Recovered Chairs

dining room before
Dining room set (Kermit was over pictures.)

We got super lucky and scored this dining room set a few years ago from someone giving it away. It definitely fits much better in our house than it did our one bedroom apartment. Now that we have the space for it, it’s getting much more regular use and I decided it needed a bit of a face lift.

The easiest way to update a dining set like this is to recover the chairs. These chairs were super old and had been recovered a few times before. I didn’t totally hate the orange, but it didn’t fit at all with anything in our home. I wanted something gray with a lively pattern to give it a more modern touch. They also had lost some padding and were flat and worn down. I’d never recovered chairs before, so I recruited my mom for some help.

My mom and I went to Target to find some fabric and some chair padding. We couldn’t find any fabric, but came across some curtains that had a cool gray and white pattern. They were about $5 for two curtains so we ended up buying 4 of them. We also found a foam bed pad that we could use for the chair padding, and some fabric scissors.



foam pad (we used a full size bed foam pad)



staple gun


  1. Unscrew the seat from the frame of the chair
  2. Use the seats to measure the size needed for the foam pads. We traced the seats on the foam pad with a sharpie so we had the exact shape we needed
  3. Cut out the foam pad seat toppers
  4. Use the seats to measure the fabric. Leave several inches around the seats so that they can wrap around the seats with enough room left to staple them.
  5. Cut out the fabric into large squares that fit around the seats.
  6. Place the fabric, pattern facing down, on your work space. Place the foam topper over the fabric, and the seat over the foam topper.
  7. Pull the fabric taut over the edge of the seat and staple. You’ll need several staples around the edge of the whole seat.
  8. Screw the seats back onto the chair frame
chairs side by side
Before and after

This took both of us working together to help pull the fabric and staple it onto the seats. You can take off the previous chair covers, but it might not be necessary. If you chose to use a patterned cover, make sure that it is lined up straight and lined up the same way for each chair. We had to redo a couple of the chairs that we had accidentally done with the pattern upside down from the other chairs.

After recovering the chairs, I was inspired to add to a runner and a centerpiece to my table since there was so much empty space. We found this runner at West Elm, I loved that it’s a neutral color so that it goes with anything. We found the glass vase at Urban Suburban, an antique store in Crestwood.

dining room after

I ended up finding some cute moss balls at Target to fill the vase with, but you can really put anything in it. I might switch it out for pine cones this fall. I love our “new” dining room chairs! It really transformed the room and goes much better with our decor in the living room. How is your dining room decorated? Leave your thoughts in the comments!


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