How to Recover a Chair Seat Cushion

2 Materials
25 Minutes

If you have a chair or dining chair with outdated upholstery fabric, here is How to Recover a Chair Seat Cushion easily with no sewing required.

Outdated chair cushion fabric can be easily update with these simple steps.

Remove Seat Cushion

Most chairs of this type have a wooden chair bottom that is screwed from underneath and they are easily removed with a screw driver.

You can remove all the fabric from the seat if desired. Because I wanted to increase the softness of the cushion, I choose to leave the original fabric and batting in place.

Measure & Cut Fabric

Next measure your seat bottom and allow approx. 3 inches additional for all edges. This seat bottom is 20 inches at the widest point so I cut the fabric 26 inches wide. Do the same for the depth of the seat bottom.

In addition, be sure to allow for any pattern. Since the fabric has a stripe, I made sure the stripe would be in the center of the cushion once attached.

Attach High Loft Batting Material - Optional

I choose to add an additional layer of batting. If you are happy with the softness, you may skip this step.

Begin by wrapping the batting material around the top of the seat bottom and pull tightly as you staple. In addition, cut of any excess material at the corners.

Add New Fabric

Next, do the same with the desired fabric. Be sure to align the fabric correctly if there is a pattern to consider. Once again, pull the fabric tightly around the edges to assure that the fabric is smooth once turned over and attached to the chair. Also, be sure to tuck the fabric at the corners as you see in this photo.

You can see how to make faux feed sack material from a drop cloth here.

Finish with Drop Cloth Material

The last step is to cover the raw edges of fabric and batting with another fabric. I choose to use drop cloth fabric because I have plenty of scraps on hand and it's cheaper than the fabric I used for the top of the seat cushion. You can see here a table runner project using drop cloths.

Turn raw edges of the drop cloth fabric under and be sure that all raw edges of the fabric and batting are now covered. Using the staple gun, securely attach the drop cloth fabric around all edges.

Re-Attach cushion to Chair

Using a screw driver, re-attach the cushion and your chair is updated.

Farmhouse Style Chair

The chair looks perfect with my farmhouse style desk.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Val
    on Oct 17, 2020

    I have never done anything like this before. I was wondering if it possible to hot glue the fabric to the seat? Would it stay in place with people sitting on it?

    • Flipturn
      on Nov 8, 2020

      No, do not use hot glue. It will seep through to the outside of the fabric and cause a yes, a hot mess.

  • Em
    on Oct 17, 2020

    Where did you find the fabric?

Join the conversation

4 of 16 comments
  • Martha
    on Nov 1, 2020

    I found that my chairs covered better when I pulled off the old fabric. I then used it as a pattern for the new fabric, and then covered the seat using staples. I really like the fabric Rachel used and using drop cloth to finish off the bottom neatly.

    • Butters
      on Nov 4, 2020

      The correct way is to remove the old fabric, Staples, etc. is the right way to do it. Never leave the old fabric on the cushion. That’s being very lazy.

  • Pamela Midkiff
    Pamela Midkiff
    on Nov 5, 2020

    Love the Chair!! But, I really loooove that typewriter!!

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