Jewish Journal

DIY: Reupholstering a dining room chair

by Julie Bien

May 15, 2014 | 1:51 pm

I'll admit it. I reupholstered the first of four chairs before documenting the process. I wanted to make sure that 1) I could do it and 2) that there wasn't any blood. So now that I'm totally an expert in dining chair reupholstery, I will share my wisdom with you! Seriously--this is sooooooo easy it hurts. No skills required!


-1 dining chair (with a cushion) in need of a fabric update

-1 yard of sturdy fabric per chair (cotton is fine, chiffon is not)

-1 heavy-duty staple gun/staples

-a phillips head screwdriver

-sharp scissors

-a large clean surface to work on (you don't want to get your pretty new cushion dirty!)


1. Remove the cushion from the chair frame by unscrewing it. Flip the chair over. It will be very obvious where to detach it.

2. Place the fabric pattern-side down on the work surface. Now place the cushion, squishy side down, on the fabric. There should be about 4-5 inches of fabric extending from all sides of the cushion. You'll have to cut it to get it the right size, but it's not hard to eyeball it.

3. Now that you have the right amount of fabric, it's time to start attaching it! *warning* Be careful not to accidentally staple yourself or your clothing to the project. I realize this isn't really a step....moving on! 

4. Start by securing each of the four sides of fabric to the frame with one staple in the center of each side. Make sure the fabric is pulled tight--you don't want any unsightly wrinkles or creases on your snazzy new chair.

5. Once each side is stapled in the center, it's time to do the corners. This is the only kinda tricky part. Basically, gather each corner in such a way the the front part of the cushion is kept smooth. If the back is all foldy, no problem! And once again, keep the fabric tight as you staple. For the corners, expect to use at least 3 or 4 staples per corner to completely tack them down.

6. Once all four corners are completely attached, it's time to attach the rest of the fabric on the sides. Working from the center to the corner, pull fabric tight over the edge and staple it to the frame. You'll end up using about 12 staples per side (depending on the size of the chair).


7. Phew! Now that you've successfully reupholstered the cushion, all you have to do is reattach it to the the chair with the same hardware it was attached with before, et viola!

You now have a brand spankin' new(ish) chair!


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Hi. I’m Julie Bien.

I’m a writing, blogging, coffee-drinking machine.

I also have a thing for sustainability, organic gardening, cooking, and easy crafting. I’m like Martha...

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