My top three favourite things about upholstery and why I started it as a hobby

I wanted to share with you the reason why I took upholstery as a hobby nearly 10 years ago and what I love about it the most. You might be looking for a new hobby and wondering how do I find what is right for me? Hopefully this might inspire you …….

Why did I choose upholstery as a hobby?

For those of you who don’t know my back story I started learning upholstery back in 2013. I started a six week night class in Manchester to learn how to reupholster an old scruffy Parker Knoll Wingback chair. We had recently finished a huge renovation on our Victorian Home, which took all of our money and we now needed furniture. I wasn’t willing to wait until we had saved up again for what we wanted so me being the impatient person that I am, mixed with my desire and love to learn I looked at other ways I could do it.

At the time I was working in Manchester and needed to find something in that area to fit around work. I knew I would be stressed out if I was worrying about not getting there on time due to a late train! So I did my research and found the Ministry of Upholstery. I was so excited about starting the new course but also a little apprehensive as I really didn’t know what to expect from it all.

The first task was finding my first project, choosing the style of chair that we wanted. We sympathetically renovated our home adding in all the period features. That teamed with my love of period furniture it seemed fitting to choose an old Parker Knoll Wingback chair. I upholstered it in a stylish cream linen fabric so it complemented the kitchen colour scheme. I added vintage leather buttons to the seat back. I was so chuffed with my first ever project it was like a professional had made it. I loved the sense of fulfillment learning to create a piece of furniture that we would be using everyday, and also getting to design and create it exactly how we wanted it.

These are my three favourite things about upholstery ;

1. Creativity – I’ve always had a creative mind and loved to make things from an early age. Upholstery satisfied all aspects of my creativity. From designing how a piece of furniture will look including fabric colour and style, adding your own design flourishes to make each piece individual. The creativity is endless as each piece is different, I don’t think I ever have a day where I’m making the same piece.

2. Freedom and release from a busy mind – when I first started upholstery as a hobby I had a very busy and hectic work schedule. I found it difficult to step away from the day to day and my mind was always buzzing with information. When I’m making furniture I get immersed in the process. I can completely switch off from the outside world and love the experience of this. I get a similar feeling from swimming and walking. I didn’t know at the beginning that the activity would be so mindful. This is one of the reasons why I carried on. 

3. The joy you feel making new from old! Taking an old tatty piece of furniture that may be ready for the tip, or an old family heirloom that’s been hiding in the garage. What couldn’t be more rewarding than learning to turn an old treasure into a statement piece of furniture. Over the years of learning I furnished my home with wonderful pieces. Everytime I walk round my home I have a great sense of pride and joy knowing that I’ve created them for my family to enjoy.

I soon caught the upholstery bug and continued my learning journey. I’ll come in a future blog to share the next parts of the story

How do you decide what hobby is right for you?

When trying to decide on what hobby you would like to learn, think about what interests you most- this is what will keep you inspired and motivated to keep at it. For instance, if you have always had an interest for cameras, then photography is most probably the hobby for you. If you like creating your own clothes, or perhaps for others, knitting or crocheting could be the answer. However, if you are anything like me and you want to make something that you can utilise everyday, or if you are fed up with not finding the pieces of furniture you like, then upholstery could be perfect.

The most popular reason people choose upholstery is the huge sense of personal achievement people feel walking away with a new piece of furniture. Being able to completely disconnect from the outside world for the day. Immersing themselves into a creative experience and learning to turn a pile of materials into something they are proud of. Seeing the tangible results of their hard work which they will have a reminder off for a lifetime rather than ticking a few things off the daily list.

This is where we can come in to help. Semper Hopkins Upholstery & Interiors run a range of one day upholstery workshops from our stunning converted chapel in Cheshire. We have a range of furniture you can create. The Upholstery Workshops we offer allow you to choose from a number of different types of furniture from Storage Crates, Stools, Footstools and Benches.

If one of our upholstery workshops sounds like something you are interested in, you can view and book our individual workshops here. Alternatively If you are interested in making a group booking (for more than 4), complete the Group Bookings form here , and we will get back to you. Alternatively call us on 01260 609021 to discuss your needs.

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