Revamp a chair in less than 2 hours!

Give old chairs a new lease of life by covering the seat with a pretty vintage fabric

table with dotted pattern table cloth and chairs

(Image credit: TBC)

New to upcycling? A drop-in seat pad is an easy first project, and one which will amaze your friends. As you aren't removing any old covers, the job is easy and mess-free. Look out for wooden chairs with removable seat pads at charity shops, car-boot sales and on Freecycle. Give the chair a little TLC, wiping with a damp cloth all over to remove any grime, then you're ready to give it a whole new lease of life!

You will need
Wooden dining chair with drop-in seat Furniture oil/polish & soft cloth

Ironing board
Vintage curtain fabric Pencil Scissors Heavy-duty staple gun

room with wooden flooring and wooden chair with blue seat

(Image credit: TBC)

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.

wooden chair seat purple scissor and printed white fabric

(Image credit: TBC)

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.

wooden chair seat stapler and printed white fabric

(Image credit: TBC)

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 chair's frame.

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.