About a month ago, I found this baby on the free section of Craigslist:
This chair was so much nicer than I had hoped from the ad. It's real leather (so soft!), and very comfortable. Other than the arms, it was in perfect condition! I'd say it was two hours in the car (one with a very angry baby) well spent.
My plan for the chair was to reupholster the sides, fronts, tops, and inside (in other words the whole) arms. On closer inspection, I realized that:
1) most of the damage was on the outside
2) the tops of the arms were soft, buttery leather (softer than any cheap-o fabric I would be able to find to replace it with, and
3) I lack the skill it would take to make such a big upholstery job look professional. For the people who say it's just like wrapping a present, I say you should see my presents. Then you'll understand my decision.
Taking all of that into account, I decided to only upholster the parts that REALLY needed it, AKA the fronts and sides.
I purchased 2 yards of $1.50/yd fabric (on clearance) at Walmart. It turns out that I only needed one yard, but better safe than sorry, right?
I stapled the fabric to the chair (right over the damaged leather), pulling TIGHTly as I went. This process took me three weeks. In actual labor hours, it was more like an hour, but I couldn't staple with Madison in the house because she's terrified of the loud noise it makes, so I had to wait for Daddy/daughter grocery shopping dates.
Here it is now: