How To Upholster a Sofa Chair

Upholstering a sofa chair takes a bit of work and quite a lot of skill. It’s not an easy task to do, especially for novice sewers. If you want to learn how to upholster a sofa chair, you need to have patience, good sewing skills and all the necessary equipment to get the project done.

Here’s how to upholster a sofa chair.

  • Choose the chair you want to upholster. Determine he seat you want to work on. Larger seats will require more fabric and more effort to get the job done. If this is your first project, choose an uncomplicated chair.
  • Measure the seat. Get a piece of pen and paper and a measuring tape. Measure the back of the seat, the width and height of the seat, outside arms, outside back, top arms, top band and any skirt if the chair has one. You will also need the inside back, inside arms and front band of the seat. Be sure to indicate on your paper these individual measurements. Add about three inches or more of excess fabric so you have something to pull on as needed. Do not make the measurements so exact since you can always trim away the excess fabric.
  • Remove the old fabric. With a cutter, trim away the old fabric. You may want to set it aside since you can use it as your pattern for the new upholstery.
  • Purchase enough upholstery fabric. Look for fabric that is at least 54 inches wide. For seats, you need to choose a fabric that is durable, easy to clean and also beautiful. Canvas, corduroy, chenille and velvet are some good options. Decide if you want to get a fabric with patterns or if you want to keep it plain.
  • Prepare your materials. You will need fabric cutting shears, a fabric stapler, some glue if necessary, a sewing machine, measuring tape, patterns for your chair and a butter knife or fuller to tuck corners and edges in. You will also need upholstery tacks. Of course, you should have your fabric and some batting.
  • Follow the patterns. Take out the patterns and cut your fabric based on it. You should leave ample allowance on the fabric on all sides so you can grip the fabric as needed.
  • Attach the cut up fabric using a stapler. Now that you have cut up the fabric, you can start working in sections on the chair. Start with the largest piece, which is the front of the chair. Drape the fabric and tuck it in the sides as needed. Secure with a staple gun or upholstery tacks as you pull on the fabric so that it is not loose. Do the same with the back of the seat. Place the batting under the fabric and lay it over the section you are working on, such as on the arms of the seat.
  • Sew the seat. Now that you have the main body of the chair complete, it’s time to sew the fabric onto the seat. Use the old seat as a pattern. Stuff the cushion in the seat cover you have made then place it one the seat.

As you can see, the task can get quite tedious. However, you can save money if you do it yourself.


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