Monday 28 November 2016

Upcycled office chair

Let's talk office chairs today shall we?! Office chairs aren't the most stylish pieces of home furniture, but for a lot of people they're a necessary evil if you work from home. We desperately needed a second chair for the loft but didn't have big bucks to throw at a stylish vintage one. So when my husband saw a boring looking but perfectly good chair ready to be thrown out at work, he nabbed it.

With its regulation bright blue nylon upholstery it wasn't the sexiest office chair on the block, but it was really comfortable and I knew that if I could spruce it up with some new fabric it would fit in perfectly. There are quite a lot of online tutorials or videos showing you how to re-cover office chairs, so it was actually a pretty straight forward project. This is how I did mine...

First of all, you'll need to separate the back rest and seat cushion from the frame of the chair. There are lots of different sorts of office chairs, but generally the two cushioned sections are simply screwed onto the frame. Remove the screws and detach the cushions. The cushions will each have a plastic backing which also need to be removed. Some plastic backings simply pop off, but ours needed prising off with a screwdriver!
Back rest with plastic backing removed

The cushion cover was held in place with elastic so all I had to do was attach my fabric around the elasticated edge. I think we struck lucky as most office chairs have the fabric attached to the cushion with staples. Now for the fun bit!

Place your cushion face down on the wrong side of your chosen fabric, add about a two inch margin all round and roughly cut around the outline. If in doubt leave a wider margin - you don't want to find your fabric is too short!

Fold the fabric firmly around the cushion and pin into position, starting at the top middle, then the bottom, leaving the corners until last.

For the corners you'll need to pleat the fabric at the back to ease it round the curves. Keep pulling the fabric taut and checking that the right side of the cushion is smooth.

Tack your fabric to the existing cushion (or you can staple at this stage, this seems to be what most tutorials advise).

Fold the raw edges of the fabric under the elasticated cushion edge and tack in place through both layers.

If, at this stage you realise that some bits of your fabric aren't quite long enough to fold round the edge (as in my case!) don't despair! The plastic backing will cover them up.

Replace the plastic backing. Now do exactly the same for the seat cushion and re-attach both cushions to the chair frame.

You now have a gorgeous new office chair! I recommend sitting on it and whizzing round the room in triumph.

The fabric I used was a lovely retro print barkcloth from Maud's Fabric Finds, which was the perfect weight for this project. I bought half a metre and there was more than enough to cover both cushion pads. I even have some scraps left over to make a few purses and make-up bags. Yay! Once the cushion backings were prised off, each cushion took me about an hour to complete. So it turned out to be a relatively cheap AND quick project. Definitely cheaper than buying a fancy new chair anyway! x

Spot the difference!


  1. Very pretty!!!! Great job! Plus you made it look so easy to do it! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thank you, I was surprised how easy it was! x

  2. I love the new look. You provided easy to follow directions. Now...I just need to find a free chair!

  3. I love this fabric! The chair is transformed from boring office, to funky home chair - love it! x

    1. Today you will even be shocked to discover collapsing seats that when opened up, fill in as outside recliners. Top 10 Best Folding Chairs That You Need To Get This Year (In 2017)



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