Are You Thinking Of Starting Upholstery As A Hobby? How To Create The Perfect Workspace At Home.

Upholstery bench

The truth is, I started my upholstery training years ago for several reasons; one of these was because it was a release from my stressful job.

The second more important reason was because we were mid-way through a huge renovation project on our house. I wanted high quality furniture, but didn’t have the money as the budget had gone on the house. I didn’t want to compromise, so I thought to learn a new skill and make my own. It took more time than buying already made, it was more cost-effective, and I got exactly what I wanted.

More importantly, I was insanely proud of the individual pieces of furniture I had created and still walk around our home years later feeling the satisfaction that I made that. When I was in the training phase I would come home buzzing with the new skills I had learnt. I got hooked on learning, creating more and more pieces of furniture this is where my upholstery journey began.

It gave me a purpose to learn from others and up my skillset, while taking my mind off the challenging day job.

Have you been looking for a new hobby?

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, we are spending more and more time at home. It can be all too easy to get sucked into a cycle of waking up, working from home (or going to work), homeschooling (if affected) running errands and falling into bed before setting an alarm to get up and do it all over again. Having a hobby outside of everyday life isn’t just a nice break for your body and brain – it carries mental and physical health benefits too.

Have you ever considered trying Upholstery? Are you wondering how much space you need to create the perfect workspace at home?

Original upholstery benchThe answer is not a lot. When I first started doing upholstery, I set up my workshop in my front reception room. My very first workbench was this old kitchen table top secured to a different table base.

You don’t need much space. A space big enough to hold the project you are working on and a few tools. You could use your kitchen table or an old workbench in the shed.

You will need a space to measure foam or fabric, at the time I used to use the kitchen floor as it was a clean open space.

Wooden workshop workbench.

My second workbench evolved to this one which is now in the workshop. It started in my home as the business had started to evolve and grow and I needed a dedicated workspace and storage. Dad built this using lots of materials we had left from our house renovation including doors, an old sofa bed frame, and some scaffolding planks.

Over the years, it has gained many marks and scratches which just add to its character. This workbench is full of stories and I’ve built so many of my first pieces and personal projects on this workbench, I don’t think I could part with it. Another more personal reason is my dad built it for me, so it holds many sentimental memories.


I am a very neat and tidy person, everything has to have a place to live; this is reflected in my home and life. I don’t like to live with mess, it’s good to be organised, to know where everything is and it allows you to be more efficient in your work. You need somewhere to store your tools, some training books, possibly fabrics, and materials. My sister bought me a wooden toolbox which I still use on my workbench today. For my home workshop, I also bought a wooden cupboard from a local auction for storing materials and other bits. I still use this in the workshop today for all my stationary and files.

Now in the workshop, I have more space, but I still fundamentally have similar work areas; the same dedicated workbench, storage for materials, my toolbox, and a fabric cutting table.

Emma with clients at upholstery workshop.

We hope you have found it useful to see the inside of my workspace and what it might be like to set up your own at home.

If you are still thinking what if it’s not quite right for me? I could commit to buying tools and creating a workspace before I’ve experienced it.

We can help you. Before committing to anything why don’t you come and try it out for yourself at one of our upholstery workshops? The benefits are; you have a creative workspace, all of the tools and materials provided for you to make a piece of furniture in a safe environment. You will be provided with full training by me, an experienced upholsterer, who originally started it out as a hobby. So you get an opportunity to ask all the questions you like from someone who has shared a similar experience.

You could join us in this new learning adventure. Our next workshops are Friday 14th May and Friday 11th June. Book now and grab a spot.


© Semper Hopkins Upholstery & Interiors Ltd. | Registered office: 95 Cinderhill Lane, Scholar Green, Stoke-on-trent, Cheshire, ST7 3HR | Company number: 10256862