Restore and Transform an Old Chair With Old Jeans




Introduction: Restore and Transform an Old Chair With Old Jeans

Do you see the old chair on the instructables contest "Trash to treasure" banner?

I have the same at home to restore! So lets go!

What do you need :

  • An old chair like the one on the photo.
  • Old jeans.
  • Scissors.
  • Staples and staple gun.
  • Screwdrive.
  • Pliers.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Sandpaper.
  • Paint.
  • Hammer.
  • Upholstery padding.
  • Upholstery foam (optional*).
  • Upholstery nails and nails strips (optional*).

*optional : You can reuse the old stuff.

Step 1: Disassemble Elements

Use a screwdriver and pliers to remove all the staples and nails so you can remove the old fabric.

Take care to avoid damaging the wood.
Keep all the pieces for the next steps.
The old fabrics will be used to make a pattern.

Upholstery nails (nails strips) can be reused if they are not to dammaged or you can buy new.

Note that I don't remove straps and springs.

Step 2: Old Jeans

Take old jeans and cut all the seams. Try to have strips as large as possible.

Also keep pieces you like : pockets and buttons for example. They can be used as decoration.

Verify that all the strips are clean. Iron them.

Step 3: Prepare the New Covers

First decide how you will arrange the pieces together. Shapes and colors matter.

For example you could do crazy quilting, classic quilting or simply arrange strips like you want.

Also verify that you have enough strips of jeans simply by putting them on the old fabrics. Because of the seams, you have to plan a little more than the old ones.

Sew your pieces of jeans according to what you want as result. You have to make 2 pieces for the chair's back and one for the seat. You also need two little pieces for armrests.

Iron the seams on the wrong side of the fabric (picture 1).

Cut your new fabric the same as the old one with about 1 cm more all around (picture 2) because jeans is less stretch than classic fabric.

Step 4: Strip, Sand and Paint the Wood

Personally I chose not to use chemical stripper. So I sand the wood by hand or by using an electric sander.

I choose a water-based and slightly transparent coat for painting the wood to keep a vintage look.

Step 5: New Cover : Put Back the Bottom Fabric

First align the fabric and put some nails to keep it in place and tight (picture 1). Do not push the nails to far because you have to remove them later.

Then staple the fabric (picture 2) all around.

Step 6: New Cover : Do the Back of the Chair

Put the first fabric in place and put some nails (don't push them to far because you have to remove them) to align it correctly (Picture 1).

Then staple the fabric all around. When there is a seam, put two staples (Picture 2).

Verify your work. If it is fine put the second fabric and do the same. But, before staple all the fabric put some upholstery padding between the two fabrics (Picture 3).

Put the decoration in place with little staples (Picture 4) to hide all the big staples that maintain the fabric.

Step 7: New Cover : Do the Seat of the Chair

Put the foam of the seat in place and fix it with some staple (Picture 1 and 2). Note that I choose to reuse the old foam.

Put the new fabric on it. Fix and tight it with some nails. Don't push the nails to far, you have to remove them when you staple the fabric (Picture 3).

For the corners you have to cut the fabric into Y shape (Picture 4 and 5).

Staple the new fabric all around (Picture 6).

Put the decoration in place with little staples to hide all the big staples that maintain the fabric.

Step 8: New Cover : Do Armrests

Staple the new fabric on armrests. Put some upholstery padding between wood and fabric before stapling everything.

One time again, put the decoration in place with little staples to hide all the big staples that maintain the fabric.

Step 9: Enjoy

Put the chair into place and enjoy its new look.

Also ask the cat if it is comfortable.

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    4 years ago

    Great idea and great work .. Simply superb !!


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks :)

    Treasure Tabby
    Treasure Tabby

    4 years ago

    Saving this for those old dining room chairs. ;) They currently look pretty pathetic.


    4 years ago on Step 9

    My father and my grandfather were upholsters, that said...BRAVO!
    I'm guessing the origional webbing was in good shape to reuse. Nicely done.

    th 2.jpeg

    Reply 4 years ago

    I have a chair from my Great Great... or at least Great Grandfather that I am planning on restoring sometime. For now... I have salvaged free electronics and some other items on I need to work on (3D print or form a new microwave door button). I was thinking about using the space foam and/or mattress foam I picked up for the Prius bed and seat cushions. I haven't read into what to do with the chair until now. Thanks for the reminder, how to detail and inspiration!


    Reply 4 years ago

    James, get the miceowave off of that....negative waves...; -)


    Reply 4 years ago



    Reply 4 years ago

    Your chair is really beautiful !!!
    I think it can be great to restore it.
    Don't hesitate to post your result :)


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks for your great comment.
    I had no experience with that but I tried :)
    The only experience I have is with my sewing machine.

    And yes the original webbing was in good shape.