How to make slip covers for dining room chairs

Written by jennifer loucks | 13/05/2017
How to make slip covers for dining room chairs
Make slipcovers to protect or revitalise dining room chairs. (antique hand painted dining chair image by James Phelps from

If you have old chairs that need covering or new ones that you do not want to get dirty, make slipcovers for your dining room chairs to protect or hide the flaws. The slipcovers slide over the back of the chair like a pillowcase and drape around the legs to add an elegant look to a formal setting. Embellish finished slipcovers with buttons, beads or cording to dress up plain fabric and create a finished look to the slipcover.

Measure the dimensions of the dining chair back, seat and around the legs. Use the dimensions to draft a pattern out of paper for the chair so the slipcover slides over the back of the chair, lays flat on the seat and drapes around the legs.

You will need three pattern pieces to complete the slipcover; front/back of the chair back, seat cover and leg shirt.

Use the pattern to cut out muslin fabric pieces as a test. This will ensure the slipcover is the correct size to fit the dining room chair.

Pin the chair back pieces together so the right sides are together. Sew a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) seam around the three sides of the back pieces so the bottom remains open. Turn the fabric so the right sides face out.

Pin the piece of fabric that covers the seat to the front layer of the chair back pocket sewn in Step 3. Sew a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) seam to attach the seat cover to the back cover.

Hem the two short ends of the leg skirt cover by folding the edge over 6 mm (1/4 inch) and again 6 mm (1/4 inch). Use pins to hold the hem in place and sew the hem close to the inside fold to secure. Repeat the hem process around the bottom edge of the leg skirt and sew close to the second fold.

Pin the skirt cover to the seat and back cover edges of the chair slipcover. Match the two hem edges in the center back of the seat cover. Sew the skirt cover to the seat and back cover with a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) seam.

Turn the seat cover so the right sides face out and slip it over the chair to make sure it fits properly. Adjust the dimensions as needed and cut out the fabric pieces from the desired decorator fabric.

Things you need

  • Medium weight decorator fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Muslin
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

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