Steps to Upholstering Your Own
A typical side chair has a seat base measuring approximately 16"
by 18". It may be totally square, or slightly wider at the front. It may be
made of plywood or other material. If your chair has a seat base that is
slightly larger or smaller than 16" x 18", you will need to make adjustments
For adequate seating comfort, we recommend using high density 1"
foam and a layer of cotton batting on top. The foam should be cut slightly
larger than the seat, about 1/4" all the way around. The material you choose
for the seat should be of upholstery quality to ensure durability.
Find your cutting measurements, leaving enough fabric to get a
good grip under the seat. For one seat, you need a "square" of about
26"x 28". Remember that some seats are wider at the front so leave a few
more inches of material. After cutting, fold the fabric in half and notch the
front and back. Also mark the center of the front and back of the seat. Place
the foam and batting on top of the seat. Flip right side down and place over
the material. Line up centers of seat and fabric on the back. Make sure to
stretch the material to remove any slack. Pull the fabric taunt and staple or
tack at your center marks and a couple of inches to either side. When stapling,
proceed in an alternating fashion, doing one side, then the opposing side. You
then staple the side next to that one, then the opposing one and so on. Only
staple a few per side at a time. Don't pull the fabric too much as it will leave
Generally, 3/8" staples are fine, but if your fabric is
thick, you may need 1/2" staples. If you feel you stretched the fabric too much
and that it leaves pull marks, remove a few staples with a flat head screw
driver and long nose pliers and redo. As you get closer to the corners, make
sure not to bunch up too much material as it will lift the corners of the seat
and leave a gap. Pull the fabric corner at the seat corner and fold in two
pleats. You may need to trim away excess fabric.
Once you are satisfied with the appearance of the seat, we recommend
that you spray the fabric with Scotch Guard spray or other stain protectant.
After all this work, it is well worth the effort to protect it!
Bare plywood seat base
ready for upholstering.
Upholstered foam seats need