How to Reupholster a Chair Seat

new upholsteryReupholster Chair Seat

We inherited a chair from my husband’s mother. It was a chair he remembered fondly being in her room when he was younger.  Only problem was the after many years of wear, the seat edge needed to be replaced. Here we show how you can easily reupholster a chair seat.

This project cost about $20 for the one chair, with lots of batting left over to do more chairs.

YouTube video

tattered chair cloth
This chairs material and batting were in need of replacement.

Preparing to Reupholster Chair

Find upholstery material to place on your chair seat.  We found a company online that almost duplicated the material from a high quality photo we took. The material was about $8 for 1/4 yard, enough for 1 chair.

Items needed:

upholstery material
chair batting
staple gun
screw driver

bottom of chair

Turn the chair upside down and remove the screws holding the bottom onto the chair. Ours required a flat head screw driver.

Once you have just the seat, you are able to remove the staples holding the material and batting onto the seat board.

The material may be fragile, but you should be able to take measurements and cut the new material based on the old material measurements.

If you can’t do this, cut the material about 1-2 inches longer than the chair board.

Cut the batting into the same size as the previous piece or cut it about 1-2 inches larger than the chair board.

cutting chair batting
We doubled up on the batting to make it a softer seat.

Align the batting and then the material onto the chair seat (giving it even edge on all sides).  If there is a design, align it up and flip it upside down.

Start by stapling the material in the middle of top, bottom and sides. Be sure not to distort the image and keep it taunt (easier said than done I know).

Use a marker to mark where you need to put the screws back into attach the chair or you are going to have a hard time aligning them together.

Once it’s stapled on the middles, you can work slowly to staple everything.  Use care when stapling the corners.  You may need to cut excess so there is not bunching.

new fabric chair

Reassembling the Chair

Using the marks you made on the material, use that to help reattach the chair seat to the chair (we used a sharpie and aligned one and went by feel for the other holes)

Tighten the screws back onto the chair.  Make sure they are not poking through the batting or material. If they are, get shorter screws or bake them out until they won’t pierce and tear the material.

reassemble chair bottom

Upholstery Tips:

  • You need to measure how deep the seat board is, to determine how long the staples you need to staple the material back on
  • Check the size of the old staples for help on this too
  • Inspect the chair seat to make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced
  • Mark where the screws need to go after attaching the material, or you are going to have a hard time reattaching the seat to the chair
  • You need a thin batting for a chair, not the kind to make a pillow or your chair will be lumpy (like when you make a quilt)
  • Make an easy pillow to decorate your chair
  • If you find a chair that is in good condition, but you don’t like the fabric, you can easily get it a upgrade doing this with your favorite fabric

Chair's in need of an upgrade? Here's how you can reupholster a chair seat for a chair face lift. This project cost about $20 for 1 chair.

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