Easy step-by-step instructions to change the fabric of your chairs.
We were able to find some great wooden chairs at an auction to go with my sisters hand-me-down laminate table we were painting. The only thing really wrong with them was the ugly brown leather that was studded into the middle with upholstery nails. That fabric was just terrible and did nothing for the chairs. My sister liked the wood look and decided not to paint them, so we got started right in with adding our fabric.
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Here is what you will need for your easy seat upholstery project:
After picking out the paisley blue fabric and gathering all our materials, we were ready! So we grabbed our coffee, put on some “Fixer Upper”, laid out a drop cloth, and unscrewed the seats from the chair. Lucky for us these seats came off so we measured around the edges on each side so we could bring the fabric around and staple to the underside.
Once we had our measurements on the fabric, we cut our square out and used that piece for the template for the other 3. We then cut the batting out, but for this part you don’t want the batting to go all the way around the chair, especially on the back side. Our seats fit into a groove on the backside, so we couldn’t have extra padding around or it wouldn’t fit back into the chair base. Therefore you can measure and cut the batting smaller than your chair fabric.
Then you can begin lining up your batting and fabric by laying the fabric out upside down and the batting over that. (Again, just line the batting up so it only goes on the top of chair, not around the edges) Then you can place your chair seat upside down onto the batting and fabric, so the padded foam is down.
When everything is lined up correctly, start with one side of the seat, pull the fabric taught, and staple in the middle using your staple gun. Go to the opposite side you just put a staple in, pull the fabric, staple that middle. Continue until all 4 sides have at least one staple in the middle.
Then starting with one side, staple from the middle out, until you are about 1 inch from the corner. Leave the corner for a while, and continue stapling all of the chair sides from the middle out the exact same way.
Once you have all sides done, you can start with the corners! These can be a little tricky, but there isn’t a right or wrong way to do them. Just play around with your fabric until you feel it looks right. We folded and played with the fabric until there weren’t any ‘pokey’ corners and the fabric was nice and rounded. Our corners were also tricky on the backside because of the screw holes to attach it to the base…they were almost exactly where we needed to staple so we had to be careful, watch for those holes, and staple elsewhere.
Tip: If there is extra fabric around the edges, clean it up by either folding the rough edge under before stapling OR stapling close to the edge and then cutting off the extra fabric.
If there is too much fabric in your corners go ahead and trim some of that off as well before or after stapling is fine.
And thats all! Very easy DIY update to make your chairs comfortable and very pretty! They are now the perfect addition to our client’s new dining set!
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