Covering chairs can give a room a whole new feel and look. The fabric can accent other textures or colors or chosen to coordinate a holiday theme. For worn furniture, the covers can give new life without the cost of reupholstering. Chair covers are relatively easy to make, even if you don't know how to sew. The project should take no more than a few hours and, depending on the fabric used, these covers can be inexpensive.
Making No-Sew Covers
Measuring from the floor behind the chair, down the front, across the seat and to the floor will give the length of the material you need. From the floor on one side, down the arm, across the seat, up the arm and down to the floor again will determine the width. At least 12 to 18 inches should be added to each measurement for tucking and hem purposes. The outside edge will need to be hemmed all the way around. If a fancy look is desired, a fringe can be added. Hem tape can be used for both the hem and adding the fringe, or use fabric glue to attach the fringe.
Putting the Covers On
The cover is placed over the chair and tucked into the sides and back of the cushion. Foam tubes (see Resources below) can be used to keep the cover tucked in, or a rolled-up and rubber-banded magazine works almost as well. Shove these down into the cracks of the cushion to keep fabric in place. If there is a lot of fabric left on the back of the sides it can be folded and pinned at the back of the chair. Or if the back of the chair is visible to the room, the fabric can be folded into place; small cuts made down both sides of the fold, and laced up with a bow at the top or bottom.
Sewn Chair Covers
The chair is used as a pattern. Each section of the chair is measured and an inch or two added for the seams. A pattern can be made for each piece using paper, the extra inches added and then laid down on the fabric for cutting. If more flare is desired, pleat the skirt. Once two pieces are sewn together, the cover can be placed on the chair to make sure it fits, then sew the next piece on. A cover can take as little as 5 pieces or as many as 12 depending on how detailed it is.
Dining-room chairs can go from old scratched-up wood to dramatic formal chairs in just a few easy steps. The top part of the chair is made like a fancy pillowcase. The bottom only needs two parts, for the seat and a skirt. The trick is leaving the back seam open and using Velcro to close it up.