How to upholster a dining room chair seat pad

Have a go at this upcycling project to give dining chairs a new lease of life

room with upholstered seat pad chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Want to give your dining room a new look for less? Try your hand at revamping old chairs by covering the seat pad with a pretty vintage fabric. If you're new to upcycling, a drop-in seat pad is an easy first project and one which is sure to impress your friends. As you aren't removing any old covers, the job is simple and mess-free. Look out for wooden chairs with removable seat pads at car boot sales, charity shops and on Freecycle. Style at Home shows you how to update your chairs in three simple steps...

You will need:

Wooden chair with drop-in seat

Furniture oil/polish & soft cloth

Iron & ironing board

Vintage curtain fabric

Pencil & scissors

Heavy-duty staple gun

Step one

Give your chair a clean and check the joints (if any need repairing, use a dab of wood glue along the join and leave to dry). Remove the drop-in seat pad from the chair and set aside. Buff the chair frame using furniture polish or oil.

Step two

Lay your fabric right side down on a flat surface (or the floor) and place the seat pad top down onto it. Draw around your pad, allowing enough fabric to cover the original fabric on the top, sides and underneath. Cut to size and iron to smooth out any creases.

Step three

Begin stapling the fabric to the frame of the seat pad at the central point along each of the four sides. Then fold in the corners (as if wrapping a present) and staple, pulling the fabric tightly. Continue stapling until the fabric is taut. Replace the seat pad with its pretty new seat fabric back into the frame of the chair.

Liked this project? Take a look at Style at Home's page for more creative ideas.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.