Quick & Easy No-Sew Chair Makeover

Chair Makeover

Sometimes the fall slump hits and all I want to do is make something quick that doesn’t require a sewing machine and/or glue gun (tell me I’m not the only one??)! I have a HUGE couch reupholstery project waiting for me in my basement, but this project provides a little more instant gratification, which we all crave once in a while, amiright? If you have some old dining room chairs that are sad and stained (toddlers, anyone?) this is a really easy way to add some life to them, and really make a nice change to your dining room!

What you’ll need:

  • some sad chairs
  • about 2 yards of home dec fabric (depending on the width, and also the size and number of your cushions, this amount may vary…I like to err on the side of too much!)
  • a heavy-duty stapler
  • extra staples, just in case
  • a few screwdrivers (a flathead, whatever your chair screws are, mine was a Philips)
  • a pair of pliers

chair makeover

I started with some glum-looking brown velour-ish covered chairs. I suppose technically, that’s a great color to hide stains…until someone dumps some oatmeal on there and grinds it in. I was covering 4 chairs and used home dec fabric that was 60″ wide. What you will need will depend a lot on how wide your fabric is, how big your cushions are, and how many chairs you are doing. It’s always better to have some leftover!

Start by flipping over the chair. I like to put it right up on the table so it’s the perfect height.

chair makeover

You should find 3 or 4 screws that are holding the cushion on (indicated by arrows above). Using the appropriate screwdriver, remove those screws.

chair makeover

chair makeover

There! Now you have something to work with! Now at this point you have two options: 1) you can be lazy like me and just put your new fabric over the old or 2) be all professional and remove the backing and remove the original fabric. I was feeling lazy, and wanted this to be over quickly, so I opted for number 1. If you want to do it the “right” way, then use your flathead screwdriver to remove all of the staples first:

chair makeover

Once you’ve got all of those out, continue onto the next step – cutting your fabric! If you chose to remove the old fabric, then you could use it as a pattern for the new…but maybe add just a teensy bit extra. I like to lay my cushion onto my fabric and then cut around leaving at least 4″ extra all around the cushion (if you’re using a directional fabric, make sure it’s oriented the right way!)

chair makeover

Now starting in the center of one side (we’ll call this #1), pull the fabric around the cushion and holding it tightly, staple right in the center. Do this on the opposite side (#2), one staple each, then the other two sides (#3 + #4).  This gets the fabric centered. Then add a few more staples on each side, doing opposite sides together as indicated in the following photos:

chair makeover

Next is the corner fold…think of gift wrapping a box – it’s very similar. Start by pulling the corner of the fabric towards the center of the cushion. Then fold one side over, then the other, holding it all firmly. Staple right in the center so you catch all of the layers.

chair makeover

Do this on the rest of the corners, and then flip it over:

chair makeover

You did it! Easy transformation and no bobbin-winding required! Just reattach to the chair frame using the screws that you initially took out.

chair makeover

Such an easy way to really change the feel of a room. If you ScotchGuard these, then you’ll get more life out of them, but where’s the fun in that? I’ll probably change it out for something else next year 🙂

Happy (non)Sewing!

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