I found a recliner beside a Dumpster. The bones were good, but it needed a new seat because the vinyl had holes with stuffing coming through. I looked all over online for instructions, but had to figure this out on my own. I hope this helps someone else. Total cost for this project -- $2 in upholstery fabric -- $3 for fabric glue -- for a total of $5, give or take a few cents.
Step 1: Measure the Fabric for Your Seat.
For a recliner seat, measure the fabric larger than where you want to lay it -- leaving a 1/2 inch on the left, right and front. Leave about 4 inches of fabric on the back to glue and tuck into the back of the recliner.
The 1/2 inch edge on the left, right and front will be folded under, glued and stitched.
Step 2: Glue Fabric Down
I laid down a thin layer all over the vinyl surface and working from the middle, laid the fabric on top and smoothed it out.
Step 3: Start Stitching Around Edges
Fold the edge of the fabric under where you want to sew. Push the needle down and bring it up under the vinyl and fabric with a pair of pliers. When it's pushed through, use the pliers to pull the needle the rest of the way through. The push-then-pull method with the pliers takes a little while to get used to, but gets easier as you practice.
I made my stitches fairly large and spaced far apart. The important thing is just to secure the edge of the fabric to the edge of the seat.
Step 4: Fix the Corners
Step 5: Finish Sewing
For a few dollars in fabric and glue, a Dumpster chair now has a new home.
If you have extra fabric, you could always make arm covers or throw pillows to bring the design together. Hope this helps!