Office chairs can get a lot of use and abuse, leading them to look pretty tired and drab after a short while. Often, the boring upholstery fabrics they come with (navy, black, and more navy) do not mesh with your super-fun personality! There are any number of reasons to re-vamp your office chair. I'm here to tell you it's dead simple and can be done in an hour or two.
Step 1: Find a Good Specimen!
I had a great office chair but the cover was badly stained from too many lunches enjoyed at my desk. I had some fabric and a bit of spare time and here's what happened!
Step 2: Select Your Fabric
I picked some lightweight upholstery fabric. Choose something that isn't too light in colour, or it will show dirt sooner. Also, be sure your fabric is durable enough to withstand the use your chair sees. Decorator fabrics, twills, upholstery fabrics or even a high-quality quilting cotton would all make good choices.
Step 3: Put Your Chair on Your Work Surface
I put it upside down on my work table to see what I was in for. If you were a purist (or an actual upholsterer*), you would use an awl and pliers and remove the old staples and use the cover to make your pattern. This is a tedious and thankless step and to be honest, for a thrift store chair that's already gone through a few covers, I just wanted a quick fix! I opted not to remove the cover and just go over top with the new one.
*If you were an actual upholsterer, you wouldn't be reading 'Easy Office Chair Facelift'.
Step 4: Remove Chair Back
There were two screws holding the chair back on to the stem-thingy that attaches to the seat. I removed those screws and the cover came off. It was pretty filthy, so I gave it a scrub. This step is optional of course, but what kind of a dirtbag are you if you don't just clean it! I mean, come on.
Step 5: Centre Your Seat Over Your Fabric Choice
I started with the seat. I centred it over the fabric, ensuring I had enough to pull up and over each edge and staple in place where the previous cover was stapled.
Give yourself lots of fabric to work with, and don't cut away your excess fabric just yet. You never know where you might need it, and you can't put it back on once it's cut off.
Step 6: Get Your Stapler!
That's the step. Get your stapler!
I used some generic, hardware store stapler. Nothing fancy.
Step 7: Get Busy Stapling!
Start by putting one staple in the middle of each side. One staple on the front, one in the back. Stretch the fabric to be sure there are no wrinkles or folds. Your four staples should hold the fabric nice and taut. From there, gradually work your way out towards the corners, doing a few staples on each side. Don't do all the staples on one side. Do four or five, then turn and do four or five on the next side.
When you get to the corners, pull the fabric nice and tight as you staple. Make sure you have stapled all the way around without leaving any gaps. Don't be cheap, they are just staples!
Trim off excess fabric. It doesn't have to be pretty, as this is the bottom no one will see. I did use a hammer to bash in a few errant staples that refused to go all the way in. The odd staple underneath interfered with the ones I was putting in.
Step 8: Repeat These Steps for the Chair Back
Do the very same to the chair back that you did for the seat and replace the chair back cover. Put it back onto your office chair and stand back and admire your handiwork!
Wasn't that so easy and kinda fun? My hand was a bit sore and tired after all that stapling, but the warm glow of DIY made the pain go away!