Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DIY Chair Covers: Simple Step By Step to Make Your Own Chair Covers

Phew!!!  Feeling a bit pooped, but pumped that I got finished with chair #3 for my chair cover project!  I started this about 2 weeks ago (sad) but got busy with sanding and painting our table and helping Alex with the bathroom redo.  So once I got started on chair 3 I felt pretty confident with the steps and decided to snap pictures as I made the cover so I could share. 

Before I get started, I have to mention that I only had to cut 2 pieces of fabric.  I learned after the first chair, that I was cutting out too many pieces and it got too complicated.  All you need is 2 pieces of fabric!  I picked up some linen-looking fabric from Joanne's for $3.99 a yard (had a 40% off coupon too, so make that $2.39 a yard-woot!).  Here we go!

First, cut one piece of fabric to cover the face and back of the chair back (so the fabric folds over the top).  Then, sew the sides together stopping where the chair back meets the seat.  I tried to illustrate by pinning the sides, so this would be the inside of the cover.

 Second, once the sides are sewn pin the top to make a corner for the chair top (looks like a little triangle).  Make sure to sew a smaller corner than you think you will need, easier to sew more after to fit than it is to seam rip and start over.

After you sew each top corner and flip right side out it should look like this...

Here is where the tricky part starts.  So since we are only working with 2 pieces of fabric, you have to leave the chair back side piece whole, but cut the chair face side fabric to end at the seat.

Here is what that piece looks like off of the chair (in the photo you can see I left the back piece whole and cut the front shorter).

This is the second piece of fabric for the seat.  I cut out a little rectangle in the center of the fabric that is half the depth of the chair back.

This is what that rectangle is for, it will line up where the chair back and seat meet and wrap the side of the chair back to match up with the chair back piece (the first sewn piece of fabric).

Here is the chair back piece flipped inside out pinned to the chair seat fabric to be sewn.  Line up the edges of the fabric and pin together to make sewing easy.

Here is a view of the seat with the pins lined up for sewing.

View of the other side pinned for sewing.

The part where the sides turn up to the seat is very tricky to sew.  Keep pins in place and take the corner slowly.

After you sew and flip right side out this is how the corner should look.  It is definitely the hardest part to line up and sew.  It took me until the third chair to get the hang of it, but once you do the way the cover fits the chair is perfect!

Now the front corners, flip the cover inside out so all seams are showing.  Then pin where your corners are located and cut off excess fabric.

Once you sew the front corners you are ready to hem the bottom!  First make sure you cut the bottom so it is even and level with the bottom of the seat.  Then iron about a half inch up for the hem.  Here is the hemmed edge of the back of a cover...


You should now have a chair cover!  I have 3 done so far, it really gets easier as you go.  I have 3 left, then onto adding the prints to the chair backs!

18 comments:

  1. Amazing! I don't know that I could do it, but I'm very impressed!

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  2. Carla, they look amazing! You are super talented girl! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. This looks so easy! I don't sew very well, do you think this can be done w/ hem tape??? I hope so!

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  4. Hmmm, I don't know about hem tape, maybe if you only make chair backs? we have just chair backs on the 2 end chairs, and I like them more than the whole cover. The seat part shifts and isn't as neat.

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  5. Thanks for the tips!

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  6. Great site! I love DIY projects as well. I want to recover my chairs but the top of the chair is rounded. Got any advice?

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  7. Hi Jenet! I would probably sew 2 pieces of fabric together for the top/ chair back part. I would take the measurements and try to make a pattern that fits the round shape of the top of the chair. So there would be a seam along the side, round top, and other side (mine don't have the top seam). If that is confusing send me an email and I can quick sketch out the idea!

    ~Carla

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  9. Hi Carla! Just found this tutorial and guess what? I made the covers!!! I should mention that I have NEVER sewed anything in my life! I am so excited! Thanks for posting this tutorial. You made it so easy! (Although that part where the sides turn up to the seat is very, very tricky indeed!)

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing this. I will be trying this myself very soon.

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  11. How much fabric is needed per chair?

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    1. OH yikes! I am actually not sure. I am pretty bad with planning out the amounts of fabric because I usually mess up and keep cutting out more. I would say at least 1 yard per chair? I always buy more than I think I will need, then go back for more if I am totally wrong. Sorry, I know that isn't all that helpful, but if you use this tutorial to make chair covers and find out the right amount of fabric per chair please let me know so I can add it in this post!

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    2. I have been told to use about 1 yard of fabric per cushion. That would be including the front, back and sides of the cushion. This worked well when I recovered a couch. So, for the chairs you would need about 2 yards for each chair, since they are about the size of 2 cushions. You might want to buy two and a half to be on the safe side. Hope this helps.

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  12. Any ideas/thoughts on how to tackle this for a parsons chair with arms??? Thanks!

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  13. Wow!! That looks fabulous!! I tried making my own here too =)

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  14. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I was able to cover my dining room chairs that my cats tore up and looked aweful!! They turned out awesome - great directions & pictures!:) Thanks!!!!

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    1. Great! Glad the tutorial was easy to follow and you made your own!

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  15. Thanks a lot...... Great job & very helpful ...... Made it easy for me as I just started sewing pillow case etc.

    One question : How much material you used for 1 Chair ?

    2nd Question : you have folded the fabric lengthwise in 1/2 & started cutting the pieces.?

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