My old condo was decorated with in teal and brown. In our new home, I’m slowly working away from the teal into a warmer, mustardy palette. I re-covered my dining room chairs once already, but now that I’m re-doing them once again, I thought I’d write up a tutorial so you can re-cover your dining room chairs!
These are my chairs with the fabric I used the first time around. I actually like the slightly Seussian blue fabric, but it’s just not working with our new decor. It was also starting to wear on the edges a bit.
I picked out this Lotta Jansdotter “Korkek” canvas fabric in dandelion from the Intrepid Thread.
I love how it’s modern, bright, and warm — all at the same time. My suggestion is to pick a fabric that will hold up well to the wear and tear of daily use. Mine is canvas and I also added a coat of ScotchGuard, so it would be easy to clean. Upholstery fabric or duck would also work well.
To re-cover four average dining room chairs, I needed three yards of fabric.
Flip the chair upside-down and set on a table or counter.
The seat of my chair was held to the frame with five screws. Unscrew them and lift the frame off and set aside. I left the screws in the upside-down frame so I wouldn’t lose them.
First I removed my original re-covering fabric to get it down to the original fabric, using a screwdriver and pliers to remove the staples. Three layers of fabric just felt like too many! I probably could have removed the original fabric too, but it was attached with about a billion tiny staples and I got a life to live.
I’m reminded how much I hated the original cosmic petri dish fabric that came with the chairs.
Measure the size of your seat and add ten to twelve inches to each length and width measurement (five or six inches in each direction). This will be the size you will need to cut for each seat. I only added five total (an extra 2.5 inches in each direction) the first time I did these — and it was just baaaarelyenough fabric to cover the seat.
Place the fabric right-side down and set the seat of the chair, padded side down on top of it. If if you are using a directional fabric, make sure it’s facing the right way (for instance, I want all my stripes to go from the front of the seat to the back, no across).
Attach the new fabric to the seat using a staple gun. Begin by stapling the fabric to the seat at the center of each side, a few inches in from the edge. You want to make sure your staples are covered by the edges of the bottom of the chair, so don’t do them right at the edge.
Then secure at each corner, pulling the fabric taut around the seat.
The corners are a little tricky to get smooth, but if you work and re-work them, you can get them pretty smooth. There might be a pucker here or there, but it’s hardly noticeable when they are back on the chair frame. Staple the corners down, still making sure you’re not too close to the edge.
After sides and corners are stapled in place, continue securing the fabric with a line of staples around the seat.
You may want to use a hammer to bang the staples in more securely.
Next, USE ALL THE STAPLES. Just staple away. It’s better than having the fabric tear loose.
Screw the base back on the seat — I could feel where the original screw-holes were on the seat, and I marked them with a pen (and apparently did not photograph that step!). It helped me line up the base on the seat.
Voila! A quick and easy way to change up the look of your dining room chairs without breaking the bank.
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