Frugal Friday: Recovering Chairs

chairsOne super simple way to save your family money is by reupholstering/ recovering your furniture. Now, I am a complete novice at this. My friend Jenn could reupholster any couch or chair… for me I stick to the basics. Here is how I recovered my dining room chairs and piano bench.

One thing I feel really blessed by is my furniture. This may seem pretty shallow but let me explain. Over the years Adrian and I have been blessed by other families who have given us furniture and/or we have been able to get a good deal on some solid pieces.

I LOVE saving money and getting a good deal. My Mom always taught me that you are only getting a good deal for cheap if what you are buying doesn’t look cheap. Throughout our house we have tried to live on a cheap budget without having a cheap looking house.

Recovering your furniture keeps it looking nice.


What you need:


– staple gun
– new fabric (be sure to measure the tops of your chairs adding 1 extra foot all around to be sure you have enough fabric to cover the seats entirely)
– flat heat screw driver (to help remove old stapled fabric)
– scissors
– electric screw driver
– plastic (optional. We used this because I have little kids and a baby on the way. This was our extra step to try and keep our chairs looking nicer- longer.)


Our dining room table and chairs are beautiful… except for the seats. I attribute that to having two little kids. We eat many of our meals at our dining room table and it shows.

DSC_0013 I have been in the habit of reupholstering the chairs every two years. well, this year I opted for plastic to  cover the fabric. (I am hoping that will buy me a few more years until I need to recover them again.)imageIron out the new fabric you just bought to recover the chairs. Then cut it to fit the seats. Remember to leave around 1 extra ft all around to be sure you can later fold the fabric under the seat. Set the fabric aside.

Flip over your chairs and remove the seats from the chair. Most chairs will require a screw driver to do this (I used our electric screw driver).

Flip the seats over and remove the old fabric. On my seats the old fabric was stapled on. I used a flat head screw driver and needly nose pliers to pull out the old staples and remove the fabric.

Flip the seat cushion on top of your new fabric (fabric pattern facing the floor AND seat cushion facing the floor). Pull one side of the fabric to the bottom of the seat. Staple. I usually start with one staple in the middle.DSC_0011Repeat with each side. Be sure not too pull too tight. You want to make sure it is taut without stretching the fabric too much.

Continue to pull the fabric with one hand so it remains taut- not pulled to a stretch- and staple along the edge with the other hand. Staple along one side at a time.

The distance between staples will vary depending on what you are working with. Mine tend to be around 1- 1 1/2 ” apart.

When all sides are stapled, it is time to staple the corners. For the corners I fold over the fabric to accomplish the look I want on the corners. Then I pull it to the bottom, and staple in 2 or 3 places to hold.image-1

Cut excess fabric but leave 3/4 to 1 ” of fabric from the staples.

image-4If using the plastic/vinyl repeat the steps above using this layer. Place cushions onto the chairs. Screw back onto chairs to reattach.

Step back, and enjoy your work.


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