DIY Upholstery

A guide on chair reupholstering

DIY Upholstery

We all think to ourselves at least once while furniture shopping, “I LOVE that dining chair, ottoman, bench etc. but the fabric is either filthy, insanely outdated or just does not match my decor.” A common question asked by our customers is, “how easy is that to reupholster?” Well, I am here to answer that and help you out! Put aside 20 minutes and some basic tools and you can totally customize a gorgeous piece to fit your space perfectly!

For my project, I took a basic dining chair with white upholstery. There was nothing wrong with this chair, but I wanted to give it a little more vintage flair and a pop of color. Below are the steps with photos on how to do this project yourself. Trust me - anyone can do this - it will not be one of those “Pinterest fails” that you hear about all the time!

Tools Needed:

  1. Chair
  2. Screw Driver
  3. Staple Gun
  4. Scissor
  5. ½ Yard Upholstery Fabric per cushion


Step 1: Gather Supplies

Grab that chair you are dying to redo. Head over to the fabric store and pick out the perfect fabric that matches your decor. You’ll need to have a screwdriver, staple gun and some self confidence to complete this project! Maybe a great Pandora station as well!

Step 2: Remove Seat From Frame

Flip the chair over and take a look at how the seat is fastened to the frame. In my case, it was fastened by a few screws. Simply unscrew the seat and put the frame aside for later use. You should now just have the seat on a flat surface.


Step 3: Measure and Cut Fabric

Depending on the piece you’re upholstering and the condition of the current seat, you may have two scenarios. Mine was in good condition and the batting was still in good shape under the fabric. If this is not the case on your piece you will have to tear off the old fabric and measure to cut new batting to put under the new fabric.

For dining chairs, it is typical to use ½ yard of fabric per seat. I simply placed my seat on some vintage upholstery fabric and roughly cut around it, giving it enough room to be able to fold over and staple.


Step 4: Staple, Staple, Staple

Once your favorite fabric is cut out you can now begin to staple it to the seat. It is important that the material is taut. You’ll want to do one staple and move to the opposite side and pull taut and staple again. Repeat this process going from side to side until the sides are complete. The corners can get a little tricky! It is important to fold them so that there is no extra fabric hanging over to make it look sloppy.


Step 5: Trim Excess Fabric

Once you have stapled the new fabric on the seat you will probably have a little extra fabric. I like to error on the side of caution and use a little more than less to be sure I won’t waste my fabric. At this time, you can cut that excess fabric but be careful not to cut too close to the staples.


Step 6: Attach Seat Back

Reattach the seat to the frame doing the opposite of what you did in step 2.


Step 7: Admire, Photograph and Post to social media

Flip your chair over and take a look at your amazing work. Give yourself a pat on the back and take some photos to share on social media or send to friends! They’ll be super impressed with your handy work.


I hope this tutorial helped you conquer your fears of the upholstery demon!

If you choose to follow this tutorial - be sure to tag us on social media so we can see your work!

Leave any questions or comments below.

Loveseat Team