How to Cover a Dining Room Chair: A Step-by-Step Guide

Revitalizing your dining room’s aesthetic can be achieved simply by bestowing a renewed and fresh look upon your chairs, and learning how to cover a dining room chair is key. Adorning the seats with fashionable, robust fabric not only safeguards the furniture but also imparts a hint of refinement to the area. In our methodical, step-by-step guide, we’ll usher you through the process of effortlessly and accurately enveloping your dining chairs. Let’s get started!

how to cover a dining room chair
How to cover a dining room chair?

1. Choosing the Right Fabric

Fabric Factors: Durability, Design, and Budget

When choosing your ideal dust cover fabric, keep in mind three essential factors: durability, design, and budget. After all, you want your new fabric top to be the superhero of chair covers, able to withstand the rigors of daily use, while still looking fabulous and not breaking the bank.

Popular Fabric Choices: Cotton, Linen, Polyester, and Velvet

Now that you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, let’s explore some popular fabric choices for dining room chair covers. Cotton, the Jack-of-all-trades of the fabric world, is durable, affordable, and comes in a vast array of colors and patterns. Linen, the sophisticated cousin of cotton, offers a more refined look with a bit of added texture. Polyester, the chameleon of textiles, can mimic the appearance of more expensive fabrics without the hefty price tag. Finally, velvet, the undisputed champion of luxury, adds a touch of opulence and elegance to any dining room.

Tips for Selecting the Perfect Fabric for Your Chairs

Start by considering the overall style and color scheme of your dining room. Are you going for a chic minimalist vibe or a bold, eclectic look? Pick a fabric that complements and enhances your existing decor. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns, but remember that too much variety can lead to visual chaos. Additionally, consider the practicality of your fabric choice—darker colors and patterns are better at hiding stains, while stain-resistant or easily washable materials are ideal for homes with children or enthusiastic entertainers. 

2. Measuring Your Dining Room Chairs

How to Measure Chair Dimensions: Height, Width, and Depth

To measure your chairs, start by measuring the height from the top of the backrest to the bottom corners of the chair legs. Next, measure the width at the widest point of the chair, usually the front of the seat. Finally, measure the depth from the front edge of the seat to the backrest. If your chairs have any unique features, such as curved backs or decorative elements, be sure to account for these in your measurements. Jot down these dimensions in your trusty notepad, and let’s move on to the next step.

Calculating the Required Fabric Yardage

Now that you have your chair dimensions, it’s time to figure out how much fabric you’ll need for your chair-covering adventure. To calculate the required yardage, add at least 2 inches to each dimension for seam allowances and a little wiggle room. Multiply the adjusted width and depth measurements together, and then divide the result by the square inches in a yard (36 inches x 36 inches = 1,296 square inches). Multiply this number by the number of chairs you’re covering, and you’ll have the total yardage needed. 

3. Disassembling the Chair: Removing the Seat Cushion and Any Upholstery

Having acquired the necessary materials and dimensions, prepare yourself to embark on an exciting journey of chair transformation. To initiate the process, dismantle your chair with utmost precision. Embrace the spirit of a skilled technician as you meticulously detach the seat cushion and strip away the excess padding of the existing upholstery. In the majority of cases, separating the cushion from the wooden frame merely requires unscrewing and peeling back the fabric, unveiling the concealed wonders beneath. It is of paramount importance to account for all screws and minuscule components; their presence will be indispensable during the reassembly phase.

Cleaning and Inspecting the Chair Frame for Damage

With your chair stripped down to its bare bones, it’s the perfect opportunity to give it a thorough cleaning and inspection. Wipe down the frame with a damp cloth, removing any dust, cobwebs, or remnants of long-lost snacks. As you clean, keep an eye out for any damage or signs of wear, such as loose joints, cracked wood, or rusty metal. 

Repairing or Replacing Any Damaged Components

Armed with your list of chair ailments, it’s time to channel your inner DIY guru and get to work fixing any issues. Tighten loose screws or bolts, apply wood glue to cracked wooden pieces, and sand down any rough spots or splinters. For more severe damage, you may need to replace individual components or seek professional help. 

4. Cutting and Sewing the Fabric

Creating a Pattern or Template for Your Chair Cover

With your chair in tip-top shape, it’s time to turn your attention to the fabric. Start by creating a pattern or template for your chair cover using paper, cardboard, or even an old bedsheet. Lay the material over the chair, carefully tracing and cutting around the edges to create a replica of the chair’s shape. Don’t forget to include seam allowances and a few extra inches of fabric for securing the cover to the chair frame. When you’re done, you should have a perfectly tailored, patterned fabric that fits your chair like Cinderella’s glass slipper.

Cutting the Fabric According to the Pattern

Next up, channel your inner fashion designer as you cut your chosen fabric according to your pattern. Lay the fabric out on a large, flat surface, and place the pattern on top. Secure the pattern in place with pins or fabric weights to prevent any unwanted movement. Carefully cut around the pattern, taking your time to ensure clean, even lines. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

Sewing Techniques for Clean and Professional Seams

With your fabric pieces cut and ready to go, it’s time to fire up your sewing machine (or grab a trusty needle and thread) and get stitching. Sew your fabric pieces together along the seam allowances, making sure to keep your stitches straight and even. For a clean and professional look, consider using a serger to finish the raw edges of your seams, or try a zigzag stitch if you don’t have a serger handy. If sewing isn’t your strong suit, don’t despair—there are plenty of online tutorials and videos to guide you through the process.

