How to Recover Chair Cushions

Hope you had a great weekend! We’ve been good but this week we’re headed to allergy testing for our Nickerbean 2. She has seasonal breathing problems and our doc wants to make sure there isn’t anything about her environment that we can change for her…. Please don’t say she’s allergic to dust…or old stuff (as one of my besties said) If you have any tips for me to keep her happy during what seems like a pretty un-fun appointment, let me know in the comments. Please and thank you! Speaking of fall allergies…Let’s go outside to our back porch. ; )  I’m still loving the makeover. I am so happy with the changes. It got super hot this last week but we’ve eaten out there a few times and it’s been great.

I hope you know just how easy it is to recover a chair seat to completely update and change the look of your furniture. Like, so easy.
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The only supplies you’ll need are:

a screwdriver,

a staple gun (this kind is the easiest if you don’t staple your finger like I did. It was 7ish years ago and let me just say, that if you’re holding it backwards, you can’t see the ‘exit here’ warning…) This is the one I have now, much safer for me to stick to the old school version.


and fabric. I bought this fabric for my craigslisted chair cushions. If there are kids involved, I always suggest buying outdoor fabric if you can, even for inside projects. It’s so much sturdier and easier to clean. You can find a fabric round up I did, here.

Before ordering the fabric, you have to figure out how much you need. I just measured a chair base, added a couple inches to each side and multiplied by the number of chairs I had. Decorator fabric is usually 54″ wide so you can fit 2 side by side. 

The fabric on the chairs had been upholstered recently and didn’t have any gross smells or stains so I kept it on there. You can certainly use needle nosed pliers to pull the fabric off before recovering. That’s just a step I don’t take unless I have to.

Cats and new surfaces…..

First, you unscrew the cushions from the chair base. There are usually 4 screws. I just lay the seat on top of the fabric, fold it to where its going to be stapled and pay attention to where I need to cut. You can measure and all of that but this is faster and I’m all about speedy projects.

 Once the fabric is cut, I made sure that my stripes were straight. A crooked pattern is usually super obvious.

I start by stapling in the center of one side, then pull tight and staple directly across from the first staple.

The tighter you pull the fabric, the better it will look. Just make sure you don’t pull too much and make the print get stretched and distorted.

Then I do the same thing with the other sides.

After I’ve stapled all the sides, alternating between sides, I’m left with the corners. Here’s where it can get a little tricky. Bring out your present wrapping skills. PS I’m a bad present wrapper, fabric and staples are easier, promise.

Since these cushions are right angles at the front and rounder in the back, I did two different kinds of corners.

 For the back of the cushions, I folded the extra fabric under creating one flat fold on the corner, and gave that a few staples.

For the right edges on the front of the chairs, I brought the fabric out from the front, folded the side under and folded it back to create this right triangle shape on the side of my cushion. Never put the fold on the front of the chair. Fold the extra fabric down on the sides. That way, when you look at the chair from straight on, it has a nice clean front.

Hold tight and staple down. The main thing with corners, is to make sure the sides are symmetrical. If you get one side laying flat and looking nice, do the exact same thing on the other side. I sure the fold I told you to make are “wrong” but is it good enough and better than it was? Heck yes.

It took me maybe 2 yards and maybe 30ish minutes for a huge impact. 

Screw the cushions back into the chairs and that’s it! See? So easy.

Have you ever tried it? You’d be amazed at the amount of ugly-seated chairs at a thrift store. All they need is some new fabric. Help them, help you.

Have a good week! Thanks for reading, friends!

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