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Upcycling Furniture with our William Morris fabric

27th January 2022

Bringing a piece of furniture back to life is always so special and rewarding. When buying a new home, this conservatory set was left for us which was fantastic. We loved the rattan of it and decided to give it an upcycle to breathe new life into the set using our William Morris fabric. We chose our licensed William Morris Willow Bough in green to recover it, it’s perfect in every room, but in the conservatory, against the garden, it looks absolutely wonderful!

To recover the set, we used our heavyweight fabric. We have lots of designs within our licensed William Morris collection printed on heavyweight cotton fabric. If you’d like a sample, we’re happy to send free samples within the UK.

Our William Morris fabric Willow Bough Green

After a quick paint of the room, we set to work on the cushions! Now, there were many more than we initially thought – you get to the end of one and then realise there’s 14 to go! The main thing is to have a good audiobook or telly programme on whilst you work, recovering when you’re not a professional isn’t the easiest, but its very rewarding at the end once it’s all done.

Upcycling furniture with our William Morris fabric

To start, let’s cut the pattern. We used the existing cushions for our pattern, unpicking them with a seam ripper to measure out against the new fabric. You could also use the measurements, but as all of our cushions are different sizes and shapes, this seemed the easiest method for us. It meant that there was less chance of us going wrong by using it as a pattern, we wanted them to be the exact same size so that we could reuse the cushion pads and make sure the base cushions fit.

Upcycling chair with our William Morris fabric the before

We even reused the piping, we’ve never done this before so it seemed the easiest method. We knew by reusing it that when we put it round the cushion edge that it would be the right size because we knew it would meet in the middle at the back. The cushions are feather so they wouldn’t hold a shape when measuring so it was much easier to do it this way to recover the cord to keep the shape. It meant we were reusing most parts of the original sofa too, from the cushion pads to the zips!

With each cushion having different sizes, we made sure to do one at a time so we could carefully cut, iron and press the pattern, cut the fabric and then the binding so we didn’t get confused!

Upcycling furniture with our William Morris fabric the after

We pattern matched across the top cushions, the base cushions and the sides of the cushion. We were lucky that the pattern match for Willow Bough Green is only a small pattern match at 29cm so we didn’t waste much fabric. The fabric left over from this, we used for the binding, to make sure we utilised all the fabric and didn’t create lots of waste from the project.

We even reused the zips as they were a lovely quality, it made sure that the cushions were all the right size and the zips fit – it just seemed the easiest way for us to do it as we’re not professionals so were a little unsure what we were doing! Taking them apart bit by bit and then recreating it from the new fabric seemed the most logical way to do it.

We’re no experts at reupholstering, so it was a daunting project for us, but we’re so pleased with the result, it’s made the conservatory set look completely refreshed and new. We hope you love it as much as us!

Willow Bough is such a beautiful design, it was first designed by William Morris in 1887. It was actually first produced as a wallpaper design which his daughter, May Morris, used to decorate her bedroom. Later, it was adapted for fabric in 1895, where it was block printed in Merton Abbey.

The finished result of our William Morris fabric recovering

We hope you like the project as much as us! If you recover something using our fabric, be sure to tag us, we’d love to see it!

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🌷 William Morris month day 30 🌷 As we come near the end of Morris month, we’re celebrating with a fabric stack, full of beautiful licensed designs, which is your fave? 🌿 “Remember that a pattern is either right or wrong. It cannot be forgiven for blundering, as a picture may be which has otherwise great qualities in it. It is with a pattern as with a fortress, it is no stronger than its weakest point.”- William Morris 🤍 
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🐭 William Morris month day 29 🐭 We’ve been loving William Morris month to celebrate Morris’s birthday month, spreading his floral magic by posting everyday - have you discovered a new favourite design of his this month? 🌿 We absolutely love these little mice and the banner by @mini_and_bob - aren’t they so lovely! 🐭🤍
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🌷 William Morris Month Day 26 🌷 Absolutely loving a spring time floral on the table right now, especially when paired with an Easter craft or two! 🤍
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🌿 William Morris Month Day 25 🌿 Florals on florals on florals; all of the William Morris florals just look so beautiful together and, as Morris said himself, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” 🌷
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🐥 William Morris Month Day 23 🐥 Loving the sunshine this week for springtime 🌿 We absolutely love Willow Bough on the table in the sunshine paired with spring blooms 🌷
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🌷 William Morris Month Day 22🌷 A themed table is always our favourite, we’ve been loving setting the table lately with an Easter theme- especially when it means we can eat the eggs after! 🐣✨ 
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🌷 William Morris Month Day 19🌷 Happy first day of spring everyone! 🪴 We celebrated in our favourite way; coffee and cake of course! 🍰 Now we love florals all year round of course, but especially love adding in even more this time of year to reflect the blooms in the garden 🌷 What’s your favourite Morris design this time of year? 🌿
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📝 William Morris Month Day 18 📝 Did you know that as well as being an incredible designer, William Morris was also a brilliant writer and poet; have you read any of his writing? What’s your favourite quote? 🌷🌿
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🍓 William Morris Month Day 14 🍓 Strawberry Thief was inspired by William Morris’s watching the thrushes under the strawberry nets at the stunning @kelmscottmanor 🌿 May Morris conjured up this scene when speaking of the design, “You can imagine my Father going out in the early morning and watching the rascally thrushes at work on the fruit beds and telling the fanned who growls ‘I’d like to wring their necks!’ that no bird in the garden must be touched. There were certainly more birds than strawberries in spite of attempts at protection. And the walls of the little dining-room are hung with this note of the June garden and the little lords of it.” 🍓 What a lovely insight into the Morris family life! 🥰
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