How to Recover a Chair (the Crafty way)

Well for months I have been looking for the 'perfect' chair. I recently redecorated and now I have a lovely antique white desk for my computer. But I had to yet find the chair. I was wanting something with curvy legs and a little detail. I spent time in Goodwill, Thrift Town, and just looking on the side of the road, searching for that chair.

Then I went to The Vineyards Antique Mall- and there she was- the 'perfect' chair. For only $22 I took home this beauty.  Sure she had brown stains, a loose arm, and couldn't quite stand straight- but for $22, I knew I had to give her a chance.

Lucikly my hubby likes a good project. So he got us started. He took her into the garage, mended the loose and wobbly parts. Then ripped out all the fabric and staples with needle nose pliers. The staple removing takes a while and it not so much fun.  Finally he painted her black.

If you choose to take on this project too- remember to keep all the fabric you tear off, it serves as a good pattern later on. We were also able to use the foam from the back of the chair. Don't throw away anything but the staples you remove.

I then went to Cutting Corners and bought upholstery fabric and trim to use as the cording. The fabric was a remnant, $5.99 a yard- I needed about 2 yards for this project. The trim was on sale for $1.95 a yard- I bought 2 yards.

Next he brought "Sophia" back inside and I used my 'pattern' to cut the new fabric. I went about one inch outside of the fabric to give myself something to grab and staple down. (When using stripes, be mindful of which direction they go when you are cutting. )

First I stapled the back piece on. Lots of staples, keep the fabric straight and tight.
Any excess can be cut away afterwards.

I then covered the seat cushion. (No photos -sorry!) But I basically removed the cushion, wrapped fabric over it, and stapled it down on the bottom. Then Jeff screwed the seat cushion back in place.

Now I added the foam piece back in and topped it with more fabric. (The back of the chair was like an oreo- fabric, soft foam middle, more fabric.) Jeff had to help me hold and staple at this point. Everything had to be pulled tight and kept very straight.

This is why matching up the stripes during the pattern cutting is so important- looks best when they line up!

Cut away any excess using tiny/sharp embroidery sciscors or an exacto knife. Then simply hot glue your trim around the chair- to cover up all those staples! I would start gluing at the bottom of the chair, so the beginning/ending of the trim is hidden.

I had to remove the edge of my trim so that only the twisted rope part was seen. Looks like this...
Now when you hot glue the trim down, go easy on the hot glue so it doesn't squish out of the sides. Hold it in place for 10 seconds. Oh and make sure you like where you put it- it's not coming off until you decide to re-cover the chair again!

And here is the finished project. Not so hard when done with a handy guy and a really good glue gun!

Have you ever given your furniture a 'make-over'?

 Nothing is as satisfying as take an ugly duckling and turning her into something pretty!



  1. Looks Awesome!! Yes I have definitly put my husband to work on a project to paint our breakfast room table and chairs. I want to try recovering something like that too!

  2. Girl I just spend an hour looking through your blog and LOVE it by the way. But the part I love the most is that your hubby HELPS you..I've seen him in a bunch of your posts and I think that ROCKS. Darling projects, cute blog...can't wait to share with my readers and friends too!

  3. Great job! It's amazing what a little paint and fabric can do to completely transform a piece. OH, and elbow grease too!

  4. Wonderful! I have 6 chairs similar to these that I redid 10 years ago in similar fabric. They were already painted black and came from a restaurant in Paris! So comfortable sitting around the dining table in arm chairs! Great job!


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:) Samantha

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