Do you want to change the look of your kitchen or dining room chairs for $30 or less? It’s a fairly easy DIY project you can do by yourself, even if you aren’t super handy.
Somehow my dining room chairs were two different fabrics, which I would describe as dirty mushroom and brown. Here’s my before image.
What You Need To Recover A Cushion
The biggest decision to make about recovering a chair is what fabric to use. If the chair is going somewhere that gets dirty, like in a kitchen, you should consider fabrics that can be easily cleaned.
I chose a black and whiteSunbrella fabric because Sunbrella fabrics stand up to a lot of abuse and they can be cleaned. You should measure your seat cushion length and width and add 4″ on each side to allow the fabric to wrap around. This depends some on how thick the cushions are. I was able to cover four chairs with two yards of fabric.
Other tools you will need are:
- Staple gun like this one
- Screw drivers (depending on your chairs, you may need both Phillips-head and regular).
- Tape – I used regular scotch tape
- Hammer – you may not need one, but it depends on what your chairs are made of.
Steps to Follow
1.) Most dining room cushions are screwed into the chair base. Before you can recover the cushion you will need to remove the cushion from the chair. I like to turn my chairs upside down on the table to unscrew them.
2.) Remove the existing fabric, unless you are covering a light fabric with something much darker. For me this meant prying out 50+ staples with a screw driver and a pair of pliers. My chairs are made of wood but the base is pressed wood which is VERY hard.
3.) Use the fabric you remove as a pattern for cutting out your new fabric. I like to lay my fabric on a flat surface and put the old seat cover over the new so I know exactly how big to cut my new fabric.
4.) I like to tape the fabric onto my chair before I attach it in any permanent way so that I can make sure the pattern is straight. If your fabric is striped or floral (or has any type of pattern) you will want to make sure the stripes look straight or that the pattern repeat looks the way that you want. The tape doesn’t need to be anything that will be long lasting, it is just a guide before you start stapling.
5.) Staple the fabric to the chair. It works well to have two people (if you a helper who is willing like my Dad) because one person can pull the fabric tight and one person can staple. The staples on my chair would not go all the way into the wood, so I had to hammer them in all the way.
Corners are the tricky area. You may need to cut away some excess fabric on the corners to get them to lay flat. It’s similar to wrapping a package. There is no one way to do it, just keep pulling and folding and staple when you get it into a position you like.
6.) Screw the cushions back into the chair base. If your chairs are like mine, label each cushion and base before you start so you attach same cushion to base. The screw holes in my chairs were all over the place, there was no uniformity. Unfortunately, I didn’t mark them so there was no way to tell which cushion belonged on which chair base.
I entered this post into a contest found on this great web site for DIY and crafting, although I have NEVER WON any contest. Check out these great blogs, which host the contest.
R&R at Home (for great budget DIY finds), Dabbling and Decorating (for the most amazing dog photos and DIY), Robyn’s Southern Nest (you won’t believe how she can transform your kitchen sink) and A Heart Filled Home (to follow her new fixer upper project).
Have you ever entered a contest and won?