Home Project: Reupholster for a New Look

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One of the easiest ways to give a chair an instant update is to reupholster the seat. If the term reupholster leaves you doubting your skills, have no fear. We’re not talking about stripping down a 1950’s loveseat and starting from the ground up. With a little fabric, staple gun and 30 minutes of free time, this simple project will earn you a gold star in the DIY department.

Let’s take a glimpse at our project before we start…

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Great bones, but the faded fabric was definitely not doing this piece an ounce of justice. Nothing a bit of fresh upholstery can’t fix.

The Supplies:

  • Upholstery fabric (1 yard should be plenty for 2 chairs)
  • Batting (found at any fabric/craft store)
  • Staple gun
  • Upholstery staples
  • Scissors

Start with a little demo…

Most dining chairs are constructed so that the seat can be easily detached from the chair frame by loosening a few screws.

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Once the seat is free, remove old layers of fabric and batting. If you are feeling a bit obsessive, you can pluck each staple to release the fabric. If you’d prefer to save time (and patience), cut a few corners by using scissors or a razor blade to do the dirty work for you.

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Add a little cushion…

Cut your batting so that 3-4 inches are left surrounding the seat. Working your way around the seat, secure the edge of the batting to the underside of the seat with staples. Feel free to get a little staple happy. Seriously, don’t be shy!

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Bring on the new clothes…

Be sure to use an upholstery fabric for this project. Don’t skimp and use thinner material. You’ll want a thicker fabric that can handle the wear and tear over time.

Just as we did for the batting, cut your fabric with a few inches to spare around the edges of the seat.

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Next up, secure the fabric to the chair with staples. To prevent unsightly creases, be careful not to pull the fabric too tightly.

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Once the fabric is locked and loaded, all that remains is to reattach the seat to the frame of the chair using the same screws we removed earlier.

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Check it out! An updated chair in a matter of minutes.

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Photo Credit: Cara Wilkerson

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