DIY reupholster dining chair: Furniture makeovers & DIY home decor projects

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Some people have old furniture that don’t match with the new decor or simply don’t like anymore. This simple DIY chair makeover tutorial introduces affordable and stylish dining room chairs.

Katie is going to show us how to reupholster a chair with step-by-step instruction. Let’s save money and learn how to make stylish grey chevron chairs!

Tools you’ll need:

Staple gun and staples (I have a Stanley brand one)

A staple remover (mine is Bosch brand)




Fabric marker

Fabric (batting or fleece and your choice of pretty fabric)


Fabric (Always look for coupons online. I got my fabric for only $30)

Before-After Reupholstered Chairs

Reupholster Pre-Steps: 

The biggest part of the whole project is actually taking all the old stuff off - which is where the staple remover and pliers come in. I put the remover

under the staple and pry it up. Sometimes it doesn’t come out completely (only one side will), and then I 

use the pliers to yank it out. If the furniture you are reupholstering is a unique size or shape. It is best to keep the old fabric and use that as a template/pattern for cutting out your new fabric. My chairs were simple squares, so I didn’t need to keep the old fabric.

Step 1: After the chairs are uncovered (naked), lay your pretty fabric on a flat surface right side down (wrong side up) and lay your batting/fleece on top of that.

Step 2: Lay your chair seat piece (the thing to be covered) on top of that, and use a fabric marker to draw your cut line. My seat was pretty thick (about 3-4 inches tall), so I basically measured/eye-balled about 4 inches away from the seat, and then an additional 2 inches away from that to account for the fabric needed to staple on the bottom of the cushion.

*Better safe than sorry and cut more than you need than not enough. We can trim away any excess fabric at the end.

Step 3: Draw a circle/square 6 inches away from the cushion. After marking the fabric, I used fabric scissors to cut it out.

*I used these pieces as my pattern and cut out all fabric pieces for all my chairs (all 3 of them) at once.

A side note: I didn’t show you how I stapled the top part of the chair cushion on, and for that one, I did not cut a batting/fleece piece. The cushion just didn’t need it and I didn’t want to add extra bulk.

Step 4: When you are ready to staple the fabrics on, lay the fabrics on a flat surface (the same set-up as for measuring and cutting) with the pretty outside fabric on the bottom (right side down, wrong side up), then the batting/fleece, with the cushion on top (right side down, wrong side up). Then I chose one side to start with and stapled the batting to the cushion. Once that side was affixed, I went to the opposite side.

*This helps to create a smooth surface on the right side, and you have more control over the tension of the fabric and you can eliminate pulls and folds that might appear if you didn’t staple opposing sides.

Step 5: After 2 sides are completed, go and affix the other 2 sides.

*I always do corners last, and with these chairs, I did a pleated corner. Sometimes, depending on the chair, you can tug and staple in such a way that you won’t see any folds and it will look smooth. I didn’t mind the folds at the corners, so that’s what I did. You can also do the corners by stapling the left and right sides of the corner first and then staple the very middle last (the pleat will just look different), but I started with one side and worked my way around instead. Finish all corners the same way (aka be consistent with whatever method you choose).

Step 6: After you are finished stapling the batting, use your fabric scissors to cut away any excess fabric (I cut about 1/2”-1” away from the staples).

Step 7: Using the same technique, staple the outside fabric to the cushion.

Step 8: Use an awl (or anything pokey) to make holes in the fabric where the screw would go (so that the fabric wouldn’t bind and get twisted in with the screw).

Step 9: Attach the cushions to the chair with the screws and screwdriver.

*As you saw when I was doing that, sometimes you have to lay the chair upside down on a flat surface to get contact with the chair frame and cushion and that makes putting the screws in easier.

If you want to see more work from Kate, visit here

Decorate DIY Craft diy home decor projects DIY Project DIY reupholster dining chair Fun Activity Furniture makeovers Kids Room simple diy

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