Introduction: Make It Your Own! Custom Reupholster a Simple Chair Cushion

Have you ever seen a chair at a thrift store or garage sale that's really, really close to what you’re looking for, but something is just not right? Have you ever thought to yourself: "It’d be perfect if it weren’t for that funky stained seat cushion”? Once you know how easy it is to switch out, you'll never be disheartened in these instances again! A few materials and a bit of repetitive elbow grease can make a world of difference. You can transform it to reflect your textile preference, give it a brand new cushion for increased comfort, or simply freshen back to its original vintage charm to make it more inviting.

Step 1: Find Your Project

Locate a chair with an upholstered seat cushion you'd like to change.

Step 2: Measure

Measure your chair's seat cushion to approximate how much yardage you will need to complete your project - always round up. Perhaps even add an inch or two to both the length and width... I have learned from experience it is far easier to upholster with excess fabric than just enough.

Step 3: Choose Your Textile

Locate or purchase your replacement textile.

Step 4: Gather Your Tools

You will need to gather the following tools:

• power drill with proper drive bit (or screwdriver)

• staple lifter

• needle nose pliers

• fabric scissors (or sharp all purpose scissors)

• staple gun (electric or pneumatic version highly recommended)

• wide edge staples

• small hammer

Step 5: Remove Cushion

Use your power drill with drive bit (or screwdriver) to remove the cushion from the chair base. Be sure to save the original screws in a safe place, you will need them when it comes time to reattach the cushions.

Step 6: Lift Staples

Using your staple lifter, begin to remove the staples which hold the unwanted cushion cover in place.

Step 7: Repeat

Repeatedly remove each staple from the entire parameter of the original cushion cover.

Needle nose pliers can be quite useful if you come across any stubborn staples.

Step 8: Continue

Continue to remove staples until the original fabric is free from the cushion base.

Step 9: Prepare & Cut

Remove the old fabric from the cushion, and use as an approximate pattern for your replacement textile.

Remember to cut your replacement textile a little larger than the original. This will make it easier to pull and manipulate while stapling down.

Step 10: Position

Position the chair cushion, sans original textile, on top of your properly sized piece of replacement fabric.

Step 11: Staple

Staple the replacement textile in the center edge of your choice.

Add another staple to the center edge of the opposite side.

Continue to add a staple to the center edge of side 3...

..and again on side 4.

Step 12: Fold and Fasten

Fold the and fasten the replacement fabric directly over the corner.

Step 13: Cut With Caution

Using caution with awareness of the edge of cushion base, cut away the excess.

Step 14: Fasten

Pull taut and fasten with staples from one side of corner all the way to the center staple.

Step 15: Staple

Staple remaining edge of corner to center staple, remember to take care that the fabric is smooth and taut.

Step 16: Repeat

Repeat steps 15, 16, 17, and 18 until all corners are complete.

If necessary, the small hammer may be used to compress any staples that aren't flush against the fabric and cushion base.

Excess fabric may be trimmed once all sides are satisfactorily fastened .

Step 17: Attach

Use the original screws (saved from step 5) to attach the reupholstered cushion back on to to the chair base.

Step 18: Enjoy!

Take pride in a job well done and enjoy your results!