July 3, 2012

How to Recover a Chair Seat (Guest Post!)

illistyle.com header for guest posts

Hey loves! I am April and I am so excited that Emily invited me over today to share with you all. I blog over at illistyle.com all about my adventures as a wife, mother, artist, and missionary on the tiny tropical island of Roatan, Honduras. I love to make things pretty and make occasions special, as well as showcase the amazing artistic talent of the beautiful people of Roatan. My motto is "I have limited time and limited resources... challenge accepted." Hop on over to illistyle.com and take a peek. xoxo love you girl!

So my BFF recently moved and since I am her resident Interior Designer (I worked in the industry for 7 years before moving to Honduras) she looked to me to help her out. We are moms and we are not millionaires. Let's be honest, we are not even thousandaires... so budget friendly items are a must. She really needed a vanity stool for her bedroom vanity table/desk. So last month while I was in the States visiting her we did the only logical thing: went to Goodwill.

In all it's Goodwill glory

This pic actually makes it look better than it was. It was NOT very cute. It had a very 90's vibe going on. Like it could have been used as a movie prop by any of Julia Robert's characters pre-My Best Friend's wedding... ya know? Anyhow, that gunmetal gray and grey faux-suede is not cute anymore. We knew we needed to change the color of the body and the seat fabric. So we hit up Hobby Lobby (can we just talk about how jealous I am that Honduras has not gotten on the Hobs Lobs band wagon... I heart this place!) and got Krylon Antique White spray paint, and some cute vintage-inspired fabric.


We removed the seat and painted the chair. That was the easy part.
Recovering the seat: that was more involved, but so easy!
So here's a little tutorial for all you 52 mantel readers:
1. Iron Fabric, lay over seat

Center your fabric with the part of the print you like
2. Cut Fabric about 4" larger than the size of the seat

3. Staple Fabric on to underside of seat


This is where a friend comes in handy. You want to flip the seat and fabric over and staple, then pull the fabric on the opposite side of the seat and staple. We started on the left and stapled - my hand, then stapled the opposite side on right - Acacia's hands. We then stapled at the top and on the opposite at the bottom. So Essentially we stapled at 9 o'clock then 3 o'clock. 12 o'clock then 6 o'clock. Opposites. Get it? If not ask that friend who is helping you, if she doesn't get it then you both are free to make fun of my crappy tutorial writing. I am so good to you, I provide information and entertainment.
4. Keep stapling in the opposite-side pattern all the way around the seat until you have a hot mess of staples.


Your goal is that the top of the seat looks smooth, and the bottom does not. Keep checking as you staple and smooth as needed. You can always remove staples if a fold develops on the side or top. No worries.
5. Trim off excess fabric... cut about 1/2 inch from staples

6. Done!
Wanna see the finished product?

Let's recap this little chair makeover. Shall we?

I am really in love with how cute it turned out. Look, I love it so much I put hearts around it. Serious serious Jr High - style love.


Thanks for letting me stop by and share today.
Here's some other tutorials you might like:
Thank you SO much for sharing, April! What a perfect repurposed chair. I bet your BFF is thrilled to have this in her new home! 


  1. Oh my gosh! What an adorable makeover! I love recovering Goodwill finds -- such a fun thing to do to find something and dream up a new look for it! :-) Thanks for sharing, and thanks for featuring such an awesome blogger, Emily!

  2. That fabric is really cute! I'd love to find some great goodwill pieces, but in Germany that's really not happening =(

  3. I have to do my kitchen chairs ... thanks for the reminder!

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