Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Giving New Life to an Old Chair {How to Reupholster a Seat Cushion}

While cruisin' my local Goodwill store for colorful, mismatched clothes that would complete my "clown-look" for Halloween, I stumbled upon this chair.


Normally I'm a bit hesitant to take home furniture, mostly because our house is small (I'm talking 1500sq feet and NO basement- blast you high flood table!) and I never have anywhere to put said furniture. But, I had to take this guy home. He was only $15... and I knew that someone else would snag him if I didn't.

Sure enough, a lady checking out behind me noticed the chair, commented on how nice it was and asked if there was another! Nothing seals the deal more than having somebody else jealous of your great, thrifted find! :)

I love his clean lines and light wood color. I couldn't find markings on it anywhere, so not sure when or where it was made. But that fabric on the seat? Well, it had to go!

At JoAnn I found the perfect outdoor fabric, made by Waverly. And it was 50% off. I came home with a yard for only $9.99.


To reupholster a chair yourself, you'll need:
* Vinegar/water solution
* Fabric (I only needed 1/2 a yard to cover this seat)
* Scissors
* Staple gun
* Wood glue
* Clamps

First I wiped down the chair with a vinegar and water solution. Then I set it outside to dry off. While the chair was drying, I popped inside and ironed my fabric. I wouldn't skip this step.... you really don't want wrinkled fabric on your chair. Trust me.

Next I pried off the seat cushion with a screwdriver. The seat is held on by four screws and basically popped off when I ran the screwdriver underneath the seat.

 Then I cut my fabric down to 1/2 a yard and laid the cushion on top. Since this was thicker fabric, I didn't have to remove the existing fabric on the seat. It's also still very cushy, so I didn't have to add any extra foam. That definitely saved me some work and time on this project. :)

 Here's how I folded the fabric to get my corners nice and neat. The pictures are pretty self-explanatory.

 Then I started stapling... Be sure to pull the fabric tight. And remember, more is good when you're stapling!


I decided it would be best to glue the seat back on, rather than fiddle with the nails. I used Elmer's wood glue and generously applied it to the top of the seat frame.

After setting the seat back on the chair, I simply clamped all four sides down to make sure it was on there nice and tight. I kept the clamps on for a few hours to ensure that the seat was secure.

And, here's my finished product! The chair perfectly matches our bedroom color scheme. It fits nicely in this little corner... I'm envisioning reading my Coastal Living and Southern Living magazines with my feet propped up on a little stool (that I have yet to find) while the boys nap.

A Mama can dream, right?

And a few more shots of my new favorite piece of furniture. :)

Have you found any great thrift store finds lately? Ever reupholstered a chair? How'd it turn out?


  1. I LOVE what you did with the chair! My dining room set from IKEA came with chairs upholstered in a boring white that gets dirty easily and they are all covered in cat fur. I keep thinking about recovering just the fabric part but it always makes me nervous. This eased my mind a bit :)

  2. Beautiful re-do! I'm Pinning this for future reference for when I find "the" chair to re-do. I'm a new follower. Check me out too:


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