(This post includes affiliate links for your convenience. Please visit my disclosure page for more information.)
Right now, I’m participating in the Writing for 31 Days challenge under Simplify and Organize. Read to the end of this post about the Write31Days giveaway. Come back each day for more simplifying and organizing ideas. Here’s some of my posts so far…
With 5 people squeezed into a 1350 square foot house, we can feel like were a bunch of sardines in a tiny can. Things can get messy quick! So one way I’ve learned to simplify my life is from advice from my mom. Putting plastic over the chair seats. Yep, that’s right. Get a big ole roll of plastic to cover your chair seats if they are clothe. It’ll save you so many headaches of having to clean up spilled anything! My parents still have vinyl covered on their kitchen chars. They live in the country and spend lots of time taking care of their land/garden/cows so when it’s lunchtime they don’t have to worry about cleaning up just to eat at the table.
What you’ll need to recover the seat of a dining chair:
- Clear Vinyl 20 Gage (I picked this up at my local Hancock Fabrics store. JoAnn fabrics also carries this and Hobby Lobby probably does too. Don’t forget you can usually get coupons for both stores.)
- Staple Gun – Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple/Brad Nail Gun
- 3/8″ stables for the staple gun (my chairs aren’t very thick so I didn’t need very long staples) – Stanley Tools TRA706T “Sharpshooter” Heavy-duty Staples 3/8″
- IRWIN Tools VISE-GRIP Long Nose Pliers, 6-Inch (2078216)
- scissors – Scotch Precision Scissor, 8-Inches (1448)
- Stanley 68-012 All-in-One Screwdriver (for screws holding your chairseat in place)
First let me say a little bit about staple guns. DON’T go with a whimpy one. I’ve got a heavy duty one. The one I link to above, but do wish I had an excuse to buy, would be awesome since it can also be a brad nailer. Oh, the projects I could do with this!!! From Amazon here’s more details on the above linked staple/nail gun… “Uses Stanley® SharpShooter® TR250 uses Brad nails (12mm 1/2″ Brad SWKBN050), (15mm 5/8″ Brad SWKBN0625); For your Staples 1/4″ 6mm TRA704, 8mm 5/16″ TRA705, 10mm 3/8″ TRA706, 12mm 1/2″ TRA708, 14mm 9/16″ TRA709. Hope this helps you out on purchase of the correct nails and staples for your TR250 Stapler”
About 1 year ago I picked up a table and chair set and also a couch on craigslist for $225 delivered (score!)…
There was a semi dingy velveteen off white fabric on the seats. Classy! I knew it wouldn’t hold up in my house of kids 6 years old and under(at the time of purchase. So I initially covered these babies with clear vinyl…
Now that we are settling in to our duplex and I know my main accent color is a fun, bright, cheery orange, I decided it was time to liven these chairs up a bit! Plus, I didn’t leave enough room on the vinyl job I did before so it was starting to pop out on the sides so it was time to update. I got this roll of 20 gage at JoAnn fabrics a long long time ago and still have plenty. For my 4 chairs I probably could have just used 1.5 yards so I have plenty to use for each change up I want to do in our décor…
I found this adorable fabric at Hancock fabric! LOVE IT!
Now time to get to work…
1. Take off all the seats. Flip over the chair and remove any screws. For my chairs there were only 3 screws holding them on and they weren’t on very tight so there was no need for a cordless drill. Removing them just took a little elbow grease(and help from mommy getting the screws loosened) by my almost 4 year old to unscrew them all. Then the seats popped right off…
2. Remove old vinyl and/or old cover. I only needed to remove the vinyl for this project since the fabric on the seats was already neutral and wouldn’t show through with my new fabric so that was handy! All it took to remove the old fabric was a pair of needle nosed pliers and a flat head screwdriver to lift the stubborn staples that needed to be lifted up for the pliers to be able to grasp. If you have trouble with some of the staples and can’t get then out try grasping with the pliers and rolling the plier with the staple still grasped. Sometime this will add more leverage and help pop the staple out. Make sure to take out all the staples and be careful not to lose any on your floor.
Before and after removed vinyl…
3. Cut enough vinyl pieces and fabric pieces for all 4 chairs. This was a pretty easy thing to do for this recover because I had a template to use from recovering it last time. I took the vinyl from one of the chairs and placed it on top of the new vinyl. The old vinyl piece didn’t seem to have been long enough or just barely long enough to cover all the sides so I made sure and added about 2-3 inches on all sides of the new vinyl cutout this time. And prior to cutting the next 3 vinyl pieces I tested it on a seat on all sides to see if it would be long enough. If you don’t have an old piece of fabric or vinyl from the chair seat you are recovering, either lay the seat on top of the fabric and wrap the fabric around the chair so that on the underside you have at least 3 inches on each side of the seat to be able to staple. Or alternatively, a. measure the width and length of the seat. b. Measure the thickness of the seat and add that to the width and the length. c. Add another 6 inches to the width and length. Now you have the width and length you should need for each seat.(This would be helpful to determine before picking up your fabric.)
Now you have an updated template to use for cutting the fabric for each seat… I cut out 4 since I have 4 chairs…
4. Now it’s time to cover each seat! Lay a piece of clear vinyl on the workspace and make sure the top of it is clean. Lay a piece of fabric on top of that. Then center the seat on top of that.
Okie dokie! Here’s the trickiest part of recovering anything… chair seats, couches, etc… The corners! whew! Here’s what I do, I fold the fabric on both sides where the corner meets. I pinch where the fabric meets at the corner so it makes kind of a flap and then fold it down. Now it’s ready to staple….
Now I do this to the opposite corner of the chair and try to pull the fabric tight before stapling it a couple times. Now flip over the seat and see how loosey goosey it is?
Well, we’re gonna fix that! Pick another corner to work on and pull it as tight as possible without popping any staples. Then flip it over again and you might want to smooth out any wrinkles and definitely will want to pull the fabric tight as possible from the other corner and staple it down following the same process. Now… You are ready to staple at the middle of each side then pull the fabric tight and staple the center on the opposite; repeat for the other two sides. Continue stapling a side then pulling tight the fabric on the opposite sides until all the sides have plenty of staples… Now make sure there are no stray strings or junk on the fabric you just stapled on the seat and trip any excess fabric. Then follow the same steps to attach the clear vinyl.
Ready for the vinyl…
5. Attach the seat to the chair. This one is self explanatory. Just turn the chair upside down again, put the seat in place and line it up as best as possible, and use a lot of elbow grease to put the screws back in. Sometimes this can be tricky because it can be hard to make the screw go through the vinyl and fabric so having a cordless drill(or someone with good arm muscles) might help make it easier.
6. ENJOY! Now you’re done and all that work has paid off! I’m enjoying these pretty chair seats and how this touch of color has added some more cheer to our dining area. 🙂
I’m hearting the extra pizazzaaaa! 🙂
Do you have any tips for recovering furniture? Let us know in the comments below. 🙂 And don’t forget about the Write31Days giveaway sponsored by DaySpring… a $500 DaySpring.com shopping spree!