Upholstery Classes with Scott Smith

This class is project based. Students bring their own projects. Many projects may take more than one term. I will let you know at the first class approximately how long your project will take. This is just a rough estimate. If you have questions about whether your project is appropriate, feel free to call me at 503-504-7503.

Students spend most of the class time working their individual projects at various stages while I provide individual instructions as needed. Sometimes I will ask for everyone’s attention there is an example that everyone can learn from. Students are encouraged to work together and  learn from each other.


  • We have fabric scissors available for you to use, but most students prefer to bring their own. I highly recommend you bring your own.
  • We provide most of the supplies you need, but you will need to purchase your own fabric, and you may need to purchase a few other things (such as foam if you have a large project).

Class Rules and Safety:

  • Just like in a real upholstery studio, we throw tacks and staples on the floor, so wear appropriate shoes (thick soles and no open-toed shoes). This allows us to keep our work surfaces free of things that will snag our fabric.
  • In this class we use many tools, including staple guns. Please use the utmost care at all times.
  • The First Aid kit is located on the south wall of the classroom. Help yourself to supplies if you need them, but please always let me know if you get injured.
Upholstery: Beginning

Students will start with a basic stool or simple dining room chair. During the first class session of the beginners’ class, we’ll talk about the basics of upholstery. Then we’ll walk around and look at everyone’s projects. I will demonstrate a few things on each piece – tell me if you don’t want me touching your furniture! Then you’ll begin work labeling and stripping your fabric. If you don’t feel ready to begin, feel free to watch others work or follow me around and listen/watch as I assist students.

If you register for a second term in the beginning class, please understand that the focus of the class will still be on basic stools, ottomans, and simple dining room chairs. If you have a more intermediate/advanced project, I may not be able to give you the attention you need, which will delay completion of your project. Please consider registering for the intermediate class once you’ve completed the beginner’s class. You’ll benefit from being in class with other students who are working on more complicated projects.

Examples of appropriate beginning projects:

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dining room chair

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red ottomansmall footstool

Intermediate Upholstery:

Returning students or students with instructor permission may progress to more advanced projects, such as larger chairs. Sofas and overstuffed chairs are not allowed. There simply isn’t room in the facility for us to store them between classes, and they take a long time to complete.

Examples of appropriate intermediate upholstery projects:

retro armchair classic chair                                                                                                                                                    dark green armchair

Open Lab:

This open studio time is only for students who are currently registered in a ten week upholstery class. No formal instruction is provided. If you are registered for the open lab and not the class after it, you must leave once the open lab is over. In other words, you cannot be in the classroom unless you are registered for the class that is in session.