DIY Upholstered Seat Cushion

APR 28, 2015 updated Nov 10, 2021

Looking for a quick and easy, no-sew way to revive your furniture? Look no further! Today on the blog, Spoonflower crew member Theresa shows you how to reupholster a dining chair seat cushion with no more than half a yard of Faux Suede and a few handy tools. Little effort, big reward! Now that’s our kind of project. 

upholstered dining chair seat

Spoonflower’s Faux Suede is the perfect fabric for this simple upholstery project. It has a sturdy weight while still being easy to work with, along with the amazing benefit of a soil release finish making it perfect for dining chairs that are going to get frequent use.  With my track record, something will undoubtedly get spilled on these! A little Scotchgard fabric protector before you start can’t hurt either.

Before getting started, I chose Herb Garden Apothecary by Badger & Bee from the Spoonflower marketplace and ordered a full yard. Be sure to measure your seat cushion to make sure you order enough fabric, and if you’re upholstering more than one cushion be sure to calculate how many yards you’ll need. One yard of faux suede is 54″ x 36″ (137 cm x 91.5 cm).

Materials

Materials Needed

  • flat-head screw driver
  • Phillips head screw driver
  • industrial stapler and a box of staples
  • fabric scissors
  • pliers
  • 4 screws (should already be in the chair)
  • half a yard of batting (optional)
  • One yard of Faux Suede 
Staple the batting

To start, go ahead and flip the chair you want to reupholster upside down and find the four screws underneath the seat that are holding it in place. Grab your Phillips head screwdriver and unscrew all of them to release the seat. Once you have the seat off, you may choose to remove the current fabric, but this is optional. If you do remove it, you can use the flat-head screwdriver and pliers to yank all of the original staples out to release the fabric. I went ahead and removed the fabric from my dining seat and covered it with a layer of white batting to give it a little extra cushion.

If using batting: lay it out on a flat surface, and then lay the seat on top on it face down. Using your fabric scissors, cut around the seat so that you have about about an inch of overlap when pulled up and over the seat as shown below. Use your industrial staple gun to staple the batting down, securing it onto the bottom of the seat.

Nexstep
Stapling the corners

Next, repeat these steps but this time use your upholstery fabric.  You’re going to go through all the same steps of laying out your fabric right side down, with the seat on top, right side down. Cut the fabric around the edges of your seat with enough give so that you can pull about an inch of overlap over to the bottom of the seat. Staple that down with a generous amount of industrial staples.

Pulling the fabric taught

The most important rule of thumb when upholstering is to make sure the fabric is taught against your base before you staple. You don’t want gaps or loose fabric! You also don’t want it to be so tight that it visibly and unevenly stretches, but just tight enough so that the fabric is secured nicely once stapled down.

Staples

There’s a good chance you’re going to run out of staples while doing this! If you need to replenish your supply, just be sure to double check that you are purchasing the right size and model for your unique staple gun. Purchasing a staple size that’s even slightly off could jam your staple gun and make you lose serious momentum on this project! I am speaking from personal experience here, people, it’s not fun.

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This is how your seat should look on the front and back once the fabric is entirely stapled down. When stapling the corners, you’ll want to tuck under each side and make a triangle shape with the overlap before securing into place.

Screw

You’re almost there! Place the seat back onto your chair base, and grab the 4 long screws you removed in the beginning. Screw the seat back onto the chair.

Finished chair
Finished chair 2

That’s it! Now that you have a beautiful re-upholstered seat cushion, proceed to have a dinner party so you can show it off to all your friends.  Do you have any tricks or tips you swear by for upholstery projects? Be sure to share them in the comments below!

XO,

Theresa

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  • Love the fabric you picked! When I reupholstered a chair, my stapler would not push the staples far enough into the wood, perhaps I didn’t have a strong enough stapler? I ended up getting some upholstery tacks and hammering in the fabric, which worked just as well.