What is thegirlwithahammer.com website ?

Thegirlwithahammer.com is website 100 % focused on upholstery. It help self-learning and a usefull e-learning for upholsterers who can’t find open workshop to keep learning on site. I think we can really help each other online! It offers free advices, an upholstery forum, as well as a membership for weekly tutorials and tips.

How did you become an upholsterer ?

I’ve became an upholsterer after 4 years as an apprentice working in an upholstery workshop and going to school in the same time. Then I opened my own upholstery shop called Le Boudoir des Etoffes in 2012.

This job require many skills so it takes work and time to really get it even if there is many tasks a beginner can do. No one can teach or learn how to become an upholsterer in a short time. Please give this art the time it needs.

What makes a good upholsterer ?

A good upholsterer is able to create or restore any kind of seats or padded furniture. Sofas, chairs, headboards, cushions etc.

What you need to know about upholstery ?

Upholstery is a many skills craft includind pading, sewing, and covering with fabric but it also require some basic knowledge in design and art history.

Is it difficult to do upholstery ?

It depends on your project and your physical conditions. Doing upholstery can be easy and peacefull but it can also be hard, needing both muscles and precision to be able to do the job. That is why you need to start with easy project. Upholstery at a professional level require the ability to kneel, stand, and walk up to 8hrs/day and the ability to pull, and manipulate and lift heavy objects like armchairs and sofas.

If you have already major problems with your back or your hands upholstery practice can be hurtfull, specialy traditionnal so please go easy on you and check your doctor before.

What skills do you need to be an upholsterer?

  • Detail-oriented
  • Knowledge in design history
  • Able to transform foam or horsehair to restore and create padding
  • Able to cover well with fabrics
  • Able to apply finishes like nails and trimmings
  • Able to sew (with hand and machine)
  • Commercial skills
  • Ability to draw and interpret design templates.
  • Knowledge of upholstery tools including nail guns, and sewing equipment
  • Knowledge of uphostery materials including fabrics

Where can in find your upholstery tutorials?

I do believe in e-learning and you will find my upholstery tutorials and tips videos are on Instagram (for subscribers) and on my own website thegirlwithahammer.com (for members), if you someone elsewhere is claiming to offer Céline Vanier thegirlwihtahammer’s video tutorials it’s not me, i’m also a little on youtube.

How many years does it take to become an upholsterer?

You need to learn both modern and traditional upholstery techniques. Also it require to have a particular expertise in mid-century furniture. Studies that lead to this professional qualification can be completed in a variety of ways over one or three years. But you musn’t expect to be real professional level until 4 full years of practice.

What is a professional upholsterer ? / professional upholstery

If you want to become a professional upholsterer you should practice in a workshop and practice a lot to become a good upholsterer. Of course upholstery is a real job! not only a DIY.

What kind of tools and materials an upholsterer uses ?

Professional upholsterers use air compressed stapple guns, manual tools. Most of suppliers offer both traditionnal and modern materials like calico, foam, horsehair, springs, hessian, cord, threads etc. I’ll tell you everything you should know about upholstery tools and materials here.

Where do you find your fabrics ?

I’ve got 2 businesses on my own (Celine Vanier – Art des Etoffes + le Boudoir des Etoffes) so i’m my own dealer: i’m always chasing after new designs among my favorite fabrics suppliers.

What are the best upholstery fabrics brands ?

Here is the list of my favorites fabrics brands to work with.

What is Free Members access on thegirlwithahammer.com ?

A free subscription is a limited access to this website. It includes an access to all the “Materials and tools” category.

What is a Premium Membership access on thegirlwithahammer.com ?

A monthly subscription and access to every content of this website.

  • Tools and Materials
  • Upholstery tutorials and tips

How often do ou publish tips and tutorial.

Every week! Of course I’m busy but thank’s to your monthly subscription you all together allow me to spend real time on tutorials. So you will find there every week at least 4 tutorials and tips video + a “major” video tutorial on a special new technique every (month with no particular rythm). If something interesting is happening in my workshop I just share it.

Can I download your content ?

No the content on this website is not downloadable. The price is affordable so you can stay as long as you need.

Will you show us in your tutorials how to upholster and cover a sofa ?

Why not for professional level tutorials and depending on those i have to make for my clients at the workshop. Let’s start with chairs for now. I don’t have a proper tutorial sofa yet.

Do you have an upholstery book ?

Maybe one day but for now it’s only videos on Instagram or this website. I love upholstery books and i’m literally collect them. So i love to give you my feedback on those books.

Do you give upholstery classes out of France like in the United States ?

You have been asking this a lot and it’s not in my immediate plans but if i have a great opportunity I definitely could export myself to teach my class out of France a little.