How To Make Chair Seat Covers

On a chair, it is the seat of the chair that gets the butt of the load (excuse the pun). Upholstered chairs for instance, get worn out. Some end up misshapen because the filler is no longer intact; the cushion is often not cushy anymore. Chair seat covers suffer from food stains, doggie drool and crayons marks.

Making your own seat covers is not a difficult task. This do-it-yourself project allows you to add color or change the look of the room where the chair is located in a small but dramatic way. In choosing fabrics, opt for delicate fabrics for decorative chairs but use thicker fabrics for chairs that are often used like living, dining, kitchen or study chairs. Consider buying fire retardant and machine washable fabrics.

  • Take the necessary measurements. With your tape measure, get the length and the width of the chair seat. Keep in mind that to these measurements, you will need to add an allowance on each side of about 4 inches. Identify how may chair seat covers you will do. Compute how many yards of fabric you will need for all the seat covers.
  • Get your materials. Go to your nearest fabric store and purchase your fabric. Don’t forget to buy fiberfill, which you will need for chairs with cushions that need plumping up. The other materials and tools you may need for this project are: fabric chalk, ripping tool, staple gun, staple remover tool and fabric scissors.
  • Remove the old chair seat cover. Detach the chair seat from the chair. Use the ripping tool to take out the old fabric. If there are staples or tacks, take them out with the remover tool.
  • Add fiberfill. For cushions that need to be plumper, add fiberfill on top. Use scissors to trim off the excess fiberfill.
  • Cut the fabric. Turn over the chair seat on top of the wrong side of the fabric. Lightly trace the outline of the seat on the fabric. Remove the seat. Allow for an extra 2 – 3 inches of allowance on the fabric for stapling. Cut the fabric with the extra allowance.
  • Attach the fabric. Place the seat on the cut fabric. Make sure the seat is centered. Work on one side first: the front of the seat. Begin stapling at the center going to the left and to the right side. Stop stapling at about 3 inches from the two corners of that side. Do the back edge of the seat following the same method of stapling. Continue with the two other sides.
  • Make neat corners. Starting with either the left or the right side, pull the fabric going to the front of the cover. Smooth the fabric on this side as you pull. Staple the fabric to the front side of the frame. Cut any excess fabric. Pull the same side to the back, smooth the fabric on this side, staple and cut away extra fabric. Do the same for the other side. Fold one corner of the excess fabric of the front panel inwards. Make sure the fabric is taut and the cover is smooth on this edge. Staple the corner. Do the same for the other front corner.  Complete the process by doing the same thing to the back corners.

You can now reattach your chair seat to your chair. There is no need to send your chair to an upholsterer. Making or changing chair seat covers is a one-person, do-it-yourself project. Easy, inexpensive and fun to make!


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