Welcome to Part Two of my How to Re-Cover a Dining Chair Series! In this section we’ll cover how to add fabric to the seat cushion. Miss a step? Click the links below to view any part of the series!

 

Blog Post: No-Sew Dining Chair Transformation
Part One – Add the Batting
Part Two – Fabric the Seat
Part Three – Fabric the Seat Back
Part Four – Secure the Panel
Part Five – Dustcover

 

TIP: Click the tabs below to see the tools, materials and cut list.

 

Cost: About $25 per chair depending on price of fabric

Time: 1 hour

Difficulty: Moderate. While no sewing is required, adjusting and stapling the fabric in place takes time and patience.

Note: This list may contain affiliate links

Flexible Tape Measure
Staple Gun
Scissors
Mallet or Hammer
Tin Snips to cut the metal tack strips
Needle Nose Pliers to remove staples
Flathead Screwdriver to tuck fabric
Iron to smooth the folds and tighten the fabric

Note: This list may contain affiliate links

3/8-inch staples
Fabric – Get 2 yards per chair
Batting – Get 1½ yards per chair
Dust Cover Fabric – Get about ½ yard per chair

Seat

  • Width – Stretch the tape measure across the seat cushion. Pull the tape down around the edges of the cushion until you reach the inside edge of the wood framing below on each side.
  • Depth – Slip the tape measure between the seat cushion and backrest. Pull the tape down around the edges of the cushion until you reach the inside edge of the wood framing below at both the front and back of the seat.

Backrest

  • Height – Starting on the backside of the top edge (rolled or straight), stretch the tape up and over the top of the chair, down the front side, between the seat and backrest, along the back edge of the seat cushion, and down to the inside edge of the wood framing below.
  • Width – Stretch the tape measure across the backrest. Pull the tape around the edges of the cushion until you reach the inside edge of the wood framing on the backside.

Panel

  • Height – Measure from the top edge of the backrest (or from the wood beneath the rolled edge) down the backrest, past the seat cushion, and under the seat to the wood framing.
  • Width – Measure the full width of the backrest, and then add two inches for the tack strips.

Dust Cover

  • Width and Depth – Measure the total width and depth of the underside of the seat, and then add two inches to each measurement to allow the edges to fold under.

Tack Strip

  • Length – Measure from the underside of the roll to the bottom edge of the seat.

 

Steps

 

1. Attach the Fabric to the Front Edge

 

Lay the fabric over the seat so that it drapes equally over the front and side edges. Pull the front of the fabric over the edge of the seat cushion, and then down to the wood framing below. Using a staple gun, attach the fabric to the bottom edge of the wood framing. Position a staple about every inch along the fabric, stopping 4 inches from each leg.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 1

www.Build-Basic.com2. Slit the Fabric

 

Lightly tuck the fabric into the crease at the back of the seat cushion, and then fold it forward onto itself. Locate the inside edge of the back legs in the crease. Now cut a slit that angles outward and ends at the inside edge of each leg.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 2

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3. Secure the Back Edge

 

Pull the back flap of fabric through the opening between the seat and backrest. Pull the fabric taunt, but not so tight that it puckers. Staple the fabric to the wood frame beneath the seat.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 3

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4. Staple the Fabric Along the Sides

 

Pulling from the center of each side, smooth the fabric, and then secure it with staples to the wood framing below. Place a staple about every inch, stopping 4 inches from each leg.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 4

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5. Prep the Fabric Around the Front Legs

 

Pull the front corner of the fabric against the side of the cushion. Using scissors, clip a notch that extends from the center of the side of the leg to the back edge of the leg. Cut an additional V-notch to remove the front corner of the fabric–this isn’t necessary, but will cut down on excess bulk when you’re trying to smooth the folds.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 5

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6. Secure the Fabric Beside the Leg

 

Tuck the flap beside the leg under the seat, and then secure it with staples.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 6

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7. Position the Corner

 

Pull the remaining fabric forward against the side of the seat cushion.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 7

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8. Tuck the Corner

 

Tuck the bottom edge of the fabric up under the excess so that the fold runs flush with bottom edge of the seat.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 8

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9. Secure the Corner

 

Pull the flap around the leg, and then staple it against the front edge of the seat, beside (not on) the leg.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 9

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10. Fold the Front Edge

 

Now fold the front edge over the secured flap so that the edge of the fold runs vertical at the corner of the cushion. If the fold isn’t lining up, use a flathead screwdriver to pop out the staples from step 9, and readjust.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 10

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11. Notch the Fold

 

Cut a notch in the fold that runs from the center of the face of the leg to the inside edge of the leg, as shown.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 11

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12. Secure the Fabric

 

Fold the fabric beside the leg up and under the seat, and then secure it in place with staples. Now, just the tab should hang along the face of the leg, as shown.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 12

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13. Tuck the Fabric

 

Using a flathead screwdriver, push the tab up and under the fabric stapled in step 9. Repeat steps 5-13 to notch and secure the fabric around the remaining front leg. At this point, I used a hot iron with a steam setting to crease the fold and “lock” it in place. You can also add a little top stitch to hold fold down, but I didn’t feel it was necessary.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 13

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14. Notch the Fabric at the Back Legs

 

Pull the back tail of the fabric back along the side of the seat. Cut a notch in the fold that runs from the center of the outside face of the leg to the inside edge of the leg, as shown.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 14

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15. Secure the Fabric

 

Tuck the fabric beside the leg up and under the seat, and then staple it in place. Once complete, you should be left with a clean tail, as shown.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 15

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16. Fold the Tail

 

Fold the bottom edge of the tail under so that the edge of the fold runs flush with the bottom edge of the seat.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 16

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17. Secure the Fabric

 

Pull the fabric around the leg, and then secure beside the leg, as shown. Repeat steps 14-17 to secure the fabric around the remaining back leg.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 17

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18. Add Fabric to the Backrest

 

Now let’s Go To Part Three where I show how to add fabric to the backrest.
How To Re-Cover a Dining Chair Part 2 by Build Basic - Step 18

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MORE BUILDING PLANS

 

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