How to Upholster a Chair From Ikea

Written by rosemary ebert
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How to Upholster a Chair From Ikea
Upholstering the seat of a chair from Ikea can transform the chair from simple to elegant. (the chairs image by Dmitry Nikolaev from

Finding an upholstered chair that matches your style can be a challenge. Choosing to upholster the chair yourself is one solution. Using the Bertil or the Borje style of chairs from Ikea, you can change a plain chair into an upholstered chair. These styles of chairs from Ikea are inexpensively priced which means that you can spend a little more on fabric. Choose the fabric you like to match your decor. Upholstering the chair will take it from a simple seat to a sophisticated chair.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Spray mounting adhesive
  • Electric knife
  • Fabric, 1 yard
  • Foam, 2 inches thick
  • Staple gun
  • Scissors
  • Brown paper bag
  • Permanent marker

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  1. 1

    Make a template of the chair seat. Place the chair upside down on top of the brown paper bag, which has been opened up so that it is now one long piece of craft paper. Trace around the seat portion of the chair.

  2. 2

    Cut out the brown paper bag template with your scissors. This template is the exact measurement of your seat. Place the template on the piece of foam. Using the permanent marker, trace the template onto the foam.

  3. 3

    Cut out the foam piece with the electric knife. Follow the lines you have marked with the permanent marker.

  4. 4

    Turn the fabric over so the back of the fabric is facing you. With a pencil, trace the template onto the back of the fabric. Add 5 inches to each side with your ruler. This is so your fabric will overlap the sides of the chair. Trace around the extra space with your pencil. You should have an exact match of your original paper bag template but there should be 5 extra inches on each side. Cut this out using your scissors.

  5. 5

    Spray the seat of the chair with spray adhesive in a well-ventilated space. Immediately place the foam on top of the adhesive.

  6. 6

    Spray the adhesive onto the top of the foam and the underside of the fabric. Place the fabric on top of the foam and smooth out any wrinkles. Wrap the fabric down the sides and under the base of the chair.

  7. 7

    Turn the chair over. Spray the bottom of the chair with the spray adhesive and adhere the fabric to the spray. Use you staple gun to firmly keep the fabric in place. Staple around the perimeter of the underside of the chair.

  8. 8

    Using your original paper bag template, cut out a piece of fabric from the remaining fabric. Use this piece to cover the staples on the bottom of the chair, turning the edges under for a finished look. Spray the mounting adhesive to the backside of the fabric and place it over the bottom of the chair.

Tips and warnings

  • When choosing fabric, it is easier to work with a heavier material such as a tapestry fabric for this project.
  • When cutting your template, be sure to mark where the back of the seat lies. If it is marked before hand or cut out in your template it is much easier to wrap the fabric around the chair.
  • Thin fabrics, such as silk, will stain when using the spray adhesive. Choose a heavier fabric for this project.
  • It would be wise to spray fabric protector on any fabric that goes on the chair for durability. It is available in an easy to use spray.

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