Picture of How To Reupholster A Chair
Project Create is a nonprofit in New Orleans dedicated to promoting art and creativity in the entire community. We are raising money to open a studio where every member of the community can come in and learn to paint, sew, build furniture, or explore any creative possibility they desire. If you find this Instructable useful, be sure to check out our website: for more DIY projects. And if you are so inclined, feel free to donate and help make our dream and reality!

There are so many good chairs out there that are just plain uncomfortable in their own skin. It is time that we liberate them and give them new life! This entry is not so much an art project as it is a creative endeavor. But this does not mean that it is a simple walk in the park. Having said that, I do want to reiterate that it is surprisingly easier to reupholster a chair than you would imagine.

Here is a step by step outline of how Project Create went about reupholstering this club chair (the total cost for the project was $65, including the chair which was purchased for $25 at an estate sale):
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Step 1: Choose A Chair To Reupholster

Picture of Choose A Chair To Reupholster
This is the chair in its original state. Awful. Seriously, this was truly offensive.

It is also important to pick a fabric. I warn you that this is a very difficult step, so you may want to shop around a bit or look at some design websites for ideas. Regarding how much fabric to buy , you have two options: 1) You can take a measuring tape to your piece and get rough estimates on how large each panel is. 2) You can wait until you have removed all of the fabric from the piece and then lay out the panels to get a better estimate of what you will need. Its always I good idea to buy a little extra "oops" fabric. 

This instructable is great! I watched the below video and it helped me understand the process of upholstering a lot better.

brosenquest7 months ago
Thankyou what a fantastic step by step. , I feel I can go ahead and have a go at this now x
babysaving1 year ago
Thanks for the clear and concise instructable. My husband and I just finished a rocking chair for our new babies room (I reupholstered and he sanded & stained) and we're thrilled at how it turned out; and that it was such a great project to work on together and now enjoy with our new little one. I especially appreciated your specific times listed and the encouragement not to quit! Keep up the great work.
danneauxs1 year ago
Good job. I build furniture (factory) for a living. Designs are different for each piece of furniture. Some things have multiple names. Pli-grip is also called Curve Ease, Piping is also called Welt. Most of what we build, unless it's curved, uses Blind Tacking instead of Curve-ease. For instance on the outside back (the back of the chair that would face the wall) the fabric is stapled to the frame, then cell-air (a thin cellular foam) is tacked on, then a strip of heavy cardboard (to keep that nice straight edge) then it's pulled tight and stapled to the bottom of the chair frame. Blind tacking (aka metal tack strip) is used on the sides -see photo. This can be removed and reused but takes skill to replace.
If you don;t sew you can make welt/piping with an iron and stitch witch.
Glad you posted this Ible.
origami991 year ago
egstuff62 years ago
This article was really helpful. I am a lover of old chairs but was never quite fond of the fabrics. This article really helped me understand how I can change fabric and cushions to my liking. Thank you soooo much.
PeckLauros2 years ago
Good project!
What a great post! And that yellow fabric is so rad! I love geometric with florals.I have to recover a couch soon, and I will be referencing this for sure!
Project Create (author)  audreyobscura2 years ago
Thanks so much. I should probably have mentioned that the single hardest part of reupholstering a chair is picking the fabric!!! Good luck with your couch, I am sure you will do a fantastic job!