Recovering Chair Seats: 101

I would imagine that most of you have recovered chair seats sometime during your decorating life, haven’t you?

If not, today is your day to learn how easy this project is.  I have recovered my share of chair seats and it really is as easy as cutting fabric to fit and stapling.  Nothing to it.  An electric stapler works great but if you only have a regular one, that’s fine too.

This is the first step to changing out the fabrics in my kitchen and I’m excited to get this part done.  Then it will be on to the window treatment, which might take a bit longer than this project did.  I’m not so good with sewing. 🙂

First things first.  Make sure you iron your new fabric really well. You want all those creases out before you start stapling. Unscrew the seats from your chairs and start taking off the old fabric.  This fabric is almost 9 years old and as much as I’ve enjoyed it, a change will be refreshing. A screw driver and needle nose pliers are helpful for getting out all the staples.  Get your staple gun ready to work! Once all those staples are out, you can pull off the old fabric. You’re left with the foam and batting underneath, ready for the new fabric. Bye-bye bunny fabric!  You can see this fabric has some wear after this many years. Use the old fabric to cut the new piece.  Sit the chair seat on top and start working your way around the 4 sides of the seat cushion and pull that fabric nice and taut, stapling along the way. recovering chair seatsIt’s best to start on one side, then move straight across to the other side, pulling the fabric taut and adding staples as you go.  Do the first 2 sides and then move around to the other 2 sides.  Then, you just keep pulling your fabric and stapling until you get to the corners.

recovering chair seatsOnce everything is in place and stapled well, I simply fold the corner down into a pleat and staple on top.  You really don’t have to worry too much about getting this perfect, it will look just fine once it’s back on the chair.

How in the world did my mother’s hands get in my pics? 🙂 recovering chair seats

And here’s the seat all ready to put back on the chair, all swankified with new fabric. recovering chair seatsLooking good!  You can see I wasn’t 100% careful with keeping my fabric straight.  Ooops, should have paid a little more attention, but since I’m not a perfectionist, I can live with this little flaw.  I really don’t think anyone will notice once they’re all back on the chairs. Screw the screws back in and you’re all done with this one.  I did add a little piece of white lining fabric on top of my new fabric, since I had already cut them the last time.  Just reused and this gives a little more finished look.  Not that anyone is going to look under your chairs.  Let’s hope not! 🙂 Four screws will get your seat back on tight. recovering chair seatsAnd there you have one finished chair.  I had 4 to do and now this part of my little kitchen update is done.  YAY! Let’s see how they are going to look with the black table.  I love the contrast of this new sunny yellow fabric with my black chairs.  You can see that I have 2 arm chairs and 2 without arms.  I bought these chairs unfinished years ago and they started out stained until I painted them black .  I chose to mix it up with 2 and 2 when I went with this round table and I like the variety. Very pretty. I painted these chairs about 9 years ago too and they have held up just great.  You can read how I did those hereA fresh new fabric will update every single time.  Done! I still have the red fabric up, but in a short while I’ll have a new window treatment in here too.   Excited about a new look. New fabric for old chairs.  I’ve got some fun new things going on here with my antique buffet too that I can’t wait to share with you soon.   I’m experimenting with lighter plates on the walls and those ferns that I dried will play a major role in here too. 🙂   I found a new shade for my bunny lamp.  A cute burlap shade at a yardsale.  Love how it gives a nice update too. A lot of this is moving around and changing too.  It’s fun to move things to get a fresh look. In case you missed the post on Decor Longevity, I talked about how long I usually keep fabrics before changing them out.  Usually between 8-10 years is about the norm for me.

So, these are the new fabrics I’ll be using in the kitchen and I’m SO excited to see it all come together. I’ve bought a board and am planning to make a window treatment stapled on the board, so fingers crossed that it comes out like I’m envisioning.

I think this white background and those yummy colors will really brighten it up in there! And I hope you learned something on recovering chair seats, if you haven’t tried this one yet.

Once I get all of this together, I’ll share my thought process on how I decided on these fabrics without changing my green wall paint.  That is staying and I’m only changing out fabrics and moving a few things around.

Are you in the market for some fun new fabrics?  Fabrics can really change a room from stale to fresh in a snap.

- Rhoda


  1. What a great way to create a new look! I love your fabric choice, it looks great with your black table!


  2. I remember the first time I changed fabrics…I thought it was going to be SOOOOO hard….it’s one of those easy, easy things to do !!!

    I once did a whole room around pillows I bought for the couch, when it alls comes together like you had in mind “it’s a beautiful thing”. I get the wild hair and hubby just goes along for the ride, bless his heart. He is away on business right now and the last thing he said was “please Kath let me recognize the house when I get home” LOL Honestly this time I have nothing BIG planned. Operative word BIG !! 🙂

    It’s always nice to change out a few things in a space…it makes one smile. You should be smiling very soon .

    All the best,
    Kathy 🙂

  3. Looooooooooooooooove your site! I SOOOOOO love the fact that you have incorporated a piece of your Faith in God into your site! Im a Blogging newbie and one thing I do is a daily Verse…so nice to see that with others too.
    I have a GIVEAWAY going on , to be announced winner Thursday, maybe you could visit my blog and give me some feedback…have a BLESSED day…

  4. Your kitchen looks so warm and welcoming, Rhoda. Love it! The new chair fabric is perfect, too. So pretty. 🙂

  5. It’s been AGES since I’ve recovered chair pads, but in looking at yours I’m getting tons of ideas. Maybe I’ll find a use for some of the gorgeous fabric I’ve been hoarding. Yes!

  6. Loving the new look!!! Can’t wait to see it all finished.

  7. I really love what you did. It looks awesome! What a change. I recently re-covered our dinning table seats. I love how our turned out too. This was my first time ever doing anything like this. Stop by and take a peep if you get a chance at

  8. LOVE that fabric! What print is it?
    And great job on the recovering!

  9. What color/brand is this kitchen? I absolutely LOVE it. You have inspired me like I cant even tell you.

    • HI, Lindsey, that kitchen paint is Laura Ashley Olive 4 and you can find it at Lowes. Great color, thanks so much for reading!

  10. I just found this post on PINTEREST and wanna say thanks. I’ve always wanted to do a chair seat and thought it couldn’t be too difficult, but have never had the nerve to try it. Now, Im ready to go find some fabric TODAY, to do my first chair. Oh, and wish I could get your ‘hand-me-down’ window treatment. I love it.
    Hey, Im new to blogland, only 3 weeks in……..sooooo, COME VISIT ME AND FOLLOW. Thanks again.

  11. Thanks for this “How-To” information! I’ve been looking at many DIY chair recovering pages across the Web and this one really helps me because you said you’re not a perfectionist and you can live with it…that’s how I feel too! I want to recover my dining chairs and bench, and my desk chair in something sweet and “shabby chic” and now I feel like I really can take on this project.

    Now I need to decide what fabric will be best…and should I match the desk chair with the dining chairs? They are different sets but I thought it would be a fun way to tie the room together. Hmmm…

  12. I’m totally loving that yellow/gold with those black chairs! Of course, being a native GA girl too, I tend to gravitate to anything that has Georgia Tech colors in it 🙂

  13. Love this tutorial. Look so easy and can’t wait to try on a table and chair set I just got to refinish. Just curious how much fabric was needed for The four chairs?

    • Courtney, just from memory, you need about 1/2 yard for one chair seat, depending on the pattern. If you have to center a pattern, it might change things. If it’s a small pattern, you could probably get away with less than 1/2 yard.

  14. Wow! Great job. I just redid some outdoor chairs for my back porch, and this makes me want to do other things. Beautiful job on all of it!

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