Tutorial: Recovering an Office Chair

From this:


to this:

office-chair-recoverThis took about 3 hours, start to finish (oops plus the 5 days to get the 2nd yard of fabric sent!) What’s neat about this project is that it’s an easy introduction into both upholstery (for the seat) and slipcovering (for the back) and takes a blah black office chair to WOW!

What I used:

  • 2 yards of decorator weight fabric (my choice designed by the fabulous Jessica Jones, available to purchase at J. Caroline)
  • 1 yard lining fabric
  • a 1″ thick piece of high density foam that’s 0.5-1″ larger than the seat on all sides
  • fluffy dacron batting cut 2″ wider¬† on all sides
  • muslin cut a good 4″ wider on all sides

Tools you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Staple gun

Now, I’ve done a few upholstery projects before with a manual staple gun, and I’ve had to have my husband help me with that part – my hand gives out after about 10 staples, and there’s lots of times we have to pull out and reshoot the staple because it didn’t seat properly. When I started wrapping quilts around a frame, I almost went insane. BUT since I was making a little bit of money with my little business, my hubby went to a local auto upholstery supply store and bought me a pneumatic upholstery stapler:

Rainco R1B 50-16 50 series upholstery stapler
Rainco R1B 50-16 50 series upholstery stapler

Seriously, one of the best $125 we’ve ever spent! Of course, this requires a compressor to run, but my hubby has hobbies too, so we’ve already got one of these! We’ve also got a long hose for the compressor, so I can wheel the compressor into the laundry and shut the door, the hose comes under the door, this keeps the noise down.

I’ve created a tutorial filled with photos over at Flickr, go take a look! I describe what’s happening in each picture – make sure to go to the slideshow options and check “always show title and description” in order to see the text along with the picture.

This is my 1st real tutorial, I hope it makes sense. There’s a couple of pictures I wish I had taken, but I can’t go back and take them now! Please let me know if you have any questions, and I’d love to see what you make if you use this tutorial!

9 Responses

  1. WOW! can you bring that staple gun with you when you visit? I have a chair you can recover for me! LOL!! You’re sooo awesome!

  2. The chair is pretty cool; but what’s really impressive is the clean and organized sewing room!

  3. Love the fabric you chose. I love my pneumatic stapler…and my nailer too! The correct tools make all the difference!


  4. I had such fun last week, meeting you and the other artists! And I’m glad I stumbled upon this tutorial — I have the UGLIEST beige office chair!! Jo