rich content). The Sales Page which is heavily pencilled in to go live tomorrow will answer more questions you may have, and if you still have questions, you can email me directly.

Since we last chatted (you know, about the staple lifter), I held a successful two day workshop for graduate and undergraduate students from IU’s Herron School of Furniture Design.  They  came to my studio for a hands-on workshop on all things UPHOLSTERY. We had a jolly good time, both days. The graduates were six, and the undergrads on Friday were fifteen. (Yomma Momma, years ago, I couldn’t have handled talking in front of a group that big. I’ve come a long way, baby!! Yes, phobias can really hold you down). Those days are gone and now I can’t shut up about upholstery.  Both groups are designing and creating beautiful pieces of furniture, but only a couple of them knew the basics of adding padding and upholstery fabric to their projects.  By the end of the workshop, they were equipped with the information and  hands on experience to add basic upholstery into their designs.

ModHomeEcHerronClasscollageNow, let’s get back to tools of the trade since my spectacular online upholstery course is  on schedule to launch tomorrow. I know, I said it was launching on Monday, but I had some tech glitches that needed to be straightened out. (By the way-getting a virtual assistant to handle some of the mind boggling website work was the best idea ever!!)

Let’s talk about staplers, shall we? Oh Boy! Here goes-

You just cannot find a good stapler at the hardware store!!! As far as my research and purchases have proven, they don’t sell upholstery worthy staplers at Lowes or Home Depot.


The gun on the far left, made by Maestri, is electric and it’s the one I use in  my beginning classes.  As far as electric staple guns, it’ s not as powerful as a DuoFast, but it has a safety on the handle and it’s lighter weight. It does have some kick back which, when used on a hardwood, makes it difficult to get the staple fully driven into the wood unless you put extra pressure on the nose end of the gun while shooting staples.  It also tends to jam, but that’s an easy fix. Orangey, in the center, is my favorite. It was the stapler I used for all of my twenty years of upholstering. It’s made by Rainco.  It’s pneumatic and has all metal parts.  Nowadays, they’re not all metal, but they are lighter weight. The gun on the far right is probably the best buy for the beginner. It only cost me about  $25.00  a few years ago at Harbor Freight, it uses larger staples than an upholsterer’s staple gun, and like Orangey, and it’s powered by an air compressor.  The down side of those thick staples is that it can grab a thread when you’re securing medium to lighter weight fabric and cause a pull. However, Once you try a pneumatic stapler, you’ll never go back.

Then, there’s the electric stapler workhorse made by Duo Fast. It comes highly recommended (by me), but it’s a little bulky for tight spots. Priced above $200.00, my students  almost fight over who gets the Duo Fast staplers. A few years ago, they were thrilled to just have an electric staple gun, let alone being concerned about  the power it packed.


If you’re in the market for a good staple gun, go to Nailgun Depot. That’s where I get my staple guns these days. You need to wade through all of their other staplers, and get to the upholstery staple guns. If you’re planning on upholstering for awhile, I’d invest in the BeA Long Nose gun. It’s on my Christmas list.


Speaking of Christmas Lists, how fun would it be to receive a gift certificate for Upholstery Knockouts and then put all of the fun upholstery tools on your list that you provide to your friends and family?!