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How to reupholster a dining chair seat

Updated on August 10, 2015

Here are the photos before I covered it

The before photo of our dining chair seat
The before photo of our dining chair seat | Source
The slight dent on the chair
The slight dent on the chair | Source

How to reupholster a dining chair seat

Two of our dining chair seat covers had a slight bashing or has a dent to it. We have been thinking of buying new ones to replace them but our dining table and chairs are fairly new. We just bought them a year ago I think. Our dining table and chairs are so comfortable that I don't want to change them. I suggested to my husband that I would like to have a go at reupholstering them which gave my husband quite a shock as I don't know much about D.I.Y jobs let alone reupholstering a chair seat. In fact, my husband is the one who is very good at any D.I.Y jobs in our home and I am the one who is good at gardening, tidying and cleaning up.

But before I will do it, I need a staple gun and some staples. My husband ordered a Staple gun and some staples from EBay and the next day it came. I started my D.I.Y job in no time. I was so excited in using the staple gun for the first time I can't wait to start my new hobby. Luckily, I got this piece of cloth that is quite bright yellow with pattern to it to use in covering the chair seats.

The Tools or materials I used for reupholstering the chairs

The Things I used for reupholstering the chair seats:

A piece of cloth or material to cover the chair seats

A staple gun - to use for stapling the cloth, easy to use

Staples - to staple the material or cloth

A screwdriver - to remove and put back the screws on the chair.

A plier - to remove the staples

A workbench - borrowed from my husband's work bench

A mobile phone - to take photos of my before and after photos of the chairs(SamsungS4 mobile phone)

A pair of scissors - to cut the excess cloth or material

The chair seat or cushion


Tools I used for reupholstering the chair seat

The materials or tools I used staple gun with staples, plier, scissors, flat screw driver, the seat with new cover, and the work bench plus my cell phone.
The materials or tools I used staple gun with staples, plier, scissors, flat screw driver, the seat with new cover, and the work bench plus my cell phone. | Source
The chairs before I covered them. The before photos
The chairs before I covered them. The before photos | Source

How to reupholster a dining chair seat

To be honest, I was quite nervous about doing this but I thought to myself if I won't try then I will never know if I can or I can't. But to give me an idea, I went and look at google for a few ideas. I saw a You Tube video on how to reupholster a chair seat and this woman did it so easily that it gave me an inspiration and some ideas on how to cover my dining room chairs. With that in mind, I got my husband to undo the seats from the chair so I could start reupholstering for the very first time. I suppose I could have done this myself too but I thought he is better at removing screws. I might cause more damage to the already dented chairs. Besides it won't hurt him to give me a helping hand with his D.I.Y skills. This is a challenge for me but I am good at facing real life challenges so here I go.

This is how I did the reupholstering: I gathered all the things I need first and put them down near the work bench where I am going to cover the seats. I did not have to remove the old cover as it is fairly new, it just got dented so I will just cover the seats with new piece of cloth of my choice.

  • I put the piece of cloth to cover the seat on top of the work bench upside down then I put the seat upside down on top of it.
  • I then try to measure(estimate) how much material I need to cover the seat. Then cut the excess material or cloth.
  • Next, I grab both cloth each side and make sure they are stretched enough, fold the piece of cloth, then I staple one side in the middle, then I do the same on the opposite side of the seat. Repeat this on the other two sides of the seat. Make sure there are no wrinkles on the upper part of the seat.
  • When I finished stapling the middle of each sides of the seat, I will now start stapling from the middle of the seat towards the corners of the seat but stopped before the corners making sure that the material is stretched and make sure that the staples are in straight lines to make good finish look.
  • Here is the tricky bit, stapling the corners of the seat. I have to make a pleat on the corners to make a neat finish before I stapled it. I have to cut excess material or cloth to be able to fold the corners neatly. I find this the hardest bit of upholstering a chair seat. I wasted a few staples doing this.
  • Check that everything is fine before screwing it back to the chair. The last thing to do is screwing the seat back to the chair. And that is it, job done.

Step-by step photos of reupholstering a chair seat

The seat upside down with black cover underneath.
The seat upside down with black cover underneath. | Source
folding the cloth on one side before stapling it
folding the cloth on one side before stapling it | Source
Here is the hardest part stapling the corners, I had to cut some of the material so I could tuck them in neatly.
Here is the hardest part stapling the corners, I had to cut some of the material so I could tuck them in neatly. | Source
Here is the finished product, I mean covered seat upside down. It is not perfect but it will do for now.
Here is the finished product, I mean covered seat upside down. It is not perfect but it will do for now. | Source
Here is the seat on the right side up. It has got a little crease but never mind.
Here is the seat on the right side up. It has got a little crease but never mind. | Source
Here is the finished look. My new look dining room chairs. Not bad for a novice D.I.Y job.
Here is the finished look. My new look dining room chairs. Not bad for a novice D.I.Y job. | Source

Reupholstering a dining chair seat

Now that I have done it, I know that reupholstering a dining chair seat can be done by a novice like me with a little help from my husband and You Tube. I enjoyed covering the chair seats more than I have imagined. It was challenging especially folding the cloth on the corners but it was okay in the end. It was like wrapping a parcel with a tricky corner but it is doable. And I enjoyed using a staple gun for the first time, too. Thanks to Google I was able to get some ideas and also You Tube videos are very useful.

Covering a worn out chair seat

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very useful article, my friend, and I have three chairs that need attention. Thank you!

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 2 years ago from United States

      I rated your Hub 'Useful'. Nice tips! I have done this myself before and found that using outdoor fabric (slightly waterproof) seems to help against spills. I use this type of fabric for indoor furniture, like chairs. Thanks again.

    • liesl5858 profile image
      Author

      Linda Bryen 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you so much Bill for your kind comment, I think the finished D.I.Y is not bad.

    • liesl5858 profile image
      Author

      Linda Bryen 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you MarloByDesign for your kind comment and rating. I like to try new things and this is what I came up with.

    • liesl5858 profile image
      Author

      Linda Bryen 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi! Bill, I come and do your chairs for you. I missed this.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Linda - you never cease to surprise me, you've done a splendid job on the chairs. They look lovely. I'm so impressed. What's next I wonder? All best wishes, hope you are warming up in UK after the winter.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Love DIY stuff...we also re-upholstered our dining chairs last Spring. It's fun and easy really. We saved a lot of money by just buying the material considering, the cost of labor (costly here in Canada) and then we treated ourselves to the ice cream house in town. :)

      Good, useful hub.

    • liesl5858 profile image
      Author

      Linda Bryen 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi! Maureen, how are you? Hope you are okay. Thank you for your kind comment again, it was one of those frugal mood days when I did it. I surprised myself that I can actually do this if I apply myself to it.

    • liesl5858 profile image
      Author

      Linda Bryen 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi! CrisSp, thank you for your kind comment too, I was inspired by what I saw on You Tube that's what I followed and it worked. We all try and save if we can. You are like me then you like ice cream.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      clever idea, thaen old chairs can become new again

    • liesl5858 profile image
      Author

      Linda Bryen 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you Peachpurple for your kind comment.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      These look really great after all your work. I love the fabric that you've used to replace the worn material.

    • liesl5858 profile image
      Author

      Linda Bryen 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you PegCole17 for your kind comment and for visiting my hub.

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