Some folding chairs need covers to make them fit the decor at special events such as weddings or retirement parties. You can buy or rent slipcovers for your chairs, but making your own is the cheapest option. If you choose a design or pattern that you can adapt to fabric craft techniques, you do not have to sew covers for your folding chairs. Here is a no-sew slipcover solution using a one-piece drape design, which is the simplest and most versatile style to make.
Select a fabric that fits the purpose of your covers. Buy 48-inch or wider yard goods for metal folding chairs. Good-quality muslin works well, but for elegance, try organza or tulle. You can substitute oblong tablecloths or flat twin sheets for decorator fabrics.
Measure the chair height, width, legs and seat. Add the measurements together to get an estimate of the yardage for each cover. Allow a few extra inches to get the best fit for draped and gathered designs.
Cut the fabric to the correct length. If you use a tablecloth or sheet, skip this step.
Use fusible bonding tape and an iron (or fabric glue) to hem all the raw edges of your fabric.
Drape your fabric lengthwise over the chair. Pull the bottom front and rear edges toward the middle of the sides of the chair.
Tie a knot with the two ends, or gather the fabric and tie a ribbon around it to keep it in place. Tuck the fabric that hangs from the chair sides behind the knot. Use fabric glue, if necessary, to help the sides keep the shape that you intend for your covers.
Cut a piece of ribbon three to four times longer than the width of the chair back. Fold the ribbon in half lengthwise and position it in the centre of the chair back.
Attach the ribbon to the front of the chair cover, from the left chair edge to the right edge with fabric glue. Pull your ribbon to the back of the chair and make a bow. You can also use a long piece of your purchased fabric or a contrasting one to make your bows.
Attach more ribbons along the bottom edge of your chair cover for a more finished look. Knotting your cover at the back of the chair will require more fabric, but it will create a more sophisticated, dramatic effect. Experiment with sheets to get an idea of ways to accomplish the look that you want.
If you choose a heavier fabric, use bonding strips instead of glue to attach your bow material.
Tips and warnings
- Attach more ribbons along the bottom edge of your chair cover for a more finished look.
- Knotting your cover at the back of the chair will require more fabric, but it will create a more sophisticated, dramatic effect. Experiment with sheets to get an idea of ways to accomplish the look that you want.
- If you choose a heavier fabric, use bonding strips instead of glue to attach your bow material.