Reupholstering A Pair Of Cast Off Chairs

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I came home one day with the back of our SUV stuffed with two chairs in it. I could see my husband's face as I asked him to help me take some stuff out of the car. He wasn't thrilled. At least he didn't give me any grief. I got these chairs for free from my office.
They used to sit there all day all worn out and tattered, and I had dreams of eventually redoing them. But that was like 5 years ago. Anyway, dreams finally do come true :) And since they are not needed at my office any more, they are now a perfect fit for my home.

I have always loved the style of these chairs. The wood is so rich and knew it would pop beautifully with some white fabric. I do admit, that at one point a few years ago, I attempted to take one of them apart to see if it would be easy to reupholster, but I couldn't get it all. I thought the only way to do it would be to staple the fabric on it and then glue on some double welt cording to cover the staples and edge. I wasn't too thrilled with this idea. That's probably why it sat in my office for another couple of years :)

But I finally decided to tackle it and see what I could do. All in all, it wasn't too hard to disassemble, just a bugger to pop out the sides and back. Like a true pain in the butt. But once I realized how to do it, I just grabbed the hubs and used his muscles to help :)

As for the fabric choice, I used drapery lining. If you ever want white, cheap, not see through fabric for anything, use this stuff. It's amazing. I use it all the time for my headboards, pillows, and reupholstering projects. You can get it for about $3 a yard at Hobby Lobby. Just be careful about washing it, I'm not sure how that holds up since I haven't had to wash it yet.

For this chair, I started with the seat and just covered the seat, stapling the fabric in place on the bottom. What I realized to keep a smooth look around the curved edges is that staples are your friend. Staple as many staples you have as close together as possible.

For the sides, I traced out each piece onto the fabric.
how to reupholster a chair
 For each piece, I traced it twice essentially since I was going to sew a 'cover' for it. So, I lined the two pieces of fabric up, pinned them in place and then sewed around the traced edge about half an inch away on all sides. I didn't stitch up the longest side, since this would be my side to put the chair piece in the cover.
how to reupholster a chair

Once the piece was in the cover, I just stapled the bottom unstitched piece into the chair piece itself.
how to reupholster a chair
Once I got a hang of it the first time around, the other pieces were a sinch.

Then I put them back in the chair....stepping on them and jumping on them. Yes. That's how bad they didn't want to come off or go back in :) But they eventually popped back into place.

Once the pieces were in, I noticed that the fabric was grabbing in places creating wrinkles, so I just got a small flat head screw driver and tucked the fabric into the frame of the chair creating a smooth line.
how to reupholster a chair
how to reupholster a chair
And here it is!
how to reupholster a chair
And here it is with a cute pillow, because all chairs need some adornment ;)
how to reupholster a chair
I'm so glad I finally tackled these babies. Years and years in the making :) Now if I can only find a spot for them! I have a few ideas on where, I just have to decided which place for sure....and hopefully one of these places is not the basement lol. I think I have a slight chair obsession. I like to buy chairs, and then I buy more,...and more. But sadly, there are only so many places to put chairs in my house so I have a 'cast off' collection down in the basement. I like to think that they will be used eventually especially when we get the basement finished. But who knows when that will be :) So, until then I will just consider myself a chair hoarder :)

And sorry that I've been mentioning two chairs in this whole post and am only showing one...but I haven't a clue where to put even one let alone two :) That's why you are only seeing one lol


  1. I love it with the white fabric! (and I'm sure the other one looks just as good!:)

  2. Well, that was a painful project, but the result is breathtakingly beautiful! The white does look great with the wood. I'm glad to know about the drapery lining fabric and will probably use it in several areas around my house. Thanks a bunch, Alicia!

  3. They look fabulous. Perfect chairs for anywhere.

  4. So many beautiful chairs!! Does House Beautiful do this with other home products too? Great idea!!
    The Comfort of Expectable Chair

  5. Great Done!

    So easy to fix the chair with the simple tool but what about the car seat?
    How do you deal with a burn hole in your car seat?
    because i think they have a small different and need another procedure to do.

    Thank you so much!

  6. How did you disassemble the chair.? I cannot figure mine out. There are no visible screws.


happy DIYing! Alicia