How to Reupholster a Chair Seat DIY

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Why hello there! Long time no see! I’m coming out of hiatus today to write about a cool little DIY project that I did recently: how to reupholster a chair seat!

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering where my lovely, informative and creative posts have gone over the last couple of months, right? No? Okay then I won’t bore you with the reasons why I took a little break and get straight into the blog! But in case you’re interested, I’ll make a little note at the bottom of this post 🙂

diy chair reupholster

A few blog posts ago I mentioned my amazing DIY star mom, and how she transformed our practically derelict house into a cosy, beautiful home. Well, practically every piece of furniture in our house and definitely every piece in my room has been lovingly refurbished by her skilful hands. And recently I made it known that I would’t mind having a little chair in my room. So naturally a few days later my mom presented me with a lovely little dining chair that she found at her favourite thrift shop. She went ahead and repainted it to match the other white and slightly distressed furniture in my room. Then she tasked me with the upholstery on the seat.

DISCLAIMER: This was my very first time doing this, so please forgive me if I’m doing something horribly wrong. But I really like the result, so I think that’s what counts the most! I simply followed what I’ve seen on DIY shows and Pinterest, trying to be as neat possible!

Before

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So after my mom was done painting the chair this is what it looked like. Not a very good match for my room as you can see. The fabric was a thick blue diamond pattern thing straight from the eighties!

Materials

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The materials you’re going to need for this project are:

  • The fabric that you’re going to use to replace the old fabric. You’re going to need two pieces that are about 10cm -15cm bigger than your seat. One piece is going to be for the top of the cushion that you’re going to sit on and the other can be a plain cheap fabric that is going to go on the bottom. (I used an old pillow cover that matched my style.)
  • Scissors
  • A seam ripper if you’re going to be picking apart a pillow cover like I was.
  • A staple gun
  • Staples
  • A screwdriver (not pictured)
  • Pliers (not pictured)

Step 1: Get your fabric ready

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My first step was taking apart the pillow cover to create two workable pieces of fabric. You can skip this step if you’re just going to use fabric you bought specifically for this purpose. You want a good upholstery fabric that can stand up to wear and tear. Carefully pick apart your pillow cover if you need to and make sure the pieces are big enough to go over your seat.

Step 2: Tear it apart!

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Now it’s time for the fun part! Or the tiring part, however you want to look at it! Rip out the bottom cover of the seat to uncover the main fabric and the original staples.

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Now for some people this step was super simple and easy, for me it took forever! Pry each staple out with your screwdriver, and if they are being stubborn, pull them out completely with your pliers.

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You should eventually be left with the wooden seat, the cushion and the old, dusty, dirty fabric. Throw the fabric away or burn it if it looks anything like mine! You might need to replace the cushion too, but mine was in good condition and not dirty at all so I just kept it.

Step 3: Staple new fabric on

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Place the cushion back on the seat and cover it with the new fabric so that it’s even on all sides.

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Flip the whole thing over so you can see the bottom side and start stapling the new fabric on. Start with the centre of each side.

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Pull the fabric tightly when you staple the opposite side so that the fabric is nice and smooth over the cushion. Now put a few more staples in on either side of the centre one to secure the fabric.

Step 4: Staple corners

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This is kind of tricky to describe and to show properly, but I’ll try. Think of it like wrapping a present, and create neat little corners. Pull the fabric to one side and staple, then bring it back over, fold it under and staple again. Make sure not to staple over staples, that will break your staple gun!

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Remember that you’re going to see these corners, so be careful and neat, making sure not to bunch up the fabric underneath.

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This is what it should look like on the back when you’re done! Hooray almost there!

Step 5: Stable on backing

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You can actually skip this part, but I wanted my cushion to look really nice and finished. And if you cover up all the raw edges of the fabric, it’s less likely to fray over time. So cut the backing fabric to the right size.

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Then place it over the back of the seat and fold it in so that you can see how it’s going to look. If you have the patience you could actually iron it to set the seam and make sure it stays that way while you’re stapling.

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Now follow the same procedure as the main fabric. Start stapling in the middle of each side and then work your way towards the corners. Try not to stable over your original staples!

Step 6: Put the new cushion on the chair!

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TA-DA!

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Exactly what I wanted! Yay! It was a lot easier than what I expected. The hardest part was actually getting the 30 year old staples out!

diy chair reupholster

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post please consider sharing it with your friends and family, it really helps me out 🙂

So in case you were wondering, I was on a little bit of a break for a while there, but now I’m back! I plan to post every week like I did before, and create more video content. I’m also planning a big restock of my Etsy shop, with all the charms that I created for the craft fair that I did a few weeks ago. Speaking of the craft fair, I will be doing a blog post about my first craft fair experience next week, which will also include a short video of my process of getting ready, and what my stall looked like on the day. So stick around for that 🙂

There are plenty more things that I would love to mention that I have planned but let’s just take it one day at a time, shall we?

Until next time! <3