Adding Embellishments or Decorative Touches, If Desired

Now that your chair cover is sewn and looking fabulous, it’s time to add any finishing touches or embellishments that your heart desires. Think of this as the cherry on top of your chair-covering sundae. Add piping or trim to the edges for a polished look, or attach decorative buttons and tassels.

5. Attaching the Chair Cover

Aligning the Fabric on the Chair

The moment of truth has arrived: attaching your stunning new chair cover to its rightful throne. Start by carefully aligning the fabric on the seat base and chair, ensuring that all seams and edges are in the right place. This is like putting the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle into place, so take your time and make any necessary adjustments until everything lines up just right.

Securing the Cover Using Staples, Tacks, or Adhesive

Once your fabric is perfectly positioned, it’s time to secure it to the chair frame. Depending on the type of chair and your personal preferences, you can use staples, tacks, or adhesive to keep the fabric in place. Staples and tacks are great for wooden chair frames, while adhesive works well for metal or plastic frames. Whichever method you choose, work your way around the chair, attaching the fabric at regular intervals to ensure a smooth, even fit. Be careful not to pull the fabric too tight, or you may end up with unsightly puckering.

Reattaching the Seat Cushion to the Chair Frame

With your dining chair cover firmly in place, it’s time to reunite the seat cushion with its beloved frame. Carefully line up the cushion with the frame, ensuring that any screw holes or attachment points are accessible. Reattach the cushion using the screws or hardware you saved earlier in the process. Give the dining chair back a gentle wiggle to make sure everything is secure—your dining chair cover transformation is completed!

Cleaning and Care Tips for Your Newly Covered Chairs

Finally, let’s talk about how to keep your newly covered chairs looking fresh and fabulous for years to come. Treat your chair covers like you would any other piece of upholstery—vacuum them regularly to remove dust and debris, and spot clean any spills or stains with a gentle fabric cleaner. If your covers are removable and made from a washable fabric, follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for laundering. With a little care, your dining room chairs will continue to be the star of the show at every dinner party, family meal, or gathering.

Benefits of covering dining room chairs: 

how to cover a dining room chair

Always Protect your Chair: 

Your chairs have feelings too, you know. And they don’t particularly enjoy the onslaught of spills, stains, and wear and tear that comes with daily life. That’s where chair covers come to the rescue! By using these fabric guardians, you can shield your chairs from the perils of everyday use, keeping them in pristine condition for years to come.

Plus, chair covers are usually machine washable, so when accidents do happen (and we all know they will), you can simply toss the cover in the wash, and your chair is as good as new.

Cost-Effectiveness: A Budget-Friendly Makeover

Let’s face it: buying new dining chairs can be quite an investment. But fear not, budget-conscious friend! Chair covers are here to save the day (and your wallet). By opting for chair covers, you can give your dining room a fresh new look without breaking the bank.


So there you have it – chair covers are your secret weapon for transforming your dining room into a stylish, protected, and budget-friendly haven. With a world of aesthetic possibilities, the ability to shield your chairs from the chaos of life, and a cost-effective solution for updating your space, it’s time to embrace the power of chair covers and let your chairs shine in all their newfound glory.


Q1: What materials do I need to cover a side dining chair seat or room chair?

A: To cover a dining room chair, you will need the following materials: fabric (upholstery, cotton, or another suitable type previous fabric), a staple gun, staples, scissors, a screwdriver, and optionally, new foam padding or batting for added cushioning.

Q2: How do I choose the right fabric for my dining room chair?

A: When selecting an upholstery fabric, consider the desired aesthetic, durability, and ease of cleaning. Upholstery fabric is a popular choice, as it is specifically designed for furniture and offers a wide range of colors and patterns. Additionally, make sure to choose a fabric that complements the overall design of your dining room.

Q3: How do I attach the new seat fabric to the old chair seat?

A: First, cut the fabric according to the measurements you took earlier, leaving extra material for wrapping around the foam and seat edges. Lay the fabric face-down on a flat surface, and position the chair seat (with new foam or batting, if applicable) face-down on the fabric. Tightly pull the fabric around the edges of the seat, and staple it to the underside, starting with the center of each side and working your way outward. Ensure that the fabric remains taut and smooth.

Q4: How can I create a professional finish when covering my dining room chair?

A: To achieve a polished look, neatly fold and tuck the fabric at the corners, trimming excess material if necessary. Additionally, keep all the staples well aligned and close together for a secure and tidy appearance. Once the fabric is securely attached, reassemble the chair by reattaching the seat to the frame using the screws you removed earlier.

Q5: Can I cover my dining room chairs if they have curved or irregularly shaped seats?

A: Yes, you can cover chairs with curved or uniquely shaped seats. The process is similar to covering a standard chair, but it requires additional patience and precision when cutting and attaching the fabric. You may need to make small cuts or pleats in the fabric to accommodate the curves of a more comfortable seat and ensure a smooth, wrinkle-free finish.