How to Repair Dining Room Chair Seat Covers

Updated April 17, 2017

A dining room chair constructed of a study material, such as wood or metal, can last for generations. With the passing of time, the fabric seat covers may tear under the stress of frequent use, or become stained from food spills. If the frames of your dining room chairs are structurally sound, you can salvage them and give them a fresh new look by repairing the seat covers. Fortunately, repairing a dining room seat cover can be done in less than half an hour, using basic household tools.

Turn the chair over and unscrew the seat cover from the chair. Sometimes the screws are inset into a piece of wood, so you may need a long screwdriver. Reserve the screws to avoid having to buy new ones.

Take the old material off of the cover. The material wrapped around to the backside of the chair cover is often attached by staples. You can use a needle nose pliers to remove these. There may be a piece of thin board attached to the bottom side of the chair cushion--if it is in good condition, reserve it to reuse it.

Lay the seat cover on the fabric you have chosen. Use a durable, stain-resistant fabric in a colour that matches the rest of your dining room.

Trace the outline of the seat cover onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut the shape of the outline, leaving a border large enough so that there is room to wrap the fabric around the edges of the seat cover and secure it to the back.

Fold the fabric over the edges of the seat cover and staple it to the bottom, with the right side of the top of the seat cover touching the wrong side of the fabric. Place the staples at least 1.5 inches inside the edge. Leave all corners of the edges to staple last. When gathering the fabric around the edges, create even pleats as you staple.

Cut away the excess fabric. This will make screwing the chair covers back onto the dining room chairs a lot easier.

Staple the board back onto the bottom side of the chair to cover the raw edges of the fabric.

Screw the new seat covers back onto the frame using the old screws.


If you don't have needle-nose pliers, use a flat-nose screwdriver to pry the staples out of the seat cover. If the board covering the bottom of the seat cover was not in good condition, use the old ones as a pattern to create new ones from sturdy cardboard.


Flying staples can severely injure the eyes. Wear safety glasses when using the staple gun.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Nicole Whitney started freelance writing in 2008, with articles published on various websites. She has worked as a spa therapist and consultant. She participates in a volunteer program and writes on subjects related to the beauty industry. She graduated from the International School of Skin, Nails and Massage in Atlanta.