How to make dining room chair pads

Dining room chairs can be found almost anywhere. Sometimes you will find chairs with the seats missing. Usually these chairs are dirt cheap and a great bargain, but you might be worried you won't be able to make the chair pad or seat to bring the chair back to life. A chair pad is a term used to describe a padded seat. Some chairs have chair pads built in and others use loose chair pads over wooden seats. Both types of pads are easy to make and fit to the chair.

Place the chair facing you. Position Kraft paper over the seat area that is missing. Usually there will be a frame around the chair that indicates the size of the missing pad or seat. Trace the shape of the chair seat onto the paper with a pencil.

Cut out the paper pattern and fit it back on the chair. Trim the pattern until it is perfect. Place your paper pattern over 3/8-inch plywood and trace out your pattern. Cut your plywood with a jigsaw. Lightly sand the edges to remove any rough spots. Spray the top of the chair pad with spray adhesive.

Press oversized 1-inch foam to the adhesive. The foam should overhang all sides by at least 1 inch. When the adhesive sets up (within 15 minutes) trim around the seat with an electrical carving knife.

Place quilt batting on the work table. Position the chair pad foam side down on the batting. Wrap the batting to the back underside of the chair pad and staple every inch. Staple from the centre out and rotate from top to bottom and side to side to create an even covering. Trim off excess batting with scissors.

Place your finish fabric face side down. Position the chair pad batting side down. Stretch and staple the fabric to the back underside over the batting. Work from the centre out, top to bottom and side to side. Fold and ease your corners. Staple every inch. Trim off excess fabric. Mount your seat by placing the seat on the chair and screwing through the corner brackets into the bottom of the chair seat.

Place Kraft paper on your dining room chair seat and trace out the shape of the seat. Mark the location of the posts where the seat back posts touch the seat. Add 2 inches to each side of the pattern.

Fold your finish fabric in half, face sides together. Pin the pattern to the fabric and cut out your fabric. Cut two pieces of no-fray ribbon in a complementary colour 3 feet long.

Fold your ribbons in half. Insert the ribbon between the fabric pieces so that the fold is to the outside. Pin the folded ribbon between the fabric layers so that the seam will cross over the ribbons. Do this for each ribbon.

Sew around the chair pad from one ribbon to the other. Leave the area between the ribbons open. Clip your corners and turn your cover right side out. Stuff your pillow with polyfill or a pre-shaped cushion form. Top seam along your remaining opening or hand sew the opening closed.


Ribbons make it easy to tie a loose chair pad to the seat back of a dining room chair.

Things You'll Need

  • Kraft paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • 3/8-inch plywood
  • Jigsaw
  • Spray adhesive
  • Sandpaper
  • 1-inch foam
  • Electric carving knife
  • Quilt batting
  • Staple gun
  • Fabric
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Pins
  • Polyfill
  • Cushion form
  • Sewing machine
  • Ribbons
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.