Recovered Chairs (& the dreaded sewing machine)

I actually started this project back in early November and it took me until right before New Years to finish it.  See the two chairs in our office?


They are a great height and shape for the space and I loved that we had two and they matched.  Would I like something else later on like a neat wicker chair like this?  Sure!  But for now these are perfectly fine except for the color.  As I mentioned, we had gone out and done some revamping to the master bedroom duvet and got some new curtains (still working on that!).  Well the ones that we had in there for a short time actually appeared to work really well as covers for these two chairs.  The only problem – some sewing would have to be required. (gasp!)

First things first I took the chairs apart with an allen wrench.  If you don’t have a set of these at home, get one – especially if you like IKEA.  Small lazy puggle for this work is optional.Before

Deconstructed Then I took a pair of scissors and cut the bottom hem and the grommet top off the curtains so I would have a rough cut of fabric.

Fabric 2

Fabric Layout

So then I was able to cut the pieces out for the seat and the back.  The seat was the easy part.  All you’ll need is the fabric and a staple gun.  I’ve got a light duty stapler that I picked up at Joann’s for another project.  Just pull tight and staple away!

Fabric Staple

I stapled the front and back of the cushion first then went for the corners so I could get them done tight and clean.  I just trimmed and folded the fabric until I had a nice clean line and stapled it into place.

Fabric Edges

And repeated in the other corners and edges until I was done.  Piece of cake!

Seat Done

The back is where I got held up for the month.  I’ll head out and grab a nail gun, a miter saw, a jig saw or whatever, but a sewing machine seems to scare me beyond all other mechanisms.  And all I had to do was sew two straight seams per chair!  Once I gathered my courage up, my sewing machine and me sat down and had a little chit-chat about tension strengths and correct bobbin threading and finally seemed to be on the same page.   Since I was so concerned about this step however I have no pictures.  I got so wrapped up in making sure I didn’t mess it up too badly.  But here’s what I did.

Think of this type of chair back as a pillow case essentially.  All you need to do is fold the fabric around one side and sew a seam at the top and along the side like noted here.

Before 2


I managed to do just that and the fit was nice and snug once I pulled the “pillow case” over the chair back.  A few more trimming and staples on the bottom being sure to work around the chair legs and I had me some newly covered chairs!

DSCN3436 Sewing LinesThey look much better in the room together now.

Office After

These curtains were $25 for the pair, but since I had bought these for another room and turned out they didn’t work, this was essentially a $0 project for me.  All I needed was a little courage to face the sewing machine!

Any of you have a tool you dread using?  Tips for other sewing novices?

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  1. Awesome job on the chairs!! These look fantastic and what a great idea to repurpose curtains. Gorgeous and very sophisticated looking!

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