How to Reupholster an Office Chair

This chair is old. and when I say old, I mean old!! This chair is about 20 years old... I suppose that might make it an antique! Though I doubt no one will ever want this one.

See what I mean? ANCIENT, right? But still in good shape so instead of buying a new one, we simply make it do!

In order to make it do, I decided to recover this eye sore... it needed an update.. for sure! 

This is the very first reupholstering attempt I have made, and really... it was super easy!

Here's what I used:
• small stapling gun and staples ( I have like a $10 or less one from Lowe's)
• 1 yd of fabric (depending on the area you are covering of course)
• left over batting (optional)

Here's how I did it:

Start by taking your chair apart. Mine was held together by a couple screws.

Since my chair is ancient antique, I opted to add a little extra padding by using some batting I had left over from another project {gotta love left-overs}.

I placed my batting on the top of my seat and cut it to size. I did two layers. The bottom batting covered the seat top, the top layer covered the seat top and around the sides to the bottom of the seat. Why? I didn't want the batting to wiggle around under my bum while sitting. Bring it over the sides and stapling it with the fabric to the bottom of the seat holds it in place!

Next step, grab that staple gun and go staple crazy! Really, go ahead! The more staples the better... but seriously... don't go too crazy. With anything going overboard is never good. Just make sure you staple enough to keep your fabric and batting secure.

I chose to keep the old cover on... figuring if my hubby totally hates it.. at least I can return it to it's original state {plus a few extra staples. ha!}

Start in the middle of each side and work your way to the corners.

Then once you reach the dreaded corner, this is where it gets tricky. There are so many different options on how to make your corner look nice and finished. Here's how I did mine.
I made my pics bigger so you could see it.

Grab the corner and pull it out straight (1). Then fold the sides in to the center like you are wrapping a present (2). Then flatten it out making sure to pull your fabric snug {not tight} (3). You can always adjust your fold in step 2 to make sure you fabric lays flat. Then staple away!!

Once your stapling is done, trim around your staples for a cleaner look. Since this is the bottom of my chair and no one will see it, I wasn't too picky.

When you are done, here's what you have.

Then repeat for the head/back rest piece.

Put your chair back together and there you have it!

And one more view just because I love the way it turned out!

If you have upholstered anything I would love to read about it! Leave the link in your comment and your project might get featured!


  1. 20 years? Seriously? Wow! That’s a very sturdy office chair right there. And it doesn’t look ancient for me really, and I can tribute that to my favor with black chairs. However, I can’t neglect the fact that you are able to transform it the best way.

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