How to Recover a Chair


Clearly this isn’t really a “How To” since I’ve only recovered exactly one chair in my entire life. I’m not an expert. I had to have my hubby’s help, since using a staple gun is somehow a 2 person job. At least for me it is.

We got this chair from Grandma Irene. The original fabric was a blue and white gingham print, and the fabric itself wasn’t a sturdy upholstery fabric, it was more of a soft cotton. So, after years of us sitting in it, and Owen jumping off of it, the fabric started to tear. Then the foam pad started to tear and leave little bits of foam all over the floor. Then the chair became too hard to sit on, so we threw an old bed pillow on it. It was tacky.

Tacky Chair

I started off by flipping the chair on the back and unscrewing the seat from the rest of the chair.

After I took the seat off, I just took my kitchen shears and cut the old fabric off. I didn’t have the time (or patience) to try and get the 40,000 staples out of the chair. And I’m not sure why my hand looks so scary in the picture below.

I took the plywood cut out from the seat bottom and put it on top of my the new foam I bought at Joann Fabrics. I just free-handed the outline, but made it about 1/2 inch bigger on each side, so the side of the chair would have some cushion on it.

When I was done, it looked like this:

I then took the Home Decor/Upholstery fabric I bought and laid it out. I cut a rough outline of the plywood, making sure to leave enough room on each side for the fabric to be pulled around and stapled.

I started stapling the fabric from the front of the chair, then stapled the back, and then each side, making sure to pull tight each time I stapled. Hubby helped me do the corners, since every time I tried, it just looked like a big mess of fabric. This is what it looked like after I had stapled it.

I cut off all the excess fabric and put in a few more staples, just for good measure. (I love staple guns. They are the best thing ever, right after glue guns.)

Here is the chair after I put it back together.

I think the entire project cost me about $25. The new seat cushion was about $12, the fabric was $10 and I had to buy more staples for the staple gun for about $3.

Now we have a cute chair in our living room. Funky colors, which I like. Sturdy enough now for Owen to jump off of, and Sean likes it because it’s not too girly. Success!


About Erin

I'm a mom to the sweetest little boys ever, Owen & Colin. Owen was born in April of 2007 after 22 hours of active labor in a hospital. Love him more than life. Knowing I didn't feel another hospital birth was right for me, Colin was born at home surrounded by our 2 midwives and our little family. I've been married to my hubs for 7 years. We met in 1997 in an AOL Chatroom...the rest is history. I'm crazy. I'm funny. I am socially awkward. This is my life.

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