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How to cover my chairs with sheets

A sheet makes a versatile and inexpensive chair cover. A cover protects upholstery and wood from scratches, soiling and wear. Make your own slipcover alternative to hide damage already done to the chair or to cover outdated upholstery. A chair covering gives the room a new look. Use a sheet chair cover for a wide choice of colours and patterns in an easy-care fabric, and you can change the colour whenever you want. Make a no-sew sheet chair cover that's convenient to put on and take off.

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  1. Consider the colours and style you'd prefer for the chair cover. Assess the look of the room the chair is in and factor in lifestyle considerations. For a household with pets, use a thick sheet to reduce the risk of snags. Choose a colour similar to the pet's colour to blend with shed fur. For a household with small children or a lot of outdoor activity, select earth tones, dark colours or prints for camouflage of minor soiling.

  2. Select a flat (top) sheet you already have or buy one for your chair slipcover alternative. Select a queen size for complete coverage of a large armchair. A double (full) may fit a smaller chair. Buy some large elastic hairbands, the kind to hold a thick ponytail. They need to be big enough to fit around the chair leg and a sheet corner.

  3. Wash and dry the sheet according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. Drape the sheet right side up (so the care tag is on the reverse side) lengthwise over the chair's back. Hang the sheet's top edge past one arm, and the sheet's hemmed end outside the other arm.

  5. Raise a rear leg of the chair and slip a hair band around it. Push the hairband up to the top of the leg. Push 6 inches of the sheet corner closest to that leg into the band. Tuck it so the right side of the sheet is against the chair. The sheet will look folded under, the way you fold fabric under to make a hem. Repeat for each leg.

  6. Tuck the sheet between the seat cushion and the chair back. Check that the fabric hangs loose down the back of the chair and covers all of it. Tuck the sheet along the seat cushion and each arm, to push the extra fabric out of sight. Leave it a little loose so it won't pull too much when someone sits down.

  7. Walk around the chair and adjust the cover as needed so it hangs evenly.

  8. Tip

    Practice making a no-sew cover with a sheet you already have before buying one, to be sure the size drapes the way you want. Buy matching or colour-coordinated sheets to cover multiple chairs. Use matching pillow cases to cover throw pillows. Tuck the extra fabric inside the case.

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Things You'll Need

  • Sheets
  • Large elastic hairbands

About the Author

Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.

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