Sep 2, 2014

DIY, How to cheaply recover chairs

You all have them, the ugly chairs that came with the table years ago. If you're like me, there are no cleaning products on the earth that can get these babies looking like new again. That wasn't acceptable to me!

This started when I repainted my table aka desk. The chairs were just down right ugly and I wanted new ones. Turns out, it's hard to find the perfect chair height and comfort level. I decided I needed extra support and some snazzy new fabric to reupholster them. MUCH cheaper option than purchasing new chairs!

I took off to Joann Fabrics and found a heavy cotton knit. Sort of between regular quilting fabric and a blue jean. I didn't purchase the fancy upholstery fabric because those are so expensive! And, honestly, who knows when I will get the itch to change the colors again, so I went with the cheaper option. I purchased two yards of the fabric, one yard for each chair.

Not only did I want to change the fabric, but I wanted more support as well. You'll need to measure the seat part of the chair to make sure you buy enough foam. I bought the 2" high density foam. Or, if the chair's cushion is still okay, you can skip this part.

Now, when you get home, gather all supplies:
Staple gun & staples
foam (if applicable)
measuring tape
screw driver

Chances are, your chair's seat is screwed in to the chair frame. Find the 4 screws, and take them out. If you want, you can pull off the old fabric, but I just left mine.

Lay out the fabric on the floor, with the good side facing down. You want the fabric at least 4" longer on each side of the seat. .

Next, put the foam in place. if you need to cut the foam, measure it exactly the same size as your seat. I made the foam wider on one chair than the other, I wasn't sure which one would be more comfortable with my back, but you should be able to have it the same size as your seat.

After the foam is centered on top of the fabric, put the seat, face down, on the foam.

Then, gently pull one side of the fabric to the top of the seat and staple to the seat.

Try not to slide this all around on the floor, but go to the opposite side of what you just stapled, and pull that to the top to staple. This is the tricky part, you want a snug pull, but you don't want to pull the fabric so hard that it squishes the foam too much. You don't want any ripples or unnatural looking bubbles in the foam when you flip it over. If you've pulled it too taught, grab a flat head screw driver and pop the staples out, try stapling the fabric with a little less pull.

Then, I folded the ends kind of like you would when wrapping a present. Pull the rest of the fabric, on that side, up and staple.

Go directly to the opposite side and do the same.

Should be looking good by this point! Make sure the fabric is taught, but not overly.

I didn't add the extra coverage fabric to mine, but if you want it to be completely finished and professional looking, add a piece of fabric that will cover the center. Just cut it out to fit over the edges and staple it to the chair seat. If it looks good, go ahead and screw the seat back on the chair frame!

And voila! You're done!

 $4.99 per foam cushion
 $5.99 per yard of fabric
Total cost- $21.96!

Plus, if you download the Joann Fabric app on your phone, you can use their current coupons for a discount! If you are a little more of a planner, they also accept Hobby Lobby and Michael's coupons as long as they're similar!

What projects are you working on now?


  1. Love me some Joann's! I reupholstered our bar stool chairs using an old table cloth last year. You are so right in that doing it yourself saves a ton of money and makes it super easy to change them up.

    Love the pattern you went with here! Looks great. :)



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