How to reupholster a lounge chair with skirt

Updated July 12, 2018

Reupholster a lounge chair with skirt to give it an updated appearance and change your room's decor. Mix fabric colours and patterns on the chair and skirt to create a dynamic look, or stick with one fabric for a clean, simple impact. Add piping or other trim at the seam of the skirt for decoration.

Remove any detachable cushions from the lounge chair. Precisely measure each surface of the lounge chair, including the skirt, using measuring tape. Take measurements from seam to seam. Measure the detachable cushions using the same method.

Add a 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) seam allowance to your measurements to determine the size of the shapes you will cut in the upholstery fabric. This means adding a total of 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) to the measurement on each side of each shape. For the skirt, add an extra 6 mm (1/4 inch) along the bottom edge. You will need that extra fabric to create a neat hem.

Use the fabric marking pencil and a ruler to draw the shapes you measured on the reverse side of the upholstery fabric.

Cut out upholstery fabric along the pencil marks.

Pin the upholstery fabric, right sides together, using the 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) seam allowance. Test the cover's fit by slipping it over the chair, pin side out. Adjust pins as necessary to achieve a snug fit. You may need to pin some of the fabrics after placing them against the chair to achieve the best fit.

Pin-fit the detachable cushions with the upholstery fabric using the same method.

When satisfied with the pin fitting, sew the fabric together to create the cover. Finish any raw edges with hems. Alternatively, after placing the slipcover over the chair, fold the raw edges underneath and attach them to the bottom of the chair using a staple gun or upholstery nails.

Hem the skirt. Fold up the bottom of the skirt by 6 mm (1/4 inch), wrong sides together. Stitch in place. Fold up again, wrong sides together, by 1.5 cm (5/8 inch). Stitch this fold in place using the hem stitch on your sewing machine. Sew decorative trim or piping to the skirt if desired.

Remove the old skirt from the lounge chair using the seam ripper and discard it. This will allow your new skirt to hang freely.

Fit sewn upholstery fabric over the chair. It will be snug enough to fit neatly without additional methods of attachment. Add a reupholstered seat cushion if applicable.


If you are short on time or your sewing skills are at a beginner's level, achieve a reupholstered effect by draping new fabric over the chair, tucking it into seams and using safety pins to make additional adjustments to the fit. Add buttons or beads to the safety pins for a playful, casual effect.

Things You'll Need

  • Upholstery-weight fabric
  • Decorative trim
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric marking pencil
  • Ruler
  • Dress pins
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Staple gun or upholstery nails (optional)
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