Saturday, March 10, 2018

Made It: DIY Chair Seat Covers

Hello! In 1999 I bought an antique dining table/chair set. The chairs were covered with a blah beige-ish fabric that I never cared for. But since the chair seats are the kind that are easy to recover (only a screwdriver needed to remove the seats and to put them back in), I figured I'd do just that.

Never got around to doing so, but over time I got more tired of looking at those blah chair seats. More recently I began looking at replacement fabrics, but didn't see anything I liked. 

Then last summer I stopped at an interior design firm in our downtown that was participating in the annual sidewalk sales. They were selling fabric sample books for practically nothing. There were so many many pretty choices in one book, I decided to see if those fabrics would work for my seat do-over.

It's a bit of work taking apart a fabric sample book, as they're typically put together by glues, heavy-duty staples and screws. But eventually I pried everything apart. I laundered and ironed the fabric pieces I wanted to use, and they sat around for a few months more. 

But finally I began my project earlier this week. Here's an example of what I started out with:

As you can see, nothing special about the above fabric! 

Now, the one thing about my fabric pieces is that none of them were big enough to cover a chair seat. I'd have to sew more than one fabric together to get the size I needed. It may seem unusual to cover a chair seat with more than one fabric, but I asked the interior design firm employee who sold me the fabric sample book if it'd be okay to do. She said it would be. And since anything seems to go these days, I figured it'd be all right to take a chance. If I didn't like how it turned out, I could try looking for more fabric again. 

I cut four 10" squares of my sample fabrics per chair, then sewed the squares together. For interest, I alternated darker and lighter prints. After prying the beige fabric from the seats, I used one of those pieces as a pattern to cut my sewn squares down to the right size and shape. 

(Yes, I had to use a different set of four fabrics for each chair, but stuck to those that had at least some pink in each print.)

And voila:

A big improvement, I'd say! The fabrics I used are all very nice quality. They should be, as the price per yard is astronomical for this stuff. 

A close-up of some of the fabrics:

I can't say I did the best job ever of recovering the seats, as I don't have much experience with a staple gun. But by the time I was working on the last chair seat I got better at it. 

I also don't know how durable these seat covers will be, since the friction of one's posterior could cause stress on the seams over time. But we really don't use our dining room a lot - mainly for holidays and when we're having people over. The latter includes dinner guests, family parties and house guests, but still not frequent occasions for us. 

Use or no use, I wanted to get rid of that blah, beige-ish fabric anyway! I'm glad I finally did so. 


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