How to calculate yardage to reupholster the seat of a dining room chair

When your dining room chairs need a new look, a visit to the fabric store can breathe new life into tired old chairs. It doesn't take much fabric to cover the seat of a dining room chair, and you can easily update them with fresh colours and vibrant fabric. Calculate fabric yardage to reupholster your dining room chairs and enjoy a beautiful dining room.

Measure the length of the dining room chair cushion with the tape measure and write it down. Measure the width of the chair cushion and write this down also. If either dimension has an angle that makes one side longer than the other, measure the angle at the longest point.

Add 6 inches to each dimension to enable attaching the fabric to the underside of the seat (with staples or upholstery tacks). For example, if the width of the cushion is 20 inches, add 6 inches to make it 26 inches. If the height is 22 inches, add 6 inches to make it 28 inches.

Calculate the fabric yardage for one dining room chair. Because upholstery fabric is generally 54 inches wide, 1 yard of upholstery fabric will be 54 inches by 36 inches. Using the dimensions in the example dining room chair seat, you will need 1/2-yard of fabric for each seat. As long as a dining room chair has a dimension of less than 27 inches (after adding the additional 6 inches), you will be able to cover two chairs with 1 yard of fabric.


If your fabric has a large pattern that needs centring on each seat cushion, you will need extra fabric. Figure 1/4-yard additional fabric for each seat for centring.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.