Reupholstering a Chair Cushion


As we’ve been putting together Tessa’s room, it’s become clear that the fabric on her desk chair doesn’t work with the decor.  I really love it, but not for this space.

Tess picked out “Janette” from Ikea to reupholster the chair in.  It’s bold and graphic and brings in the gray that is already in her duvet.

Although it’s more than we’ll need, I bought a yard so that we could play with the pattern placement and get the exact look we wanted.

1. First, I unscrewed the seat from the base of the chair.

2.  Did I really need to use this many staples when I originally made the seat?!  Now I get to remove them all.

Several years ago, I picked up this tool that is perfect for removing staples.  It slides under the staple pretty easily, lifting it out.  (In a pinch you can use your husband’s flat head screwdriver, but you didn’t hear that from me.)

If needed, you can also tap the end of the tool with a hammer so that it wedges better under the staple.  When the staple is really stubborn, I will hammer it flush with the board and keep moving.

3.  Once you have everything removed, you are ready to add the new fabric.  I played around with placement of the pattern by loosely wrapping it around the stripped cushion.

In the end, I opted for the second design placement.  I like that it has more gray that offsets the white in the chair.

4. The old fabric can now be used as a template to work from.  I placed the old fabric over the area I wanted for my new seat and cut it out.

I gave myself a bit of extra fabric to work with that I can later trim off if needed.  There is nothing worse than finding yourself just a little short on a project.

Now it’s time to bring out the staple gun.  This always makes me feel like a rockstar which might explain why there were so many staples in the last seat.

5. I staple the center edges first.  Lay the seat square and staple one at North.  Then pulling the fabric tight, I staple one at South.  I then added a couple on the South end before going back up to finish the North end.

6. Once those sides are done, I repeat for the remaining two sides.

7. As for the corners, I staple almost all the way to the corner.

8. Then I fold in the fabric kinda like a present.  It’s not an exact science, I just work with the fabric until I get a corner that I’m happy with.

9. Trim off the excess fabric and the seat is covered.

At this point, you can wrap up the project by stapling on the duck cloth for a neat underside and then reattaching the seat.  However, I’m wanting to add welting to the edges of the seat cushion for an added detail.  You don’t have to have welting, but it’s super easy to do and I think it will bring a more finished look to this chair.  A quick how to on welting is on it’s way.

Now it’s your turn… Have you reupholstered a simple chair seat?  Do you have any tricks you like to use in the process? I would love to hear about your project and see how you roll with a staple gun.




7 comments

  1. Stacey says:

    Okay, the girl has style! Love the gray with that hint of purple… perfection! It’s going to look beautiful in the room. Great job on the reupholstery, Danielle! Tell Tessa she’s got a great eye. 🙂

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