First upholstry project/tutorial

Well, technically this is my second.  But I don't count the first because it was very simple. I recovered some dining room chairs several years ago, just took a bunch of stapling.
This chair however was a little more complicated.  I will try my best to take you through the steps.  But if you are considering doing this, just jump in.  Go with a cheap chair, so if you mess up a little it will be okay. 
First of all I took a ton of pictures before I started so I could go back and see exactly how it was set up.

I took the entire chair apart and spray painted it white

Once the paint was dry on the chair, I began putting the fabric on the back.
This part was a little difficult, because it had to be just the right size.  I used the old piece of fabric as a template, I laid it out on the new fabric and cut around it.  You must pull the fabric taut as you staple.  It was hard to get the pattern to line up straight.
After this was on tight, the layers of cushion went on top of it.  The cusion and batting were in good shape so I re-used them.

The back was not very difficult to put on, once again I used the old fabric to measure for the new fabric.
Staple back on, just like it was with the old fabric.  This is why it's a good idea to take a lot of pics so you can see exaclty how it was set up in the first place.

You must pull the fabric as you go, so it stays nice and tight.
You don't want loosey goosey fabric on your chair.
If you mess up, it's okay just pull out the stapels and start again.  I had to do this a couple times.

Next came the seat cushion, sorry I forgot to take a pic of this one, but it was the easiest part.  Just line up the fabric with old cushion fabric cut around it, in order to get the same shape. Cut it out and lay it over the cushion.Curve it under the cushion and staple to the bottom, many, many times. Pulling it taught as you go.
This chair had screws in the bottom in order for me to get the seat out, when it was time to put it back on however the screws didn't line up with the old holes.  After much fighting with the chair, I ended up drilling a new hole for it.

I chose to add trim, because I'm not familiar with cording.  I took the easy way out, I hot glued some trim around the rough edges.  I also didn't attempt to but tufting back, again I took the easy way.

This really is not as hard as it looks. If you want to try it out for the first time, I recommend doing a chiar like this.  Avoid a chair with a lot of fabric and intricate details.  You may end up frustrated and giving up.  But I assure you, if I can do this so can you!
If you have any questions, I would be happy to try and answer them for you.  Keep in mind this was my first try, I may not know all the correct terminalogy for reupholstry.


  1. Great job on the chair!! It's really charming! :)

  2. I have this EXACT SAME chair I got for $10 for my first try at re-upholstery so you just gave me a step by step on my chair! WoW! Thanks! Great job! Yours is beautiful!

  3. I'm in the process of doing the same type of chair except mine doesn't have wicker sides so it should be even easier. I was going to make piping. I've done it before but yours looks so pretty with the braid that I think I'll try to find some and use that instead. I've painted the frame white and I'm upholstering it in ivory velveteen. Hope it comes out as nice as yours.

  4. Great job! I just bought two of the exact same chair at a local thrift store for $6 each! Right now they're a hideous mustard color, so thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I bought this exact same chair at Goodwill a month or so ago! I have been scared to try to do it... but you've made me brave! LOL

  6. Thank You!! My Dad had chairs almost identical to yours....he had 2 of them that he has had since I think around 1978. He had held onto them for all these years and asked me one day if I would like to have them. My main reason was that they belonged to my Dad, I am sentimental that way :).....So, my step-mom...who is an awesome sew person...asked what I was going to do with them...of course I had no idea at the time...however when I do get the chance to re-do them..she will be excited to see them...they live 1000 miles away so no chance of getting help with the fabric So, I thank you for your post...because I think I can give it a try!!

  7. Love this! I just bought the same chair for $2 and wanted to start on it next week. Now I have the tutorial, thanks!!!

  8. apparently we all have this same chair!!! THANKS for making what I've been afraid to do for a long time look much more manageable. Time to go to the fabric store!!!


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