DIY Reupholstered Office Chair Tutorial

So, I found about three yards of cheap fabric from a local antique shop in the West Bottoms, Rustic Vintage Rose. (Cute little place, by the way.) I have an office chair that I purchased at the Salvation Army thrift store, which I've been wanting to reupholster because it's a rather unexciting shade of blue, and my bedroom/office area is mostly purple and light pinks.

I got the idea to reupholster it from another blog, because it didn't seem like it would be too hard to do. The fabric I chose is reversible, so I did this a bit differently than you might choose to do. Here's a step-by-step guide to reupholstering an office chair the easy way. The blog I was looking at suggested you take apart the office chair, but mine will not come apart, so I came up with my own way to handle the situation. This is going to be a very photo-intensive blog, and I'll try to make it as simple as possible to understand.

Materials needed:
Office chair that has been used (check thrift stores and garage sales, also sometimes businesses have extra chairs that they don't want)
About 2-3 yards of heavy duty upholstery fabric
Staple gun and staples
Optional paint for plastic parts of the chair

I first prepared my fabric. Since this was a type of polyester upholstery fabric, I took a lighter to the edges that were fraying to seal together the fibers. I basically just burnt the very edges of the fabric together so that it would stop fraying, but it's best to be careful doing this, as you may end up with some fibers that burn too long and you have to blow them out. This is an optional step, but I did not want my fabrics fraying while on the chair, causing me to have to reupholster it again.

The chair before I reupholstered it. It is sturdy and comfortable, but not very exciting as for the color.
The fabric I chose, on the chair. This fabric is a light pink and cream on one side, and dark pink and light pink along with light and medium greens on the other side. It was only $6.00 for three yards, so I thought, well, why not. If I wasn't on a budget, I might have chose something more of a lavender and dark purple color.
These are all photos of getting the fabric behind the plastic back of the chair. Your chair may be slightly different, but in my case, I had a big plastic back that I had to pry up with a flat head screwdriver to get behind it and push the fabric in so that it would stay. I made sure that the fabric around the sides of the chair was not bunched up and was very smooth, which can take awhile, but just be patient and careful, and it can be done. I then stapled around the very edges of the fabric with a small staple gun that I bought at a True Value Nuts & Bolts store that's nearby. Any staple gun will do, just make sure you understand how to load it, as mine was a pain to load, and make sure that you are stapling around the very edges in a neat pattern.
Stapling around the edges, and the final result. I reversed this fabric to the cream and pink side. I'm not sure this was the best decision, but at the time it seemed like the right one.
I then turned the chair over, and rested it on my bed since it was the easiest place to work. I made sure the fabric was taut around the edges, so that the seat would not look ruffled, and folded the fabric around the edges, and just stapled as best I could. This was actually surprisingly harder than stapling around the back of the chair. If you wanted to make it neater, I think it might take you some time, but since no one will see the bottom of this chair, I just stapled a bit willy nilly until I felt the fabric was taut and held well.
The finished chair! I stapled a bit of contrasting fabric at the top and bottom of the chair. I may eventually flip the fabric to the green and pink side, but for now, this is how the chair looks. I thought I would try contrasting colors for awhile, but I imagine I'll be bored over the winter, and something strange will happen. ;)

For the last step, you could always paint the portions of the chair that are plastic to match the chair fabric. Many paints do not adhere well to plastic, so you may need to purchase something that does, and that's exactly why I did not bother with this step. My chair has a kind of light grey color that is not very noticeable, so it went well with the portions of the chair that are a light green anyhow.


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