DIY Removable Covers for Dining Chairs

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your dining room chairs or give your kitchen chairs a brand new look, DIY chair covers are the perfect solution. Best of all, this is a cost-effective way to rejuvenate your dining area without buying brand new chairs.

If your family is like mine, the dining chair fabric gets dirty over time. I really wanted something I could take off and wash. These simple slipcovers are removable and washable and can bring a tired old chair back to life.  

This easy guide will take you through the process, giving you a step-by-step tutorial on how to sew your own removable chair covers. You’ll find this DIY chair cover project to be a great way to utilize your sewing skills, You can customize the directions to fit your chair.

Supplies Needed

  •  Fabric – I used a medium-weight denim.  You can use upholstery fabric or home decor fabric if you prefer. How much fabric you need will depend on the size your your chair cushion and how many chairs you are covering.
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tool
  • Thread
  • Snaps or Velcro

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For these chair covers I am not removing the existing cover, but simply making a new one that will fit seamlessly over the old one.  

Make sure you wash your fabric before you begin so the final product doesn’t shrink.  The first fabric I bought to make these was a grain sack consistency. It had a lot of stretch to it and I didn’t like the way it turned out.

Simple Steps

I know this seems like a lot of steps, but once you get on a role you will realize just how easy these removable covers are to make.  It is really just a lot of pressing and sewing straight lines.  There are really only 3 pattern pieces; the body of the chair seat, a back panel and ties. 

  • First cut a piece of fabric to the desired size.  The fabric needs to cover the seat cushion and extend down in the front and sides to your desired length.  Make sure you cut the fabric big enough to account for your seam allowance.  I added 1.5 inches to all sides to allow for pressing a double 3/4 inch fold on all sides.  My fabric panel measured 31.5×24 inches.  
  • Press 3/4 inch on both sides of the fabric panel and then fold it over on itself and press again.   Sew a straight line along your pressed edge on both sides of the panel. 
  • Next press 3/4 inch along the front edge and then fold it over on itself and press again.  Sew a straight line along the pressed edge on the front of the panel.
  • Now you want to cut the corners where the sides and front meet.  This will allow you to sew the edges together to form a nice sharp corner.  I cut a 3.5×3.5 inch square from each of the front corners.
  • With the right sides together, sew the edges of the corner you just cut out, from top to bottom.  I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance here. 
  • Place the cover on the chair to make sure your corners fit how you like them.  If they seem too loose, you can always just sew a wider seam.  
  • Press 3/4 inch along the back edge and then fold it over on itself and press again.  Place the cover on the chair to make sure it fits as you like, but don’t sew this yet.
  • Next cut a piece for the back panel that will match the front and side extensions.  My back panel measured 16×9 inches. 
cut back panel
  • Press 3/4 inch along the sides of this panel and then fold it over on itself and press again.    Sew a straight line along the pressed edge on both sides.  
  • Press 3/4 inch along the bottom of this panel and then fold it over on itself and press again.  Sew a straight line along the pressed edge on the bottom of the panel
  • Next attach the back panel to the back edge of the main chair cover.  Place the cover on the chair and pin the back panel, right sides together onto the chair cover.  Make sure it is centered so it will drop down between the back chair supports.  
  • Sew a straight line along the pressed edge on the back of the chair cover and make sure to catch the back panel in your seam.  
  • Fit the cover over the chair, making sure it’s a perfect fit. Minor adjustments may be necessary, but that’s the beauty of DIY projects – you have full control over the end result.
  • Next cut fabric for the ties.  I cut 2 pieces, each measuring 3×6.5 inches.  
  • Press 1/4 inch along all 4 sides of each tie and then fold the tie in half lengthwise and press.  Sew a straight line along all four sides of each tie. 
  • Place the cover on the chair again and determine where you want the ties.  The ties will attach to either side of the back panel and wrap around the leg to each side panel.  
  • I decided to attach my ties using snaps, but you can use velcro as well.  If you want the ties to actually tie, just cut longer strips or use ribbon instead. 
  • Sew one tie on the inside of each side of the back panel.
  • Next sew the snaps on the ties and the side chair panel.  For this I just used a needle and thread.  Place the cover on the chair and mark with a pin where you want the ties to attach to get the desired fit.  Again you can also use iron on velcro if you prefer.  

Making your own slipcovers is a fantastic DIY project that not only gives your dining chairs a great look but also a cost-effective way to breathe new life into your pieces of furniture.

Whether you’re giving your dining set a brand new look, covering up a worn-out seat cushion, or even transforming a yard sale find into a stunning head chair, DIY dining chair seat covers are the easiest way to make a big impact.

So, take a little time, gather your materials, and let’s bring those old chairs back to life! If you liked this post you might want to read how to recover your dining chairs fast, how to make covers for the chair backs or how to make a slipcover for your headboard.

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