DIY furniture savings: How to reupholster seat cushions

An outdated or worn out chair cushion is no reason to go shopping for new furniture. Instead of giving up on a perfectly good piece or hiring an professional upholsterer, follow these easy steps to give your cushions new life.

How to re-cover a chair cushion

Before gathering your supplies, make sure you can easily remove the seat. You should be able to see the screws underneath the chair frame along the edges of the cushion.

If you cannot remove it but still want a new look, try thrift stores, estate sales or discount furniture outlets for new-to-you furniture without the retail price tag. You can also investigate professional reupholsters in your area, but they tend to be expensive so get a quote in writing before hiring anyone.

I recently re-covered 4 cushions with curtains from Walmart. The chairs now not only look better, but also match my kitchen!

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Credit: Clark.com

I bought:

  • 2 packs of 84 in. curtains
  • Stanley staple gun
  • Heavy duty staples

The total came out to around $30.

What do you need for the project?

You’ll need:

  • Fabric — I used curtains because they were cheap, readily available and matched. However, you can compare prices online and at your local fabric or craft store.
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Staples — 8 or 10mm is recommended
  • Screwdriver

Steps for seat reupholstering

  1. Measure your seat cushions to determine how much fabric to buy.
  2. Buy fabric — You’ll want to buy slightly more than you think you’ll need in case of mistakes.
  3. Gather you materials in your workspace — You’ll want a surface high enough to rest the chair upside down, but low enough so that you can easily work. This is also when you should load up your staple gun.
  4. Unscrew the cushion — Lay the chair upside-down on the table and unscrew. Once done, just put the frame down out of your way.
  5. Lay out fabric face-down, then the cushion upside-down on top 
  6. Cut the fabric accordingly  — Make sure to fold the fabric up around the cushion to ensure you have enough coverage.
  7. Staple it on — As you make your way around the seat, be sure to check that the fabric isn’t too loose on top.
  8. Trim frayed edges  — Take this step to keep pulled threads from ruining your fabric.
  9. Screw the seat back on — Place the cushion near the edge of the table and flip the chair frame over it, lining up the holes.
  10. Take a seat!

See how I did it here:

If you redo your furniture or have another DIY project you want to share, let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or on our YouTube channel!

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