How to Upholster this old Rocking Chair

I found this rocker for $10. I want to upholster it but from what I was told it was caned? Does anyone know any good tutorials of how to not cane but upholster this type of chair? I have only done simple upholstery type projects in the past. Also does anyone know anything about how old or anything about this chair?
  11 answers
  • Kimberly Barney Kimberly Barney on Apr 06, 2013
    Great find!!! I love the curves of the chair. Since it was a caned chair, you will have to first cut pieces of wood for the seat and back of the chair so that you can then apply the foam and upholstery fabric. The seating area will need braces added that go across the seat for support as well. Again, great find!!
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 07, 2013
    I recently built some lap desks where I upholstered the "backs" with some leather and upholstery tacks. I was inspired by this because we have an older antique chair that has a leather bottom. I used a poly fill that I got at a fabric store store for the "stuffing". The seat on this chair would require a backer that is strong enough to take sitting on. If I were to do this I would inset a thin ply panel in there first.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Apr 07, 2013
    @ I have no experience in this area so I googled it and came up with this site that provides guidance and the rocking chair looks some what like yours Do post an updated pic here so we can see your success :) Thanks for posting, I do love a search challenge!
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Apr 07, 2013
    I have three really old cane chairs that need caning. Thanks Gail! I may try this before I take them to someone because they are so old I want to leave these original.
  • Betty Brady Betty Brady on Apr 08, 2013
    On any old chair that was caned or upholstered with webbing, you can make a plywood seat or back that matches the shape of the area you want to recover. Make sure you have at least four to six holes (they may match some of the caning holes in the seat) drilled in the plywood, and glue on lock washers (make sure to mark where they are). Then you get high quality foam and glue it to the wood with foam adhesive. You can have the foam trimmed at a local shop, or if you don't have one in your town, you can use an electric knife to trim the foam. Recover, and when done use bolts to fit your lock washers to attach the seat to the chair. Done this many times and works like a charm.
  • Patricia W Patricia W on Apr 08, 2013
    Ive got a chair in my sewing room with a wicker seat. Now I know how to replace it! Thanks for the great tips!
  • Sweet Papaya Creative Sweet Papaya Creative on Apr 10, 2013
    Thank you everyone for the great guidance and links! I have one last question - What the heck is webbing and where do you find
  • Sweet Papaya Creative Sweet Papaya Creative on Apr 11, 2013
    Wow thanks Sheila! I had no idea what it looked like or where to get it. This is going to be an adventure!
  • Doreen Nestell Doreen Nestell on Jun 22, 2013
    This is great info for me. I got an old Cuban rocking chair. Well that is what I believe it is, I live in a Cuban neighborhood. I can't wait to try these Ideas!!! More to see at my blog
  • Zest it Up Zest it Up on Jul 14, 2014
    Hey there! I'm not sure if you have tackled this project, but I have done a couple of these over at Here is a link that may prove helpful I originally discovered ideas through as well. Good luck!! It's an awesome find! :) Chanda
  • Anna Ibarra Anna Ibarra on May 19, 2016
    Thank you for this post, I just bought 3 small children chair that had been caned, and only one is still good, but other 2 need redone. I may just keep the the one caned still in tack, and sell the other two. I had to buy the 3 of them.