Office Chair Facelift

before_after-600x415 Our poor office chair went under the knife (and stapler–but no sewing!) to give it a new look. I picked this chair up for $15 a couple years ago when an office was updating their furniture. So it was a little worn when I brought it home, but add on a few years and it was plain nasty. Perfectly comfortable and in great working condition, just old and dirty. Instead of replacing it, I decided to give it a facelift.


I’m sorry I’m even exposing you to these pictures but want you to see just how bad it was…the bottom right has pink highlighter drawn all over it and the then the dirty seat above. My 6 year old loves to spin around and around in this chair and I think what you see is the result of too many dirty shoes on the seat.

When I found this duvet cover on sale ($17 for a queen duvet cover=a lot of fabric for not a lot of money!) I knew it would work for our “new” chair.


The first step was to remove all of the old staples–and there were a lot! I flipped the chair over and using a screwdriver and pliers I started taking out the staples.


Furniture factories are very liberal with their use of staples. It took a while to get them all removed.


After all the staples were out I peeled the original fabric off to use as a pattern. The foam and the fabric were stuck together. My 3 year old asked why I was skinning our chair! I traced around the old one and cut out the new.


Tried it over the cushion to be sure it would be the right size before I started stapling. I should mention that the chair’s foam was still in good condition so I didn’t have to add or replace any of it.


Then I did the reverse of the first step and started adding staples! The trick is to pull the fabric tight while stapling. It would have been nice to have another person helping, but never fear somehow T-Rex ended up right there cheering me on!

The top of the chair pops in and out of the black plastic back so you can remove the staples, staple the new fabric back on, and pop it back into place. And again, the before and after:


I’m loving the results, but thinking I should ScotchGuard it just so I don’t have to do it all over again any sooner than I have to!

This was my maiden furniture recovering experience, what about you–have you tried your hand at recovering furniture?

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  1. says

    I think it looks awesome! I’ve not tried to recover any furniture but I have an ugly old ottoman that’s really begging for it. I guess I’ll have to break down and actually do it!

  2. Anastasia says

    Nice job! I recovered all my office chairs. PLUS I discovered that spray paint made for plastic is a great solution. My sewing chair is white now. :)

  3. Janette says

    Oh my goodness, that looks great! I have an office chair that looks horrible but I didn’t know what to do with because the foam and chair are perfect aside from the gross fabric. Now I know what to do. AND it will go into my craft room so I can make it as girly as I like. :-) Great deal on the duvet cover, I love finds like that!

  4. Tracy says

    I have an office chair that came with my house. It has to be from the 70’s but it’s got a big seat and arms and it is so comfortable I don’t want to get rid of it. It is just so ugly!
    You made this look so easy I just might try it.


  5. says

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been complaining about my office chair for too long and I’m going out and getting a duvet cover tomorrow!!!

    • says

      Just so you know, you don’t have to use a duvet cover that’s just what I happened to find. Any fabric you like will work. Just be sure it is a high quality so it won’t rip!

  6. Kayla Tomeny says

    I love this!! Hobby Lobby always has remnants of upholstery fabric in their clearance section or you can catch it when it’s on sale 50% off!! Saw some cute stuff the other day but didn’t know what to do with it! Going to get it today to make over a yucky office chair!

  7. Cyndy LaFont says

    Great job! I have one of these chairs from a second had business furniture store. Not too dirty but a yucky shade of satiny blueish color. Hard to describe color along with that odd embossed print they put on that kind of stuff.

  8. Regina says

    My husband is not happy that I found this website! But I’m getting all kind of ideas! He did like this one though. His office chair is pretty nasty looking, but is still in otherwise good condition. So….

    • Valeria says

      I think not only you certainly CAN, but also it will last a lot more than a thin (or even a thick) duvet cover fabric. I have yet to do my office chair, which is begging for it, but I’ll use some good, thick fabric. My poor office chair has to endure a lot!

  9. Korre Karmela says

    Thanks to you I have reupholstered my office chair and it looks fabulous. It was a find that my husband brought home and it was free!! I didn’t like it so I thought, I’ll buy another chair, but then I saw this blog and didn’t have any idea you could reupholster this chair. I was easy, the upper part of the chair was a bear to separate from the plastic piece, but once I start something there is no turning back. Wish I could send a pic, it looks great!! Thank you for all the GREAT ideas! :-)

  10. says

    This is awesome – I never would have thought of giving new life to an office chair. Gonna hit the thrift stores tomorrow looking for one to transform!

