My Attempt at Reupholstering a Chair

After spending a lovely morning at the post office getting my passport in order for our 10 year anniversary trip in October (Eek! I’m so excited!), I was happy to get home and finish up this project that started about a year and a half ago. We have had this chair (one of two) for close to 10 years now. We got them from IKEA (surprise, surprise!) for something like $40 each, which was a steal (kitty was not included, in case you were wondering…it would no longer be a steal if he were). Unfortunately, they no longer sell this particular style.


Because they were white chairs, and because I have birthed and raised four children and acquired several pets in the time since we bought them, they were quite dirty. Disgustingly dirty, despite my best attempts to clean them up. Turns out white’s not the best color for furniture for large families (I was warned, many times, but I didn’t listen). I still love the shape of the chairs, though, so I decided to tackle the project of reupholstering them.

Lucky for me, I found this super simple tutorial over at Thrifty and Chic, which I followed pretty closely.

I found my fabric at Joann’s, and my trim at Hobby Lobby. Because it’s been so long, I can’t remember exactly how much they were, but I’m pretty sure it was all around $40 after I used their 40% off coupons (enough for both chairs). The fabric is still white (I know, I know), but it has a pretty gray print, and my kids are a little older, so I’m hoping (probably naively) that they stay somewhat clean. The trim is a pretty orangey red color.


In the tutorial, she used double piping to cover the seams. As you can see, mine is just a single rope, but it worked quite well covering my seams.

So, I went to town, first using a seam ripper to tear all of the fabric off, still keeping the pieces in tact.


Then I laid out all of my old pieces I had just cut onto my new fabric, using the old pieces as a template. I did add about an inch or two extra around each piece to give myself some wiggle room. (This part I did over a year ago, so unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures, but Thrifty and Chic’s blog post has several to use for reference).


Technically, I probably should have tried to match up patterns, but I was going for easy and simple, and the pattern on the fabric is so subtle that I think it worked out fine.

I then laid out my pieces on the chair (luckily for me, I had the other chair to use as reference), and used a staple gun to secure them.




There were some spots where I needed a seam, so I ironed a little seam, flipped it over and stapled the underside, then flipped it back over to form my seam, as you can see below.



There were a few spots where I had nothing to staple to, so I cheated and hot glued these seams (just being honest)…anything to keep from having to sew. I have a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with my sewing machine. I’ve threatened to throw it out the window one too many times.

As you can see below, some of my seams were pretty rough, but since I would be covering them with trim, I didn’t worry too much about making them perfect.


Once I had my chair covered, I used hot glue to attach my trim. Don’t mind the mess in the background, and don’t worry…I will be getting it all cleaned up in the next few days, because I will be sharing the final reveal of my front room very soon…finally!


This is the final project! They aren’t perfect, but I’m pleased with the way they turned out. To be honest, I was a little worried about adding more pattern with such a strong pattern on the accent wall, but I love the way the bold pattern and the subtle pattern work together with that pop of color in the trim (yep, tooting my own horn here).



Still trying to decide if and how I want to use both chairs together. You will find out soon with the final reveal!

Also, I am pleased to report that kitty has resumed his residence with nary a complaint about the new makeover. Oh, wait… there was a meow…or two. But judging by the amount of hours he has logged in it and the amount of cat hair he has deposited on it in the short amount of time since it has been finished, I’d say he doesn’t mind too much.


Until next time!


7 thoughts on “My Attempt at Reupholstering a Chair

  1. Totally relate to your love/hate feelings toward your sewing machine. I’ve upholstered a few items, and it’s tough in general, but sewing is by far the worst part! Great chairs, though, and they turned out super cute! Plus, if kitty is happy, that’s of course the most important part. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Front Room Reveal! | Trailer Trash Treasure Trove

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