How to Recover Dining Chairs for $10


Here’s another cheap and easy project, my favorite kind.

I mentioned in my post about my dining room makeover that our table, chairs, and buffet all came courtesy of my aunt, who generously gave them to us because she happened to me moving from Connecticut to Florida at the same time we bought our house.

While I love a good antique, the table and chairs definitely felt old school, and when put in the dining room of our old Cape Cod-style house, complete with built-in china cabinet, the whole thing started to feel very “Little Women” to me.

So, the first thing I did when I got the set home was recover the dining chairs, which were a traditional red-and-green plaid  when they came to me. The whole process takes a couple of hours, and it made a world of difference.

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Besides being easy, this project cost me exactly $10, which was the price I paid for the tablecloth I bought at Home Goods that I used as the fabric to recover the chairs. I picked a geometric print in the hopes it would make the chairs feel a little more modern.

If you have some ‘bla’h dining chairs, I highly suggest busting out your staple gun and giving this a whirl. Here’s how to do it.

What You’ll Need:
-A tape measure
-A screw driver
-A staple gun

How To Do It:

To figure out how much fabric you’ll need, measure the depth and width of the chair cushion, and then add 3″ to each measurement. This allows for enough fabric to wrap around the cushion and staple underneath. Then, multiply the length and width by the # of chairs you have to figure out total yardage. I bought a standard-size 60″ x 84″ rectangular table cloth, and had enough to cover six dining chairs which were 17″ deep by 19″ wide.

Next, I cut the fabric into six pieces, based on my measurements.

Then, I unscrewed the first seat — flip your chair over, and you should see a spot where the chair cushion is screwed onto the chair. Set aside the screws in a safe spot so you don’t lose them.

how to recover dining chairs

Now, this part is important: When you cover the chair, if your fabric has a pattern on it like mine did, you want to make sure you line up the pattern so it’s straight and centered at the front of the seat. Drape the fabric on top of the cushion, and once you’re sure about your positioning, flip it over, and start stapling, pulling the fabric taut (but not stretching it) after each staple.

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For the corners, just fold the fabric, almost like you’re wrapping a present, until you have a corner that looks decent, and staple in place. Seat corners can be a little tricky here, because you don’t want to cover up the screw hole where the cushion attaches to the seat with a ton of fabric. So, if your fabric does cover the hole, just use your scissors to snip away the excess.

Last but not least, reattached the cushion!

Once you get going, the process moves quickly, and it really does make a huge difference! Here are a few “after” shots.

IMG_6991 IMG_6990

how to recover dining chairs

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this information on recovering chairs. I run a small restaurant in my town, and I found this information very helpful in keeping everything maintained and going well. Thanks you very much, and good luck! Durandana |

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