Sunday, December 8, 2013

Reupholstered Office Chair

I did quite a bit of shopping around, looking for a new desk chair for my remodeled office. I considered a variety of styles and even a Craigslist makeover, but nothing seemed to be just right, or the price tag was steep.

This is the type of chair I've had since college. A standard adjustable office chair on wheels. The green fabric was looking a little rough and cat hair stuck to it like crazy. Yuck. I thought about getting rid of it but wondered if I could save it. 

Photo from

I turned to Pinterest (where else) looking for inspiration and how-to. Sure enough, other people had reupholstered their regular 'ol office chairs too. This tutorial by The Design Itch was especially helpful and provided the information I needed to give it a try. 

I unassembled the chair back and seat, and removed it from the base. I had a total of 3 sides to cover with fabric. The seat base (that you sit on), the back (that you rest your back on) and the other side of the back (facing out). I don't have detailed photos of the work in progress - I was more focused on seeing if I could make it look good or not! 

1 yard fabric (oil cloth or regular fabric)
Staple gun and staples
Spray glue
Letter opener or thin tool to wedge fabric between boards

As you can see, my fabric has a "shine" to it because it's actually oil cloth or vinyl fabric. The bottom side is soft fabric, but the top side is coated and feels like a plastic table cloth. Perfect for easy clean up! I found this pattern at Hobby Lobby. 

I cut the fabric into the sizes I needed by tracing around the cushions and adding a couple inches extra, all the way around. I sprayed the fabric with spray adhesive, to get it to lay flat and stay in place. It worked great. 

I used a staple gun to staple the fabric all the way around the bottom of the seat. 

Here's a look at the back. I had to use a letter opener to wedge the fabric in between the back boards because there was no way I could take it apart. It fit nice and snug though.

Now I have a "new" custom office chair in a bright fun pattern. Don't toss out that old chair just yet. Consider if you could reupholster it yourself. It's easier than you think and will save you from having to purchase a new one. I love a good furniture makeover! 


  1. wow!!! amazing! I should buy one at a garage sale because I see them often :) new visitor….love your blog!

    Office Chairs

    Office Desk

    1. Thank you Lise! So glad you stopped by. You should try it - I'd love to see the before & after.


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