Re-cover your kitchen chair cushions for a quick and easy room update

I have had my kitchen chairs for ten years, and they have taken quite a beating. The original seat cushion was covered in a material with a natural/beige-ish colored background – what a mistake. The material showed everything – baby food, paint, chocolate milk – so after I had the chairs for a few years, we re-covered the cushions with a much more forgiving red plaid material. Five or so years have gone by so the other day we decided to cover the cushions yet again – what a difference it makes for the entire kitchen. The fabric cost $26 (on sale), it took an hour (with two people), and all you need is a staple gun. It couldn’t be easier – here is the step-by-step on how to re-cover your seat cushions:

1.) Turn your chairs upside down and pop out the seats. You might not even know this is possible, but nearly all dining chairs have the seats firmly placed, not nailed or attached by anything permanent. You may need a hammer to gently nudge the seats out.

2) Once you get the seats out, turn one upside down on top of your fabric (I needed three yards of fabric for six chairs; I just asked the fabric store employee how much I would need for six chairs and she estimated for me. I had leftovers.) and cut out the fabric you will need for one seat – leave about a 3-4 inch border on each side. Use that piece as a template and cut out the forms for the remaining seats.

3.) It is best to have two people do the stapling part. Taking one side at a time, have one person pull and fold over the fabric evenly on one side (make sure to keep the fabric straight if it has a pattern), holding it securely in place while the other person staples it in place. Pull the fabric as tightly as you can.

4.) Do each side of the seat, paying special attention to the corners. You will have to pull tightly and fold under excess fabric, using some extra staples. Don’t worry if it looks like a mess underneath, as once you place it back in the chair, your work is hidden. You can also take staples out and redo a side to correct any bunching.

5.) I spray newly-covered seat cushions with Scotch Guard for easy cleanup – it definitely gives me some extra time before I need to re-cover again!

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Rachael Ray