How to Reupholster a Drop-In Chair Seat

If Fluffy got feisty with your favorite upholstered chair, you don't have to stash the tattered remains out of sight or relegate the chair to a scratching-post function. It's easy to re-cover a drop-in seat if you have some leftover upholstery fabric.

Unscrew the chair seat from the chair.

Using a hammer claw or a small pry bar, remove the tacks or staples that are holding the upholstery to the seat frame.

Using the old covering as a guide, cut a new seat cover roughly to size with upholstery scissors or sharp fabric scissors.

Cut new batting (padding) using the same guide.

Apply spray adhesive (available at hardware and home supply stores) to the seat base.

Press the batting to the adhesive on the chair base (see A).

Center the fabric over the batting.

Turn over the batting and chair base, now one unit.

Pull the fabric taut, taking care to center or balance striped or patterned upholstery over the seat base. Then cut the fabric, leaving an overlap for nailing to the seat.

Using a tack hammer, tap in upholstery tacks (available at fabric and home supply stores) every few inches (about 8 cm) along each side of the underside of the newly made seat cushion (see B).

Turn the cushion back over and screw it back into the chair.


Be careful not to split wood when tapping in tacks.


Apply spray adhesive in a well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Upholstery Scissors Or Sharp Fabric Scissors
  • Upholstery Tacks
  • 1 Yard (90 Cm) Batting
  • 1 Yard (90 Cm) Upholstery Fabric
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Hammer Claw Or Small Pry Bar
  • Screwdriver
  • Tack Hammer
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