Once upon a time I bought a set of thrifted chairs. I really liked the shape but disliked the color, but thought that I could do something about that one day. As always, I considered just painting the surface, but a few clawing cat paws later painting the faux leather was no longer an option.
Finding the right fabric was a bigger challenge than expected, but when I was over at Dille & Kamille for my bedroom restyling, I discovered the perfect shade of pink, in a table cloth! As their table cloths are made from thick cotton, I quickly realized this would definitely work. Just over €20 well spent to give my vintage chairs a modern look.
This is what I did for two chairs:
What you’ll need
Dille & Kamille table cloth 140 x 180 cm or other fabric
2 vintage chairs
-Take a clear picture of the chair. Sometimes it doesn’t look so obvious when it’s apart in pieces, so the picture is a good reminder.
-Take the chair apart so you can properly reach all the parts that need to be refurbished. For my chairs this meant that I needed to screw off the seat and the back.
-It is usually advised to take off all the old fabric and use it as a mold for the new fabric. This way you use it as a pattern to cut out your new fabric. I didn’t do it this way as the skai fabric of my chair provided a nice clean base and extra padding. This way I didn’t need to add extra filling for the chairs. I used the seat and backrest to determine how much fabric I’d need. If you do take of your old fabric and add new filling, it’s advised to cover it with an extra layer of fabric to make things easier and get better results.- When you’re sure you’ve got the right amount of fabric, start cutting. I always left a little extra room. Don’t worry about it being clean, you can still trim it later.
– Start stapling! The seats will be easiest, because you wont see the bottom. Start stapling on the bottom of the chair, in the middle at the front and work your way towards the sides. Repeat on the opposite side so you can pull the fabric tight. Continue this on the sides.
-To finish the corners, leave them loose during the previous steps and pull it tight at the corners, folding the excess fabric flat. This drawing gives you a clear idea how to do it.
-Trim extra fabric if you need to.
-The backrest will be a bit more complicated. First and foremost, don’t forget you need to cover front and back if you have chairs like mine. Second of all, you don’t want the staples to be visible, so it is crucial to puzzle until you make a construction where all the staples are hidden by your frame. For my chairs, I made an “envelope” of the fabric so you are only left with one horizontal line on the back. It helped that the fabric was hemmed. I made sure the staples were hidden behind the wooden frame by checking where it would go and marking the existing holes with a pencil on my fabric.
-Screw your seats and backrests back on and voila, just like new!