Do It Yourself – Upcycling old chairs



I did wish the first post of this year to be something a bit more glamorous. But the cold has got the best of us since day 1 of this new year and so it was really not possible to go out and shoot. I’m really hoping we get better soon and hopefully, next week a new outfit post will be out. Fingers crossed! Meanwhile here’s a simple step-by-step DIY tutorial to help you turn old chairs into new!

We were just finishing our studies when we moved in together and so it was imperative to do so on a budget. We combined our student room’s furniture as best as we knew and we got some second-hand items such as these chairs. From the beginning, we knew they had the potential to look so much better. The frame was pretty good, and it was only the seats that needed some work since the fabric was looking old and had some stains. After all these years we finally got to it!

You will need:
  • Fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pinking shears (optional)
  • Screwdriver
  • Staple gun


Start by taking the measurements of the chair seats you want to upcycle. Add to those measurements enough allowance, since the fabric will be also folded over the seat. Choose some upholstery fabric you like and cut it in squares with the measurements of the seats plus allowance. We have added 10 cm to each side as allowance, but this will depend on how fluffy, and so how thick, your chair seat is.



Using the pinking shears trim the sides of the squares you just cut. The pinking shears will help the fabric to not fray too much and so we can readily use it without the need to sew a seam or worrying about fraying hems.




Using the screwdriver remove the chair seats from the frame. Now you can decide if you would like to remove the old fabric and/or add extra stuffing. We didn’t need to add extra stuffing, and we decided to keep the old fabric underneath. If you would like to remove the old fabric you can do so by first carefully extracting the staples on the back and then remove the fabric gently.



First, position the new square of fabric on top on the chair seat as seen above. Make sure the fabric is the position/direction you want it to be – especially important if you have motives on your fabric and you want all the chairs to look similar. Turn the whole thing around. You should now see the chair base and the wrong side of your new fabric. You’re now ready to staple!



Fold the new fabric over the base of the chair and start stapling. Start at one of the sides. Then do the opposite side, and finally the other two. It’s important to really stretch the fabric while stapling and be extra careful in the corners, where you should fold the excess fabric over each other. Before stapling the corners check for the best way to fold the excess fabric such that you end up with neat corners.



And this is the end result! Now you can return the chair seat to its frame and use the screwdriver to secure it in place. Enjoy your new chairs!










Don’t our chairs look so much better now? :) Easy and fast, and so much fun to do it together!

What will you be upcycling this year?





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