How to Reupholster Seat Cushions on Dining Room Chairs

The ability to upholster chairs is a useful skill for do-it-yourselfers and any homeowner.

Reupholstering old dining room chairs can give an old space new life.Reupholstering old dining room chairs can give an old space new life.
While it might initially seem like a daunting task, reupholstering seat cushions is easy to accomplish and requires no previous sewing or upholstery experience. Old dining room chairs can take on a new life by simply adding a new piece of fabric that better coordinates with the design of the room. Before beginning any upholstery work, it is important to repair the chairs if needed.

Remove the seat from the chair. This usually requires simply turning the chair upside down and removing the screws that are holding the cushion in place. Remember to reserve the screws so the cushion can be reattached after the cushion is covered.

Pull away any existing fabric from the dining room chair cushion. If the fabric is stapled in place, use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the staples away from the underside of the cushion. If possible, keep the original fabric intact to use as a pattern for the new fabric.

Repair the cushion as needed. If the foam is torn, fill the holes with pieces of upholstery foam and glue in place. If you prefer, you can replace the upholstery foam entirely by attaching a new sheet to the base of the cushion with spray adhesive.

Create a pattern for your new upholstery fabric. If you were able to reserve the original cushion fabric, simply trace this piece onto your new fabric. You can also create a pattern by draping a piece of muslin cloth over the cushion and tracing out the shape you need. Be sure to leave extra material on all sides for pull.

Position your seat cushion over the new fabric, print side down. Pull the fabric over to the underside of the cushion and staple in place. Pull the fabric as tight as possible to avoid bubbling and create a clean, professional look. Cut off excess material or cover with a sheet of interfacing.

Attach the seat cushion to the chair with your reserved screws.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Upholstery foam
  • Spray adhesive
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Muslin cloth
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Piping (optional)

Tip

  • Consider adding decorative elements to further customize your dining room chairs. For example, decorative piping wrapped around the tip and bottom of the cushion adds interest and style.

About the Author

Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.