Upholstered Dining Chair - No Sewing Machine Needed!

3 Materials
4 Days

I had acquired a dining table with two chairs for about $10 and wanted to convert them into pieces I would be proud of in my home. Here is the finished product of the chair:
So, to add some context, I havent used my sewing machine in years and like to find work arounds that don’t involve sewing. I also had limited experience with upholstery. So limited that I thought it was Apholstry! So, by no means am I an expert. Here is the chair I started with:
See! Super basic. I bet you probably have one of these or know someone who does! They are so common. Well, I started out by breaking it down to it’s parts using a screwdriver and wrench.
And this is what it all looked like broken apart. I thought I was going to just upholster the seat and reassemble it with a nice, comfortable cushion, so I found some left over foam from my previous foray into upholstery. Then I lay out my batting and fabric.
Then I stapled these layers as tight as I could get them.
Then I trimmed the excess fabric and this was the result of the seat cushion:
Well, I had planned to stop there and just screw this upholstered cushion back onto the rest of the chair, which would have looked totally cool and a million times better than how it originally looked. But, I was feeling experimental and wanted to keep going! I started by measuring out my pieces of fabric, foam and batting and cut these out.
I stapled on the fabric, batting, and foam to the chair back first. This made it so the back would be nicely cushioned. I encourage folks to stretch, stretch, stretch the fabric as hard as they possibly can! I stapled it to the chair back because I knew I’d be adding another layer there. I then stapled the back panel on.
Next, I put the chair seat base back on. I measured the fabric needed to cover around my seat base and cut it out, but needed a hem. As I said, I don’t use my sewing machine much so I broke out my iron and fabric glue. I glued the fabric down and ironed it together to create a fake hem line. I actually find this method very effective and only needs a light cleaning on my iron to get rid of any excess glue.
When done, this is how it looked stapled to the base. I had some exposed staples in the back. I knew I needed to hide those but didn’t know how, and wanted to do something cheap and easy. So, I recalled about a decade ago when I learned how to make a binding for quilts! Well, I took the premise and modified it because I really didn’t want to use my sewing machine (basically, my sewing machine needs servicing and i Should get it done but I don’t prioritize that).

I took a long strip of the fabric. I applied fabric glue to one edge, foldled in half, and ironed it tight to create a fake hem on the pretty edge. It really doesn’t matter much if the rough edge is ugly because that it is the side I used to staple along edges with exposed staples. Then, I folded the binding up and nailed the fake hem edge into place using upholstry nails.
So, here are some of the pictures:
Not perfect, but not too bad on the chair back. Staples were all covered!
The back
The seat cushion.
And, ta-da!!! The final piece next to the table I fixed up (from an earlier post) . Overall, I love it and since I have a second chair, I am going to do that one too! But, in a different fabric! I think the overall look will be modern, pretty, and functional. Let me know what you think!
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

These Bathroom Makeovers Might Inspire You To Update Your Own
25 Christmas Wreath Ideas You Don't Want To Miss This Year
15 Amazing Things You Can Do With Paint Stirrers
18 Fun Ways To Add Glitter To Your Home Decor
30 Unbelievable Backyard Update Ideas
3 Great Projects To Flip Your Cookie Sheet Pans
15 Fun Things You Can Make Using Your Cricut
15 Affordable DIY Projects You Can Do Right Now!
How To: Make Hot Glue Placemats + More Crafts Ideas!
30 Different Ways to DIY an Adorable Snowman This Winter
These Clever Decor Ideas Are So Perfect For Summer
3 Great Ideas To Easily Upgrade Your Window
Dollar Store Gem Backsplash
25 Fun Things You'll Want to DIY Before the Spring Arrives
15 Bathroom Upgrades That You Can Totally DIY

Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • C. D. Scallan
    on Nov 20, 2017

    I think it looks fantastic ! How much fabric did you use overall ?
  • Marva Gardner
    on Jan 12, 2019

    HELP!?!?! How do I get break this chair down when there are NO screws? I LOVE the sleek lines you made with just stretching & staples, but once i remove the straw cane there is NO seat. And what about the space between the top back of the chair? Do I create a solid line with batting, cushion, & fabric? If I can figure these questions out, I believe I can do this, too! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Carol Becker
      on Jan 12, 2019

      I have no idea how to approach it if it doesn’t have screws for breaking it down. Other home talkers may be able to help???

Join the conversation

2 of 18 comments
Your comment...