When my dear friend delivered the couch she’d promised me, there was more in her truck that I had any right to expect.  I was overjoyed at the prospect of having a couch in my living room so I didn’t have to eat my granola while sitting on the floor anymore.  But along with the couch, she dropped off a small table, two chairs, and a few essentials for my kitchen that saved me over the next few months.

The chairs and table have a history.  Her husband had run a pizza parlor before they were married, and these were some of the leftover things he had tucked away in the attic.  They’ve been married for 25ish years, so it’s not like they’ve been in storage for just a few weeks.  Her children used these chairs in their first places.  And now they’ve come to my place.  The light blue and white large gingham pattern they were last covered with was nice, but the light blue clashed with my dark teal carpets.  Plus it’s just not my style.  The padding was still good, so all I had to do was cover them with new fabric.


staple gun


assorted crecent wrenches and socket sets as needed, depending on how stubbornly assembled they are.


band aids (because I’m clumsy as all get out)

Step One: Disassemble the chair by unscrewing the seat.  Now is a great time to tighten up all of the other screws.  Because wobbly chairs are bad news, even if they are pretty to look at.  Plus I usually loosen one or two screws that I don’t need to loosen when I’m trying to figure out how to take something apart.

Step Two: Remove the old fabric and padding, replace the padding.  I skipped this step because the padding was in good shape and I’m impatient.

Step Three: Center the seat on the wrong side of the fabric.  Cut the fabric at least 12 inches wider and longer than you need for the seat.  Staple one edge, then pull the fabric tight and staple on the opposite edge.  Repeat for the two sides.  You should have 4 staples in the fabric at this point.

Step Four: Work your way around the edge of the chair, pulling the fabric tight, pleating and stapling as needed to get a smooth cover over the top.  You can flip the seat over as you go to check your work.  Be careful as you staple that when you come to the pre-drilled holes where the seat was attached to the chair, that you staple closer to the edge of the seat to allow the fabric to be trimmed away from the hole so the seat can be reattached.

Step Five: Trim the excess fabric away from the seat.  Add any additional staples needed to keep the fabric secure.

Step Six: Reattach the seat to the chair and enjoy!