How to sew dining chair slipcovers

Written by deborah h. schreiben | 13/05/2017
How to sew dining chair slipcovers
Add decorative features to your slipcovers. (Edgaras Kurauskas/Hemera/Getty Images)

You can cover up worn dining chairs, turn mismatched chairs into a matching set, or simply give your dining room a new look by adding homemade slipcovers. These slipcovers fit straight-back dining chairs and cover the chairs completely. A pillowcase-type pouch slips over the back of the chair and is attached to the seat covering. A graceful, slightly gathered skirt falls from seat level to the floor around the entire chair.

Measure the height and width of the chair back. Add 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) to both the height and the width. Cut two pieces of fabric to this size. On the wrong side of the fabric and in small print, mark these pieces A (front of backrest) and B (back of backrest).

Measure the seat, adding 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) to all sides. Mark this piece C.

Measure the distance from the seat to the floor. Add 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches). Measure the distance around the seat, completely encircling it. Cut a strip of fabric 1 1/2 times as long as the measurement around the seat and as wide as the seat-to-floor measurement. Mark this piece D.

Pin together right sides of A and B. Beginning 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) from the bottom corner, sew together one side, pivot to sew across the top, and sew down the other side, stopping 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) from the other bottom corner.

Sew the back edge of seat piece C to the bottom of backrest piece A.

Sew together the two short edges of skirt D. Gather the top, long edge of skirt to fit around the front and sides of seat piece C and the back of backrest piece B. Pin in place and sew.

Turn up the bottom edge of skirt 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) twice. Sew around the top of the folded edge to create a narrow hem.

Cut four 40 cm (16 inch) lengths of ribbon. Securely sew the centre of each ribbon to the corners of the seat on the inside seam. Tie the ribbon to the chair legs to keep the cover from shifting during use.


Make a test cover from inexpensive material to check for fit before cutting all final slipcovers.

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Cotton-blend fabric
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) ribbon

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