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Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design Hardcover – October 22, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* It stands to reason that a big, heavily illustrated book of instructions on how to upholster furniture should be as attractive as the finished projects it presents. And that is certainly the case with this gorgeous book, which perfectly matches complete, precisely written directions with correspondingly crisp, helpful photographs. Brown is an Austin, Texas–based upholstery shop owner whose expertise simply leaps off every page. Her guiding philosophy is that “upholstered furniture is the root of an interior,” and to that end, she addresses nonprofessionals who are learning to upholster their own furniture, taking them through six projects that can be categorized as advanced but for which all necessary skills are taught along the way. These projects include a pair of slipper chairs, an ottoman, and a sofa. Specific activities required for completing the projects include padding and constructing boxed arms, attaching webbing and burlap to the arms, attaching the dust cover to the bottom of the sofa, and cutting out fabric for the cushions. Sound dizzyingly complicated? Take a breath and follow Brown step by step, and you’ll be surprised at how talented you may become in the art of upholstery. This is a bible, a catalog, a wish book, and an excellent library reference source. --Brad Hooper

Review

“Brown, a professional upholsterer in Austin, TX, knows how to breathe life into tired old furnishings. Her style is hip, eclectic, and delightful, and she injects her personality into the projects, showing off her upholstery prowess. Brown rounds out the manual by offering interior design options. Accompanying photographs demonstrate technique and illustrate each step. Readers will find information on skills requiring much more detail, such as the sewing and stripping furniture, in the appendixes. VERDICT Though the author only covers five projects ― a sofa, an ottoman, and three chairs ― she does so in such great depth that quality wins out over quantity. Upholstering is for the brave, and there are a lot of specialty tools here that might intimidate would-be DIYers. Despite these limitations, this is a wonderfully readable volume that speaks to current style. Very highly recommended for any DIY collection.” ― Library Journal, starred review



Few things make me happier than watching the people we work with here at D*S do well. Amanda Brown from Spruce has been our resident upholstery expert for a while and we were thrilled when she told us she was working on a book. That gorgeous book,Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design, officially launched yesterday and is chock-full of beautiful (and helpful) upholstery instructions, illustrated by more than 900 step-by-step photographs. Upholstery has always been daunting to me, but Amanda is an excellent teacher and everything she’s shared in this book will help you master the techniques and skills you need to reupholster any piece of furniture to suit your own taste and style.



If you have ever had an inkling to try to upholster a thrift store find, this awesome book can show you how.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612121373
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612121376
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've looked at quite a few upholstery books since I don't have any places nearby that teach upholstery. This one by far is my favorite. Reasons I prefer this book above the rest:

The author covers enough different styles of furniture so that you can tackle anything - and shows you how to determine which instructions would be best in her book for different pieces of furniture.

The upholstery lingo isn't over my head. This is a book that will help the beginner, intermediate and advanced. I feel like I don't need to look anywhere else to learn how to reupholster. She is truly an expert, but remembers how it was to be a beginner.

Many upholstery books I look at seem very dated. They use techniques that aren't current - from what I've seen on blogs and youtube videos. The author combines more modern techniques (using foam and pneumatic stapler) with techniques that will help your piece of furniture stand the test of time.

Her style is lovely. Very inspirational. Combines traditional, vintage with a modern flair.

Great pictures and instructions. High quality book (even has a few book marks built in).

If you're considering buying any upholstery book...you don't need to look any further. The only reason you wouldn't need to buy this book is if you lived in Austin, TX and could take a class from her personally.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm certainly not the most creative person in the world, but even I can follow the instructions in this book. Amanda takes the intimidating art of upholstery and makes it completely accessible to the beginning upholsterer and DIYer. This book is for sure on my Christmas list.
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By A. Stubbs on November 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written, well photographed, well indexed, and well bound (I was especially pleased with the three bookmark ribbons).
This may be the upholstery book you are looking for. I'd be hard-pressed to find a flaw with it.
If I lost it, I'd buy it again, I'd even pay more.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after taking two 5-week sessions of upholstery classes because I wanted something to supplement what I learned there and jog my memory between sessions. When I bought this there were nothing but effusive 5-star reviews so I was worried my expectations of this book might be too high, but when I received it I was very pleased.

Typically I learn better in a hands on setting vs. in a book, but I thought Amanda Brown did a great job of conveying the information in book form. The book itself is very well laid out and she breaks things down into clear, easy to digest steps with ample pictures. I've looked at a lot of upholstery how-to content on websites and blogs and the way the information is presented here is much, much better than anything else I've come across. I like how the book allows you to mix and match so you can adapt the instructions in the book to the piece of furniture you have. I also especially appreciate that there is a lot of detail here on topics I've seen glossed over elsewhere, like applying double piping. While this isn't an exhaustive, encyclopedia-like book that covers EVERY topic of upholstery, the projects that are featured are pretty varied and represent a nice range. I also really liked the eclectic style of the pieces in her book and found it very inspirational.

The one thing I'd really hoped was in this book but wasn't was more troubleshooting information. To me this is often where I find profession guidance the most help because there have been times when I thought I was following the direction as presented but still managed to do something wrong.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a huge fan of Amanda Brown of Spruce Upholstery for a long time and was thrilled when I found out she was coming out with a step-by-step guide! I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book and it completely lived up to my expectations ... aesthetically beautiful from cover to cover and filled with step-by-step visual instructions on how to complete any project. They even include a handy color-coded guide on mixing and matching design elements to cover any possibility.

I absorbed the book for a full week before getting started on a project I've had in mind for a while. Once I did, I found the project to be less daunting than I expected because of Amanda's wonderful writing and guidance. Not so sure you have the time or desire to reupholster your own furniture? "Spruce. A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design" is still an incredible guide for educating yourself on developing an eye for the right piece of furniture to have professionally done as well as the fabric types and scale necessary to create your dream piece. Plus, it's full of inspirational eye candy. And you can impress your friends by having a DIY upholstery book casually left out on the coffee table!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this book 2 weeks ago and have not been able to put it down! I took an upholstery class last year but I have not used my skills much because of demands on my time. This book has not only refreshed my memory but it has taught me some new things that I did not learn in class such as channeling, tufting, and working with leather. This book will be my reference manual! I also ordered the first DVD that correlates with the book. I have not reviewed much on this site but this book warrants a good review! If you are contemplating buying the book, get it because it's worth every penny!
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