Just in case you are new to the DIY scene I decided to post how to use fabric to recover a dining room seat chair. Using fabric to recover a dining room chair is an easy way to update and freshen up a tired look. There is probably a professional way to do it but I have recovered chairs over the years with fabric that I love (and find). This project is for a beginner with limited skills and budget. I created this seat cover for an old antique cane chair that was a wreck. Many DIYers and professionals will probably tell you to buy heavy duty or upholstery fabric (and you probably should if you have expensive chairs). However, I do things on a budget and sometimes you find that fabric that just ‘calls your name’ and you just have to use it somehow.
and this fabric was my calling…so for my project which I had to create a seat cover I used:
- 1/4″ plywood that I carefully cut to mimic the shape of the top of the chair
- fabric (I had to buy extra to get the piece of the pattern for the chair cover)
- thin batting I had to cover the wood and to go under the fabric
- staple gun and 1/4″ staples
- patience because doing corners is quite challenging
You will need these materials for recovering a seat cover:
- staple gun and 1/4″ staples for thinner fabrics (and longer staples for thicker)
- fabric of your choice and check the pattern to make sure your seat pad will work with the pattern
- make sure the pad underneath is clean and smell free
- you will need tools to remove the staples/nails from the existing pad
- small flat tip screwdrive (or other flat tip to help push up staples)
- needle nose pliers
First I took the thin batting and cut it to cover the top and the 1/4″ edges. I then made sure to cut the fabric I bought with the pattern centered and left a few inches all around so I could play with centering it. If you do not have to worry about a pattern, then just cut it about 2″ larger all the way around checking to make sure the fabric wraps underneath with the 2″ for stapling. You need enough fabric to staple underneath. I did another chair in a stretchy denim and I could not stretch it at all or it looked funny (so I do not recommend stretchy material).
Second, I stapled a couple staples on one side and then flipped it over to make sure everything looked good before stapling any more. I can tell you from experience there is nothing worse than having to remove and start all over. If everything looks good, then flip over and staple a couple staples opposite of the ones you just did. Check the fabric again and repeat- stapling to about 4″ from the corner. Repeat this all the way around and be sure to leave the corners for last.
Now you need to staple the other 2 sides repeating what you did before. Once you get to the corners this is where you will need to play. I folded the fabric over and worked the corner a few times to try and get a smooth corner. It is kind of like wrapping a present. Just take your time and keep folding and working the corner until you get it smooth enough to staple. Do not strive for perfection if this is your first time or you will be there for hours. Make it neat but if you are not a professional the corners may have a wrinkle or a crease and that is okay.
The beauty of working with fabric and staple guns is that you can start over again if it doesn’t work out. I would suggest if this is a chair for kids or messy people, I would get a fabric protector or scotchguard product for spills. I hope I have inspired you to think outside the box and keep it real. Thanks for stopping by and if you ever have a question or want to share check out my Facebook page and share your project.
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @The Garden Frog Boutique & www.thegardenfrog.me