DIY-Recovering Chair Seats


As part of my craft room (aka The Pink Palace) design, I needed to recover the chairs that went to the table I was painting. Painting the chairs will be covered when we get back to painting my table, as well as Sam doing her kitchen table. But back to the chair seats.  My vision for the room was warm and creative, with pops of white and black. That’s where the chairs come in.

I found fabric at Joann that came in squares that said “Create”. These were perfect for my seats. And they were a great contrast to the white of the chairs.  Because the chairs are almost 100 years old, they required quite a bit of time to remove the old covers. Also, I needed to decide on how firm to make the pads. Some things to consider:

  • How large is the chair? You’ll want a pad that is in proportion. These chairs are on the smaller side, so having a cushion 2-3 inches thick would have been too bulky. Having one only an inch thick would be uncomfortable.
  • How much give does your fabric have? I had a very strict pattern that needed to be exactly in the center of the chair, so I needed to make sure the cushion allowed for that.

Once you have this figured out, you’re ready to start! It can be labor intensive, but it’s so worth it!

What you’ll need:

  • Foam for cushions
  • Cotton Batting for cushions
  • Fabric
  • Pliers, Hammer, any tools to pry out staples or nails from old cushions
  • Scissors
  • Staple Gun & staples


How to assemble:

  1. Remove the old cushions by removing the nails/staples holding the current fabric in place. This can be a messy, time consuming task. My best advice is to go slowly and take care.
  2. Remove any old batting or foam from the seat bottom. Again, can be time consuming. In my case, some of the foam was stapled onto the seat so I had two layers of staples to remove.
  3. Clean up any excess debris from the seats as best as possible. This will help the new cushion, batting and fabric to lay smoothly.
  4. Using the bottom of the chair a guide, trace it onto the foam. I did this instead of measuring and repeating, since my chairs were very old, and no two were identical.
  5. Do the same with the batting and fabric, making sure you have some of each that overlaps about 2 inches to be wrapped around the bottom of the seat.
  6. Once you have everything cut out, layer fabric (good side down), batting, cushion and seat (good side down) onto table. Check to make sure your fabric is situated properly in the center of the seat by holding everything in place and flipping it over to check.
  7. Begin stapling everything into place, by pulling the fabric and batting tightly and stapling as you go, leaving corners until the end.
  8. When you get to the corners, pull and arrange the fabric to make sure they lay nicely.
  9. Trim and excess fabric or batting from the bottom.
  10. Connect the seats back onto the chairs.


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