How to cover seat cushions

Updated April 17, 2017

Replacing seat cushions is often a necessity for older antique chairs. By replacing the seat cushion, you can bring the style of the chair up to date. You can choose from a variety of cushion fabric and make your cushions to match the other furniture in your living area. Replacing seat cushions is a fairly simple task, as a basic seat cushion only consists of a piece of either plywood or metal, a piece of padding and fabric.

Remove the existing seat and cushion from the chair. Remove the screws, with a screwdriver, which holds the drop-in seat in place.

Remove the padding from the wooden seat by pulling all of the staples that hold the padding in place with a pair of pliers. Pull the staples from the original seat fabric as well.

Place the wooden seat base on top of the padding you purchased. Draw an outline of the seat onto the padding with a carpenter's pencil. Make sure to add 1/8 inch of extra along your outline.

Place the wooden seat base on top of the new piece of fabric you purchased. Trace the outline of the seat onto the fabric with a carpenter's pencil. Make sure to add 2 inches extra along your outline.

Find the centre of the padding and the seat fabric by folding each in two. Mark the centre of both the front and the back of the padding and fabric with an ink pen.

Mark the centre of the wooden seat with a permanent marker by measuring to the centre from both left to right and top to bottom. Line up the marks on the fabric with the marks on the seat to centre the fabric.

Staple the padding and fabric to the wooden seat, starting at the centre marks you made -- both on the front and the back of the seat. Make sure to wipe your hand over the fabric to remove any creases or slack in the fabric before continuing stapling. Work from the front of the seat to the back with the wiping and stapling. Then move from left to right.

Fold the edges of the fabric over the edge of the seat base and staple. Make sure you neatly tuck the corners in before stapling.

Measure, with a tape measure, and cut a piece of felt with scissors to cover the underside of the seat cushion.

Reinstall the newly recovered seat cushions to the chairs using a screwdriver and previously removed screws.


When using thicker fabric, you may need to cut away excess fabric at the edges to properly staple the fabric to the wooden seat base.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Fabric
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Ink pen
  • Permanent marker
  • Staples, 3/8-inch
  • Staple gun
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric scissors
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About the Author

Christina Teter is a business professional who began her freelance writing career in 2010. Her work has appeared on Leavr and other online publications. Teter has a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Truman State University.