  11. Kristen says

    Absolutely LOVE this!!! Any suggestions for one of those office chairs with a black mesh back… we leave in a VERY hot climate, and my hubby loves the idea of the mesh back, but I want to spice it up!

  12. Some One says

    this only works when there is a wooden base. If you have a chair with a metal base, you cannot staple the covering one!

    • kellabeck says

      If you can sew you could take a couple of yards of fabric, cut pieces a few inches bigger. Then fold down and pin casings slightly wider than the elastic you will be using. Sew it, thread it, sew the elastic and last, the opening in the casing. Slip it onto the seat and the back! That’s how I did mine.

  13. Lynne says

    I love this idea. I use the bottom seat part of the office chairs my children have broken. This way I can roll around my classroom when I am working with a group of students. I definitely will be doing this the purple chair I just added to my room. It is full of stains also and is in need of a make over. I can’t wait to go look for some fabric. Do you suggest any particular type of fabric?

  14. fay says

    I have dining room chairs that were off white (children!) I was planning on redoing them myself but was some what apprehensive! Not anymore! Thank you for the step by step!

  15. taniblue says

    Hey! Fantastic. I would love to re-post this to my blog with full credits and linkage when it is up and running (I currently am here, but am changing my site . I reupholster furniture among a million different craft/art things and totally wee’d my pants when I saw this. Took under 30 mins. So happy, I hated my chair, have another to do but need to get a stronger staple gun first. Genius project, thankyou!

  16. Julie says

    Thank you for posting this. I am so going to do this to our chair. Your chair looks amazing! Love the fabric!!!!

  17. Patti Beasley says

    Nice job. I’m inspired to recove my sewing studio chair and start looking for a second chair to add for students. I was looking at my current chair and I think they used a spray adhesive between the fabric and foam cushion. I think that is what keeps the fabric from rolling and wrinkling when you sit on it. I found a great blue and gold upholstery fabric at a yard sale for $1. I think it is about 3 yards. BARGIN! Love knowing there are other out there who enjoy DYI.

  18. Kathie says

    My concern is taking the back off the chair and redoing it. You didn’t show pics of how it was done.
    The chair looks great! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  19. Melody Gardner says

    Love the chair, and what a great idea as I look at this tacky ancient chair in my sewing room. BTW, I have three dinoes sitting here on my table in my sewing room.

  20. Joanne says

    I just covered a desk chair for my friend and it came out amazing. This is the second time I have done this. I used an expensive fabric that had been discontinued at a designer show room so it was free! These styles of chairs are fairly easy to take apart and reupholster. My desk chair in my craft room is another story a little more complicated. I’m hoping I can find a site to help me out. Doesn’t a little fun colored and patterned fabric make a world of difference?
    Love your chairs!!!!

  21. erika says

    how did she do the top part? the chair that i want to make over has plastic covering the bottom so I’m just wondering how i would do that


  1. […] It would probably be safe to say that most of us have an old office chair that is tucked away in storage or maybe still being used. We have a super old and gross faux black leather office chair that is so worn out the fuzz is popping out everywhere and it’s covered in dust from sitting in the garage. We actually have been using it to sit down while we put our shoes on in the garage… so it does have some functionality left in it. I recently went shopping for a new office chair a decent quality one will cost $100 to $200! I think the better way to go may be to just get some fabric and reupholster the old one. There’s a couple great tutorials on re-doing office chairs like this… here’s 2 of my favorites! 1: Sugar Bee Crafts – Craft Room Chair (pictured in the collage image above… top left!) 2: The Crafting Chicks – Office Chair Facelift. […]

  2. […] It would in all probability be protected to say that the majority of us have an previous workplace chair that’s tucked away in storage or perhaps nonetheless getting used. We have an excellent previous and gross fake black leather-based workplace chair that’s so worn out the fuzz is coming out in all places and it’s coated in mud from sitting within the storage. We even have been utilizing it to take a seat down whereas we put our footwear on within the storage… so it does have some performance left in it. I just lately went purchasing for a brand new workplace chair an honest high quality one will value $one hundred to $200! I assume the higher approach to go could also be to only get some material and reupholster the previous one. There’s a pair nice tutorials on re-doing workplace chairs like this… right here’s P of my favorites! M: Sugar Bee Crafts – Craft Room Chair (pictured within the collage picture above… prime left!) P: The Crafting Chicks – Office Chair Facelift. […]

  3. […] room. You might remember when we painted the filing cabinets and installed the desk, or when I recovered my office chair back here. The good news is we still love our desk system as much as ever and the office chair is […]

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