DIY Projects & Decor

Reupholstering A Chair

group 10I’m not a reupholstering expert AT ALL.  When I picked up this $20.00 rocker at an antique show, I thought I would just add more fluff to the chair then recover it with new fabric.  You know… reupholstering a chair the “I’ll wing it” way.  😉  Thank goodness I didn’t do that!  The fabric was so old, it was almost crunchy.  As I took the fabric and the layer of cotton off the chair, I discovered it was stuffed with hay.  Yes, HAY.  Can we say fire hazard??

The chair needed to be stripped down to the bones.  That meant I was going to have to build it back up.  While I’m sure this chair is not put together the “expert” way, it worked, looks pretty good, and it’s very comfy to sit in.  What more can you ask of a chair?

upholstery chair
Here is what it looked like before. The fabric shredded as I pulled it off.
reupholster chair
Hay! I had to put on a face mask during the deconstruction of this chair. The dust and goodness knows what else that came from the chair gave me an instant wicked headache. I would recommend wearing a mask anytime to take something apart!  You just never know where it’s been.
reupholster chair
After the chair was fabric and hay free, I gave it a couple of coats of white spray paint.
reupholster chair
Wide webbing was nowhere to be found, so narrow webbing was used to wrap the chair. Only the back needed webbing, as the seat still had really good springs. The next step was adding batting to the entire chair.
Now fabric… After centering the medallion in the fabric on the chair, I used a staple gun to attach it to the back. The extra fabric was trimmed off.
group 5
I used a piece of 1 inch foam for the back of the seat before I started to recover. The original chair had a piece of wood on the back, but after adding the webbing, wood was not necessary. Three inch foam was used to cover the seat.
reupholster chair
I added a separate piece of fabric, with the edges turned under, to the leg where to seat and the chair back meets. It was easier than trying to cut the fabric just right to cover that area. And the original covering was put together like that.
Using another piece of fabric on the back side, I turned under the edges here too, then stapled it, following the outline of the shape of the chair. To cover up the staples, I’m going to glue coordinated cording to it.
group 7
I used a piece of cotton material that I had to cover the bottom of the chair. Again, I turned under the edges and stapled as I went.
group 8
Here is the finished chair. I actually liked reupholstering! If I can do it, you can do it too. 😀


Linking to:

I Should be Mopping the Floor
DIY ShowOff
Finding Fabulous – Frugalicious Friday
Not Just A Housewife – Show me what ya got
House on the Way – Twirl and Take a Bow
DIY by Design



27 thoughts on “Reupholstering A Chair”

    1. Thank you Angie! Never attempted a slipcover before! I know what you mean about it being so exciting! When you create/make something you never did before, you just want to do a little happy dance, while patting yourself on the shoulder! (Or is that just me?) 😀


  1. As always, a wonderful diy project on your page, I just love the fabric, I too have yet another (2) chairs to recover, just looking for the right fabric, as it is only the chair seat to be done, THOSE medallions would look great, where did u find that ? they are a set of mid century, I assume armed dining chairs, a steal at a yard sale, they did not know what they had for sure. I always am delighted when I visit your page. ALthough I have been quite busy, I am downsizing, from a two bedroom 1200 square foot home, to a 24 ft travel trailer, Having to get rid of EVERYTHING I OWN, truly a emotional, scary objective. Keeping only my couch, (if it fits thru the trailer door), One television, giving up my brand new, still under warranty 50 inch beauty, and keeping my mattress and box spring, the rest is going, slowly selling most of it off. Wondering how long I will be able to live that tiny lifestyle although with summer here, am anxious to find some mid century outdoor living furniture to sand blast and reform to its original beauty. Hoping to sneak my two above chairs in under my outdoor living screen room…… BIg SIGH, back to painting the trailer walls tonight, must be in by the weekend coming….. Bonaroo takes place here in our town, I have been trying to stay busy, and avoid any trips to town, it is a madhouse, WOODSTOCK of this century. hippies and tree huggers everywhere, secretly hoping to get a ticket myself, as ive never been, the big stars are coming A beatle original, zz top, and a few other great, party names dropped. Take care and I will check back soon. Keep up the creativity…….
    c u in the cyber sky


    1. Wow Lori! Sounds like you have quite the adventure coming up!! Would make for a great travel blog! 😀 Good luck to you! And thank you for stopping by. The fabric was a remnant I found at an antique store. I wish I knew the name of it.


  2. Wow! I’m truly impressed. That is a lot of work, but it looks like it was worth it in the end.

    Boy, fire hazard indeed, not to mention an allergen. You’ve got yourself a beautiful chair, Laurie.


  3. Q – The chair looks lovely! Good job. FYI – stuffings “in the olden days” included straw (which you’ve seen), horse hair and even sawdust. Our great-grandparents sofa was stuffed with horse hair, it was so itchy we couldn’t stand to sit on it! The sofa was made around 1870.


  4. Turned out so nice!! I love the fabric you chose! I am getting ready to start a reupholstery project and usually I dive right into things…not sure why I am hesitant. Gotta just bite the bullet I guess :-). Great job!!


    1. Hi Judy! Thank you so much for the feature! (Sorry for the late reply. I found your note in my spam for some reason. That’s never happened before.)


  5. I just got a chair almost just like this but not a rocker. I stripped it down from it’s fill of Hay also! That is what they used back in the day. Anyway, I will paint the upholster. Hope mine looks a good as yours. Great job.


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