Quick & Dirty Office Chair Cover

Introduction: Quick & Dirty Office Chair Cover

Update: Below is the original chair cover instructable I did. I wanted to add a picture of the newest cover I made. It's a heavier deep red fabric and more attractive. It is sewn around the edges by machine very quickly and roughly. I inserted cheap and strong clothesline cording to cinch it and tie it to the chair pads. Very QUICK and easy!

I needed a quick cover for my expensive office chair. This took less than 45 minutes to make. You can use just about any kind of fabric. An old sheet would be great. I used a medium weight, Teflon coated, cotton upholstery fabric. I will just throw it out when it gets beat up or I get too sick of the pattern (sort of ugly). Perfection is not the aim here. I am going for function not fashion.

Step 1: Find Fabric, Clear 2" Wide Tape, Cording and Scissors.

Drape the fabric on the chair and estimate how much fabric you will need. Make sure you have fabric for a very wide hem to go underneath the seat and in the back of the chair. Your fabric should be approx 8 inches larger than the chair pad size.

Recklessly cut around the chair with the fabric draped on it. Take your fabric and place it on a flat surface, right side down.

Step 2: Grab Your Cord and Make a Casing

Lay the cording around the fabric shape a few inches in from the edge. Fold the fabric edge over the cording and secure it inside the fold with the clear tape. When you get to a curve just gather the folds naturally. Don't worry about how neat it looks and don't fuss with it. It won't show when its done.

Step 3: Cut the Holes for the Cord and Finish Taping It Up.

Tape the fabric hem with the cording ( or old drawstring whatever works) laying inside it. When you get to the end decide what is the back or bottom of the chair cover, where you want to tie the drawstring. Cut two holes there about an inch or two apart, on the folded area of the fabric. Thread the cord ends through the holes and finish taping the edges.

Step 4: Add Safety Pins to Temporarily Secure the Cord

The cover is finished. I added about 5-6 safety pins to the right side of the fabric to temporarily keep the cord from sliding around until it was gathered. It was too annoying to try and keep the cord at the edge without the pins. Remember to add the pins to the right side of the fabric so you can remove them easily when it is on the chair.

Step 5: Tie It on the Chair

Now just place it on the chair and tie up the ends. Tie them as tight as you can without pulling the taped hem. I left one area un-taped on the chair back since it has metal supports there. I just pulled, folded and taped the hem on the inside to secure it. Enjoy your spiffy new chair. :)



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    16 Discussions


    4 months ago

    Cute! We have so many chairs that could be "fixed" like this :)

    Thank you for this. Hubby and I just invested in two nice office chairs, and our pts like to sleep in them. Plus, the cat likes to claw. I just found the light quilted cotton to provide washable covers to protect the fake leather underneath. Now I know what to do next.

    1 reply

    I meant pets, a young cat and an old dog--hence the washable part.

    You could also use spray adhesive to cure the slippage issue. I'm pretty sure that's how the manufacturers do it too.

    1 reply

    Manufacturers spray adhesive to the foam (or use heat) but not to existing fabric. I wanted to protect the original fabric on the chair (the chair is from the United States Senate floor, and Obama might have sat in it)!

    When I did this a few years ago, I spray painted my ugly black chair, then I made a slip cover for the top/back. After that, I sat there for at least an hour hand stitching my fabric to the seat of the chair. My results were very nice, but I was temporarily cross eyed after the fact!

    Use FabriTac or some other permanent fabric adhesive to secure the casing. This won't show either and eliminates sewing, etc.

    wow, that is craptastic!! great instructable but the material blurghhh

    Nice instructable, good job. If you put a piece of that anti-slip rug underlay between the fabric and the chair you can keep the cover from sliding around.

    1 reply

    Thanks! Much appreciated. Good idea. Luckily it doesn't slide around since the fabric is heavy weight.

    Hi spiderspell. I wouldn't recommend elastic. Too flimsy and the rubber thread breaks down. Cording, even twine or similar is very strong and stays tight with no stretching. :)

    Wouldn't elastic work better than the cord so it doesn't come loose like a cord would?

    Thank you! It is so easy to do. Thats why I thought other people might appreciate the simplicity. I was using a pillowcase before to protect my chair. That got old.

    Great instructable, and looks pretty. I ought to do that with this chair because it's got an awful stain. I tried to clean it but it just made it worse and it looks really messed up.

    Nice instructable, great idea and something I need to do at my office. Thanks for sharing.