Homemade {Upholstery}: Recovering Chairs

This is a project, which thankfully, takes no time at all!

I found two parsons chairs for $9 at a local thrift store and knew that I must have them. Not only did we only have four dining chairs to begin with, but when do you find a great parsons chair for only $9? They both needed a little bit of love (they were sans slip covers or upholstery and were very dirty). I cleaned the fabric underneath with a simple fabric cleaner and let it dry. Then I researched and found cute black “sure fit” slip covers for only $9.99 each. With free shipping, these chairs really only cost me $18 each. And when you search for a parsons chair, I challenge you to find one for under $20.

But this budget buy made me reconsider how dingy and sad our other chairs had gotten throughout the years. We bought them our first year together and I never bothered to cover their tan seats. Dinner parties and dog later, they got a bit gross and their covers were not machine washable (why did I do that to myself?). I spot cleaned them the best I could, but after a while and a few food spills, it was time for a change.

Sad and dirty, these guys needed a new life.

I bought well over the necessary needed fabric at our local fabric store (JoAnn’s) and borrowed a staple gun from a friend (thanks Jo!). That’s all you need, other than scissors, for this simple spruce up.


First step (after getting all your supplies), remove the seat cushion from the chair.

Remove old cover, and unless you can salvage the fabric for another project, toss those nasty things!

Lay out your fabric with your cushion. This is where you can check and double check that the fabric is lined up the way you want. If you’re as picky as me, this is where you spend the most time, making sure you cut enough on each side to staple properly and that your fabric is centered correctly.

Begin stapling the fabric from the center of one side. Well, in my case, load the staple gun incorrectly and fumble with it for several minutes until you get it in correctly. Make sure you start in the center, going to both corners. This will help you get the best corner and an easier staple job on both sides. Then choose the next side and continue around until you meet your already completed side.

I like to start at the front of the cushion because that’s the most noticeable side when the chair is pulled out from under the table. This insures that you will have a strong, straight edge to continue your covering. It also helps when tucking the corners (like tucking the corners of the covers on a bed).

Tuck and staple corners correctly. Reattach seat to chair and marvel at your awesome work!


Continue doing these steps with all chairs until you’re finished! Give yourself a big pat on the back for a job well done!

I forgot to take a picture of all four chairs together, but three out of four ain’t bad!


This project also allowed me to fix a couple of our busted chairs. We bought these from my favorite place on Earth (IKEAAAA) and they’ve weathered a bit in two moves. One lost a whole bolt piece, the others got a little loose, so this was the perfect time to whip out my tools and fix a couple chairs.

This was the “don’t let guests sit in it” chair, until this project came up! With a little wood glue and some time to dry and set, it’s solid as a rock.


And would you believe, with the wood glue and fabric, this project cost me less than $10? Since we already had the chairs and the fabric was 50%, I’d say it was a project well worth it.


What do you think? Do you have any pieces that you could cover and give a new life?





5 thoughts on “Homemade {Upholstery}: Recovering Chairs

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