If your dining chairs are looking outdated or grungy, you can easily use items that you already have in your home to recover your chair seats with removable, washable covers.
When my husband and I got married we bought a used dining table and chairs. I never was crazy about the outdated fabric on the seats, but spending money on a new set was not an option. I certainly don’t have any sewing ability, so I decided to do what I do best – come up with a solution that would make anyone with legitimate interior design credentials cringe.
Start by looking for any fabric already in your home that would be suitable for recovering your chair seats. Remember – fabric isn’t just the stuff you buy at the store by the yard. I have used old clothes, sheets, towels, and curtains for many projects that required fabric.
If you can’t find any fabric in your home that you’d like to use to recover your chair seats, you don’t necessarily have to make a trip to a fabric store. To recover my dining chairs, I purchased a $2 sheet from a dollar store that matched the colors in my dining room. A twin-sized sheet provided plenty of fabric for recovering my chair seats, and I had plenty left over for replacing the covers in the future.
Now, there’s nothing pretty or fancy about this method, but it works. Unless I told you, or you decided to get on the floor and stick your head under one of my chairs, you would have no idea that I had recovered my chair seats with a cheap sheet.
Once you have found the fabric you will be using to recover your chair seats, the only other thing you need to find is safety pins. You could also use straight pins, I suppose, but you will need to be sure the sharp end is not exposed in case someone does stick their hand under a chair seat. The pros on the decorating shows use staples, but we’re not pros, and we’re going for something that’s cheap, removable, and washable.
Removing the seat of the chair is not difficult on most dining chairs. You usually have to remove a few screws and the seat pad is released. Once this is done, just lay the fabric out on a smooth surface, place the chair seat top-down on the fabric, and cut out a square of fabric that’s big enough to wrap around the seat.
There’s no need to worry about taking the original seat cover off unless you just want some extra work for some reason. Just recover the seat by placing the new cover over the old cover.
Once you have your square cut out, pull the fabric tight and wrap it around to the back of the seat. Then secure the new cover by pinning the fabric with safety pins. There’s no one right way to do this, each of my four chairs is pinned in a different way. The main thing is, you want the fabric to be pulled tightly and folded well so that you don’t have awkward bulges or bunches on the seat of your chair.
When the new cover looks right, reattach the seat to the chair. If there are any bunches of fabric slightly sticking out, depending on the design of your chair you may be able to take something smooth like a butter knife and shove the fabric back under the seat.
If your chair’s new seat covers get messy, you can remove them and wash them. If you decide to change the look of your dining room, you can always easily remove the seat covers and start over. This is a good way to recover the seats of your chairs if you have children who are likely to make messes on your chair covers, or if you are just on a really tight budget.
When a chair needs to be recovered, or a wall needs to be livened up, coming up with ideas to reuse items that you already have in your home is a always a great way to save money without sacrificing style.