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I want to make a chair pad that is smooth wood on the bottom and seamless padded upholstery on top. How do I handle the cloth/wood interface?

The simplest option is to wrap the cloth around the bottom of the wood and staple it, but that's ugly on the bottom.

My next idea is to do the same but add another layer of wood afterwards. I can't figure out how to get that layer to sit flat with the upholstery edge being pleated in some places. Or how to secure it to the first piece of wood without having screw holes in the clean wood surface on the bottom.

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The simplest solution I've seen is to use short finish nails to pin a flat finishing panel to the bottom after standard upholstering to the seat bottom. The finish pins can go just around the perimeter where they may be hidden by whatever frame is supporting the seat.

For instance, if you were using cheap but sturdy MDF as the seat bottom, on top would go your padding, and the whole unit would be wrapped in the fabric and stapled or otherwise adhered to the bottom.

Then a nice piece of 1/4" hardwood plywood could be neatly fastened to the bottom, effectively hiding and paneling over all the bunching and fastening of the fabric.

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  • Do you see any problems with the pleats being thicker than the non-pleats in the fabric, leaving a gap between the wood-fabric-wood sandwich in some place? – Sparr Aug 7 '15 at 16:41
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    Not really. If this is cosmetic, and these cushion have a hard bottom, I assume they are to be mounted onto a seat, couch, bench, gocart, etc. That tells me that the mounting will go into the seat base and not rely on this thin, effectively decorative bottom. – BrownRedHawk Aug 7 '15 at 16:45

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