How can I make affordable arm covers for new chairs?

by Susan

I’m redoing my living room and giving it a completely new, slightly glam/modern farmhouse look. Neutral Color scheme will be white, grays, a little black, touches of weathered gold, with teal blue accents I can switch out to other colors when desired. I’ve ordered two upholstered chairs (see pics) and want them to have arm covers. The matching fabric from the manufacturer is $60 per yard and I’m told I’ll need 2 yards for the arm coverings. The manufacturer doesn’t make arm covers so I’d need to order the fabric and then pay someone to sew the arm covers(I don’t sew). $120 for fabric, plus the labor to have the arm covers completed, sure seems expensive to me. I don’t want to put doilies on the arms though.Any suggestions how I can save $$ on these arm covers, but still retain the simple beauty of these chairs? Alternative/creative ideas welcome. Thank you.

  19 answers
  • Scarlet Paolicchi Scarlet Paolicchi on Dec 26, 2019

    I would just use a solid color fabric (should be so much cheaper!) that matches the chairs or theme of the room- white, grey, black, weathered gold, or even a teal blue accent would all work well.

  • Gk Gk on Dec 26, 2019

    You can order chair arm covers from Amazon in many different colors!

    I LOVE those chairs!

  • Or order 1 extra yard of fabric. You can make your own covers with stitch witchery. Measure and cut two rectangles and drape over each arm. Upholstery fabric is typically 54" wide - from one yard you can easily make 4 no sew arm covers that won't break up the pattern of the fabric by introducing another fabric / color.

  • Pat Pat on Dec 26, 2019

    I have seen people use Turkish hand towels to cover the arms of their chairs....this would be a temporary fix but I think you best solution would be a plain material the color of the background of your chair or the same fabric as your chair. By the way, I love your chair.

    • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Dec 28, 2019

      That's what I did! Found a perfect color match and my chair is a solid color so they are barely noticeable. Even if they did stick out you can easily remove them if company is coming. I have to remove the small rugs i have over all my furniture seat cushions when company comes anyway. My little fur baby is a digger and has dug thru every thing I've tried except for these rugs. I do not want her to ruin my seat cushions. What we have to do for our pets!

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 26, 2019

    Buy some fabric same as the predominate colour of the chairs. You can get fabric paint in the other colours. Do a freehand copy of the pattern with the paints. Then use the no-sew advice given previously.

  • Jane Jane on Dec 26, 2019

    Cute tea towels can be cut the right length and hemmed. A friend used one with a bird on it as a head rest.

  • William William on Dec 26, 2019

    I agree with Scarlet and Naomie. Solid color fabric close to the vines would be much cheaper. You can even buy bed sheets and use those. You can make your own with fabric glue or iron on fabric tape.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Dec 27, 2019

    Go to any fabric store and purchase 1 yard of solid color dense weave upholstery fabric from the home decor section.

    I'm sure that it will be far less expensive than $60 a yard!

    You were told to purchase 2 yards most likely because custom sewn arm slipcovers are designed to cover the fronts of the chair arms as well as the tops. Because the pieces are rounded and angled, (to fit the shape of the frame of the chair) extra yardage is required.

    If you are wanting to cut simple rectangles to lay over the tops however, one yard should be enough.

    Use twist pins to keep the slipcovers in place and to reduce slippage.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Dec 27, 2019

    Also buy a couple of cans of Scotch Guard spray and spray the chairs yourself . This will greatly help to keep the arms clean, which will perhaps reduce the need for using the covers all the time.

    If you plan to use the covers for everyday, then you can easily remove them for when company comes, or for other special occasion times.

  • Ann48742136 Ann48742136 on Jun 24, 2020

    Well I definitely wouldn't recommend that you start sowing your own tablecloths, this could lead to a terrible result especially when you are an engineer like my friend :). A very funny story actually, once, after a couple of beers my friend decided he was good at sowing and started creating a ,,masterpiece'' from a carpet in the living room. The poor carpet could have never thought of such a terrible fate. At least his bulldog has a new ridiculous outfit, he actually likes it and won't go for walks witout it in winter.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 24, 2020

    You can order many many types of arm chair covers (I assume slip covers) at and they have a big range of prices too. the customer reviews before buying.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 19, 2023

    Crochet them or buy Large Doylies etc. You can ofcourse buy Arm Covers from all sorts of places inc. ebay!

  • Janice Janice on Jan 01, 2024

    You can make your own pattern for the arm covers by using tissue paper and a few measurements. Each arm cover could be made using a 2 piece of arm and then a curved one for the front of the arm. Personally, I'd invest in 1 yard of the upholstery fabric and then carefully cut out the pieces using the pattern you've created. Add about 1/2" to the size so you can use seam tape around the edges and use hot glue or fabric glue to glue the front piece to the top arm piece. You might also inquire if any of your friends have sewing abilities and would help you out with the project.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 01, 2024

    You could get some coordinating fabric. We have a disocunt drapery fabric place here. Also look at Hobby Lobby and JoAnns for upholestry fabric.

  • Get fabric in a color from the chairs and use that - or use vintage doilies.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 02, 2024

    Hi Susan, get some fabric that matches the darker color on the chair and sew some, you can make a basic square to lay over or you can make one that is more fitted.

  • Dee Dee on May 16, 2024

    I love your chair. I would go to a drapery store and get the color of your vines and make your own. If you do not sew I would get them from Amazon.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on May 16, 2024

    Would you consider painting the fabric?