How To Make A Cover for an Ugly Office Chair

I’m excited today to be part of a DIY hop where all of the projects are related to seating. My DIY project was to cover my ugly office chair. I can’t bear to switch it out for something cuter because it’s so comfortable.

To make this simple cover you only need some basic sewing skills. You could probably do it with fabric glue, but I think it would take longer. This chair cover doesn’t require skill beyond sewing a straight line to join the edges of the fabric together. I recycled an old comforter cover, but a set of pillowcases would also work for this simple slip cover.

how to cover an ugly office chair

I chose to recycle pillowcases because there are lots of seams that are already done for you. If you don’t have extra pillowcases to recycle, you could also buy set to use.

Supplies Needed For Simple Office Slip Cover

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To make this slip cover for your office chair you will need these supplies:

  • One unattractive office chair without arms. I’m using one of these bungee chairs. These things are SOOOO comfortable. You could make this with arms, but makes the seat cover more difficult.
  • Pillowcase set – If you use a pillowcase there are a lot of seams that you don’t have to sew. These ticking pillow shams would be really cute for a chair cover.
  • Twill ribbon – I used recycled ribbon, but I think it would have been better with narrow ribbon.

Steps to Making an Office Slip Cover

I made one cover for the back and one cover for the seat. Each can be made using one of the pillowcases.

Making the Cover for the Back

First measure the length and width of the back of the chair. Slip your pillowcase over the back of the chair to make sure it will cover. Take the width of the chair back and add 1.25 inches for seam allowance. Take the length of the chair back and add 1.25 inches for seam allowance.

You are going to use two of the existing seams for your pillowcase, one side and the bottom finished edge. Measure and mark the length of your seat back from the bottom of the pillowcase. Add 1.25 inches for a seam allowance.

Measure and mark the width of your seat back from one side of the pillow case. Add 1.25 inches for a seam allowance. Cut the top and one side of the pillowcase according to these measurements.

After you cut the fabric, turn the pillowcase so that the right sides of the fabric are together. Pin the two open sides together and sew a seam along both edges. Try to keep your seems less than 1/2 inch from the edge.

After you sew the two seams, turn the cover right side up and put it over the back of the chair.

Making the Cover for the Seat

Covering the seat is a bit more of a challenge. If your chair is like most, there are lots of things under the seat that get in the way. Start by measuring the width of your chair seat and the length.

Use the other pillowcase and place it over the seat. Fold the ends over so they wrap under the seat.

Cut the width of your pillowcase on one side. You want to keep the finished edge to use as one side of the cover. The width should be the width of the seat plus 1.25 inches. Turn right sides of the fabric to face each other. Sew the second side. Now you have the seat cover at the right width.

Set your pillowcase on top of the seat again to see how much distance beneath the chair you need to cover with ribbon. Turn the fabric so that right sides face each other.

Decide how many ties you want under the chair. I decided to use three. Pin the ribbon so that the excess is up inside against the right side of the fabric.

pin ribbon for chair

Sew across the open edge of one end. Turn the fabric right side out and pin the ribbon on the opposite side the same way (with the ribbon against the right side of the fabric).

Seat cover

Turn the fabric so the right sides face each other again. Sew the other final end 2/3 of the way closed. Then turn the fabric so the right sides face out and you can hand stitch the rest of the opening closed (or leave it open, it will be on the bottom of the chair).

Tie your seat cover underneath the bottom of the seat and you are all finished.

final slip covered chair

Other Seating DIY Projects

Grandma’s House DIY – Rocking Chairs – My two favorites and how I updated them!

Chas’ Crazy Creations – How To Clean A Sofa Naturally

Life at Bella Terra – Refinishing Outdoor Furniture

Darling and Dapper Life – Wooden Farmhouse Bench DIY

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5 Comments

  1. What a handy DIY! I will save this idea for sure. Last year with homeschooling I bought both of my granddaughters desk chairs and who knows what they are going to look like a few years down the road!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have the same chair and I might do this for mine too. Happy 4th of July and wonderful hopping with you!

  3. Andrea, this is a really cute idea. My office chair is a bit stained and I will need to see if I can use this technique to cover mine. You are so clever!

  4. Ooh, it turned out super cute! Love that you started with pillow cases. I am always a fan of cutting down on sewing time by using existing seams. It’s one of my favorite things about recycling items instead of buying new fabric. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m pinning this now for the future 🤗

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