Recovering our Dining Room Chairs

Ever since I found our dining room chairs on Craigslist, I wanted to recover them. The current cream colored fabric wasn't TOO awful when we first brought them into our house but in the past year our family has managed to work this fabric for all it's worth. And then some.


I drug my feet with this project, though, because I just couldn't decide what type of fabric to use and what color to choose. At first I thought about oil cloth because it's stain resistant and you can just wipe it down after spills. (ie super kid friendly). But when I looked online I found that most of these fabrics were easily $20/yd and I couldn't stomach that cost. At Joann's I did find one oil cloth that was sort of reasonable, closer to $12/yd but it was bright red with flowers and very country. Not my style at all.

The other thought I had (with Hannah's suggestion) was to use 'laminated cotton' which is basically cloth diaper cover material. Again, online it was easy to find but pricey and at Joann's they only had really babyish prints for cloth diapers. I didn't think our dining room chairs would look great with yellow rubber ducky printed fabric on them, so I let that idea go, too. So much for being waterproof and stain proof!

When at Joann's, I decided to just go with an indoor/outdoor heavy canvas fabric that isn't stain-proof but it's sturdy enough to do the job. I intend to spray it with Scotch guard at some point as long as that doesn't make my colors bleed, and I'm not totally opposed to covering the two kids' chairs with clear plastic, either. We will see;)

I got my navy and white geometric fabric at a STEAL of a price from Joann's---over 6 yards for $35 total. WHAT? I know. Some major sales going on that day at 50% off and then I got another discount at the register (that I'm not totally sure was correct, but whatever). Also, I have so much left over that I could easily recover all of the chairs again in this same fabric if it does get stained---or I could just replace a chair or two every few years as needed. Nice to have that backup in the basement if we ruin these cushions, too;)

I had planned to remove all of the old fabric, all of the staples and totally recover the chairs after inspecting the foam padding to make sure it's still good. But, no. Once I unscrewed the pads I realized that these staples were no joke. So I took the easy way out and just covered on top of the old stuff----no pattern to use this way, since I couldn't use the old cream stuff as a guide. But I knew I had plenty of extra fabric so I just laid the cushions down, cut roughly around the outside leaving room to tuck underneath, and began stapling my life away. You can tell this new stuff was not done by the pros but as long as nobody stares at the bottom of my chair cushions, I guess it doesn't matter.



Nate actually wanted to help with this task---it's his staple gun, after all;) We had to be careful to get the prints lined up the same on each of the six chairs. And we started on one side, then the opposite side to make it nice and taut. Then the other two sides and of course the corners were the hardest. I was worried this would be really difficult to get the fabric smooth and not wrinked or puckered but it wasn't hard at all. After the first chair we lightened up a bit and realized it didn't have to be perfect.

Then all we had to do was screw the cushions back onto the chairs...

And voila! Easiest project ever, and one that I should have done a long time ago.





I love the new fabric and think it gives the dining room just the pop it needed. I have always wanted to get a new rug for under our table and now I REALLY want a new one, but I suppose it's fine for now. Also, this bold pattern so close to our chevron blue rug in the family room kind of bugs me, but I know someday we will also get a new rug in the family room. The chevron is still fine but it's pretty cheap and showing it's wear over time. But until then, I just pretend that I can pull off so many bold prints in our main rooms of the house;)


  1. I need to do this SO bad to our kitchen chairs. They are cream colored and absolutely disgusting!

  2. They look beautiful! Nice job.

  3. Seriously gorgeous - great patterns :)

  4. Beautiful! I just put a tea towel under the booster seats on our chairs to protect the material and so far so good. Then when I'm doing a towel load of laundry I throw them in and put clean ones under the boosters. It's not super beautiful but very functional.

  5. Nice update! Love the fabric. I'm really drawn to navy and white fabrics. And while I can't see it, I think that the chair fabric and your living room rug complement each other. Same colors, both geometric...I imagine them going well together!

  6. They look great! I shy away from patterns when I really shouldn't - this inspires me.

    My MIL have a project of re-covering my dining chairs this summer. It's her old teak table they bought in the 1970s that my SIL (and former BIL) kind of trashed. At this point we can't afford a new dining table & chairs so I decided to make good with the one we got. I've been pondering materials at JoAnn's and I think I'm going to go with a high quality vinyl, which SOUNDS hideous but is actually in keeping with the period so I'm hoping for better resale. (Why am I telling you all this?? Ha!)

    Anyway, looks great!

  7. Love the fabric! I've really been drawn to navy and white lately.

  8. THanks for the inspiration. I have been wanting to do this since I was given my parents old dining room set.
    I just haven't gone to look for fabric.

  9. LOVE that fabric! We had a chair recovered in indoor/outdoor fabric and it is amazing. Over a year ago and stains still come right out. It is amazing.

  10. Great pattern! I love how it turned out. The chairs look so much better now :)

  11. Say what??? Those look so good. Like someone said above, I'm shy about patterns and often miss out on stuff like this


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