Friday, August 23, 2013

How to Recover Chair Cusions--A Tutorial

I was super lucky at the thrift store last week when I found a glider for $15 that was in great condition. I recently had my third baby and I've never had a glider. I had a rocking chair with my first two, but it is big and I never liked how it scoot across the floor when I rocked in it, so I didn't even get it out this time. I always wanted a glider but they seemed awfully expensive to me, so this was my chance. The glider was great except for one thing--the cushions were red gingham. Red gingham isn't a problem in and of itself, but it definitely didn't match the room I wanted to put it in. So this is what I did!

As always, if you need to see the picture more clearly, click on it.

Recovering Simple Chair Cushions

Step 1: Take your seam ripper and rip off the existing covers. These cushions had been recovered before so after I took the gingham off I found blue upholstery fabric. I left that on. You can strip it down to the foam if you want though. It won't make much difference.

Step 2: Use the pieces you removed from the cushions as a pattern for your new fabric. Since I had two cushions (a back piece and a seat piece), I needed to cut out 4 pieces of fabric. Make sure these pieces follow the contours of your cushions.

Step 3: Cut out your new fabric pieces. I needed 2 for the top cushion (a front and back piece) and 2 for the seat (a top and bottom piece).

Step 4: Cut out and make straps to tie your cushions to your chair (if you want to--the need for straps or not will vary depending on the kind of chair and cushions you are recovering). Turn these rightside out and iron them flat. I made two straps for the top of the back piece, and one for the middle of the bottom of the top piece. I also made two straps for the seat cushion. (Making straps is easy--cut out a long rectangle double the width of the strap you want to make. Fold it in half lengthways, then sew up the long open side. Turn it out using a dowel rod or a pencil.)

Step 4 Tip: I made my straps reeeally long so that I could fold them in half and make "two" straps out of each one. This saved me having to make as many. I only needed 5 long straps instead of 10 short straps.

Step 5: Make a sandwich using the two pieces you cut out for the back cushion, putting right-sides together, and insert your straps at the top, whereeever you want them to be. Since I made long straps I folded in half, I put the folded edge of each one at the top.

Step 6: Sew around the edges leaving a gap at the bottom to turn it out and insert your cushion.

Step 7: Do Steps 5 and 6 again for the seat cushion pieces. I left my gap at the back of the seat cover, between my straps (as shown in the picture) so that I wouldn't have to hand sew in the straps when closing the gap later.
Step 8: Stuff your cushions in your new cases! Check for fit. If there are areas that need adjusting, do it now.

Step 9: Hand sew the openings on your covers shut. Since I put a strap in the bottom of the back cushion, I had to hand sew that in as well.

Step 10: Tie your new cushions to your chair and enjoy! My cat likes the new chair, as do my kids. Glider chairs are apparently a lot of fun!