Thoughtful Thursday: Spring Projects on a Budget! {Part 2- Chair Makeover}

Thoughtful Thursdays is a weekly segment geared toward helping you be frugal in areas outside your grocery list.   Today I’d like to introduce you guys to Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl -  a girl we SO admire for her crafty DIY spirit.  She’s totally amazing at creating magical makeovers without spending much!  I now leave you in her capable hands….

Hi, it’s me, Pretty Handy Girl again…

…and I’m back to share with you how to re-upholster a chair seat. Time to give your tushie a new cushy! I hope you enjoyed my post last week on giving dark bookcases a facelift.

Okay guys – this post has LOTS of awesome pictures (which I love) – so click on READ MORE to continue with the glorious photo tutorial!

I bought this chair at a yard sale for $5. She’s a real wreck isn’t she?!

But, her frame is sturdy and I liked her shape. So, I decided to give it an extreme makeover. One of the easiest ways to makeover a chair is to re-upholster the seat cushion.


  • Cordless Drill or Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Scissors
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • New Foam Cushion (if your foam is in bad shape)
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Staple gun w/ staples (I used 5/16″ staples)
  • Safety Goggles
  • Hammer



Removing the seat on a cushioned chair is really simple. Flip your chair over, look for four holes where the mounting screws are located (see red arrows below.)

Put on your goggles, then use a screwdriver or cordless drill to unscrew the mounting screws. Be sure to save the screws as you will need them to re-attach the seat later.

If the fabric on your cushion is in good shape and you are using a fabric that is thick enough to hide the old fabric, you can leave the seat intact. In my case, the fabric was very old and stained. Not exactly something I wanted to be sitting on….ewwww!

To remove the existing fabric, grab a flat head screwdriver and needle-nose pliers. Wiggle the screwdriver underneath the staples and use the pliers to pull them out.

Once the fabric has been removed and all the loose staples have been pulled, take a look at your foam cushion. If it is stained, crumbling, or smelly, you will want to replace it with new foam. Luckily, my chair’s foam seat was still in good condition and no stains or odors. Phew!

Lay your fabric on top of the seat and play with the pattern until you like the layout on the chair. Use your sharpie pen to draw an outline about 3 inches out from the edge of the seat.

Open up your batting and layer it on top of the cushion. For a cushy seat use at least 2 layers of batting.

Lay your fabric on your work surface, then the two layers of batting and finally the seat cushion. Make sure that the batting will wrap around to the underside of your seat. Then cut your batting. I prefer to cut my batting about an inch smaller than the fabric on all sides to hide it.

Grab your staple gun and hammer. Start by pulling your fabric up and wrap it over onto the bottom of the seat. Use your staple gun to put in one staple. (Hammer in the staple if it doesn’t go all the way in.)

Pull the fabric across from your first staple and affix that side with another staple. Repeat this step as shown below:

Continue stapling the sides in between the first four staples (and hammering in any raised staples.) Leave about an inch to two inches from the corners. Pinch the corner fabric together as shown at the left. Then neatly fold it over onto the seat and staple a few staples to secure it.

Now you are ready to re-attach the seat cushion to your chair. Simply line up your seat on the chair frame and screw the mounting screws back in place. And you are done!

I decided to give my chair a little “bling” by adding nailhead trim when I recovered the chair back. If you are interested in that tutorial, click HERE.

You can also read about the paint treatment I used on this chair HERE.

What do you think? Looks pretty easy doesn’t it? It is! I encourage you to recover your own chair or buy that cheap yard sale chair next time knowing that you can give it a makeover in no time.

Thanks for inviting me back on Time 2 Save Workshops! I hope you will come visit me soon at


  1. says

    heeeyyy!! just wanted to let you know I stpoepd by from the kickstarter class (you can delete this message) just wanted to let you know…LOVE THE STRIPES in the background. -tejae

  2. Shell We says

    Gorgeous makeover. Now where on earth are you finding this fabric? I’ve been trying to locate it for way too long. Thanks

  3. says

    Pretty Handy Girl is amazing.
    Make’s it look so easy.
    You might actually try it yourself.
    Plus lots of pictures to walk you through.
    I can tell already this gal knows her stuff. Decorating eye for sure.

    Initial thought, hire her to come over and rearrange , make-over my townhome in Hixson.
    Ever do staging for Realtors!
    You make things POP!


  1. Discounted Tushie Top Gal…

    [...] your batting. I prefer to cut my batting about an inch smaller than the fabric [...]…

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