Chair Makeover

I’m calling this a “chair makeover,” but it is actually like that scene in the movie where the nerdy girl takes off her glasses and everyone’s all, “Whoa! You’re… beautiful!” (ahem, She’s All That, Princess Diaries, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, How to Marry a Millionaire) This “makeover” consists of dawning some fresh fabric in lieu of the ancient nastiness formerly making up the cushion of these bad boys.

For anyone who has kept a close eye on Instagram, you might have seen the sweeeeeeeet chairs I scored at a Junior League sale. We’re talking four cane back, breuer-style chairs in pretty good shape.

Cane back, breuer-style chair makeover

Did I mention that I got them for $1 a piece. ONE DOLLAR. That’s a grand total of FOUR DOLLARS. Yep. I did the math for you. I cannot believe they made it to the last day of the weekend sale.

I really love reupholstering chair cushions because it is pretty quick, pretty easy, and makes a huge difference.

What you’ll need:

Knife (or something to remove staples)
3.5 yards duck cloth (much more affordable than upholstery fabric, thank you Hobby Lobby with your good duck cloth and awesome 40% off coupon)
Staple gun

Here’s how I did it:

How to reupholster chair cushions

Unscrew the cushion from the frame. One of my screw heads was stripped (ugh), so I ended up busting it out of the chair and doing a little damage to the cushion, as every other clever method (aside from purchasing special equipment) failed.

How to reupholster chair cushions

Remove the millions (MILLIONS) of staples holding the fabric to the wood frame of the cushion.

How to reupholster chair cushions

Place cushion face down on new fabric. Cut enough fabric to fold up onto the wood frame by a couple inches.

How to reupholster chair cushions

Pull the fabric tight and staple in place to the frame. Leave the corners undone for now.

How to reupholster chair cushions

Initially, I tried wrapping this like a present, but that allowed for some of the fabric to come loose. What worked more reliably for me was to take the corner piece like so…

How to reupholster chair cushions

…and simply pull down (tight) and staple in place. Simple simple.

How to reupholster chair cushions

This is what it looked like when I was done stapling. Don’t be shy with your staple gun. You want everything nice and tight (lots of staples).

How to reupholster chair cushions

Screw the cushion back to the chair frame (you don’t need to leave the holes exposed; the screw will go through the fabric with ease if you just start screwing in the right place).

Cane back, breuer-style chair makeover. Easy easy!

Glasses off, ponytail shaken out.

I debated touching up the frame with some gold spray paint, but in the end I decided against it as it was a lot of work for something I wasn’t sure it needed.

I love these. We haven’t replaced our dining chairs with them. Instead we’re strategically placing them around our little house as extra seating to easily summon when we have big dinners and the like. Can’t wait to show you where we put them.



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