How to: upholster a kitchen chair
When we moved into our house, we were given a table without chairs. Worried my table would quickly get lonely and my bottom sore from sitting on the floor, I searched Ebay and found four chairs for £30!
What a result! I found some paint in the pound shop and last summer got round to sanding and painting them.
This weekend I finally found some suitable fabric and set about transforming their beige-like selves. You can also give your chairs a little love, here's how...
- 1.5 metres of fabric for 4 chairs (or amount needed to cover all your chairs, plus extra for wrapping around)
- 4 unloved chairs - with easily removable seat pads
- Staple gun and staples
- Craft knife
- Cutting mat (optional)
- Screw driver or other tool needed for taking the seat pad off of the chair (dependent on your chairs)
- 1" upholstery foam - enough to cover all your chairs)
Step 1: Prepare your chair
The chair you choose will need to have seat pads which are easily removed as well as a hard frame for you to staple into. Once you've found these attributes, you are good to go.
Take the seat pad off of the chair and remove all fixings. This is easy to see if you turn your chair upside down. Mine were simply held together with a few screws, so really simple.
Step 2: Cut your foam and fabric
Place the seat pad on top of the foam and trace around with a pen.
Remove the seat pad and using a craft knife, cut just inside the line you have drawn, being careful not to cut the table underneath (as you may have guessed, this is where your cutting mat comes in handy).
Place both the foam and the seat pad face down onto your fabric (with the foam closest to the fabric). Make sure you place them in the correct direction on the fabric.
If you're not sure what that means, there are a couple of factors which could affect your finished look - the direction of the pile of the fabric or simply the print design.
Sometimes the end result is design preference or it may look wrong if placed incorrectly, so it's worth taking a moment to check how you want the seat to look when it's finished.
Once you are happy you have placed the seat pad and foam in the correct place on the fabric, pull the fabric up along one side to measure how much allowance you need to wrap around the side of both pieces. You will also need a little extra (about 1cm) for turning under.
Once you have your measurement, measure and mark all around the seat pad and foam (still on top of each other) and cut the fabric out.
Step 3: Pull and staple the fabric
Pull up one side of the fabric so that it's taught and staple at one corner (about 5 cms from the corner). Repeat for the other corner, middle and finally all along the edge you are working on.
Repeat this for the other 3 sides, pulling the fabric taught as you go until all four sides are finished.
For the corners, pull the fabric taught, up and over the corner, and fold so that it looks neat. (Please note that my seat pads are cut to fit into the chair legs - so they may look different at the corners!)
As there will be a few layers of fabric on the corners, it's really helpful to cut the underneath layers away so that you can get the staple to hold through to the wood.
Hold the folded fabric in place and staple down, using a few staples as needed to hold the fabric where you want it.
Repeat for all the other corners.Step 4: Put the chair back together
Place the newly covered seat pad back onto the chair and fix back into place.
Put the kettle on and pull up your chair!
So, if you have some chairs that are looking a little worn, need a spruce, or you simply want to change the colour to match this seasons decor trends, follow my steps above and you'll be sitting pretty in no time!
You can see more of my crafty going ons over at my blog at Tofty Makes
[All images © Emma Toft]