The office chair: a tutorial

Sue has asked for instructions on reupholstering the office chair, so I’ve written a quick tutorial. If you do this yourself, please email photos to joinin {at} worldsweetworld {dot} com- I’d love to see!

1. Take a photo of your chair. Before and after pics are great.

2. Turn the chair upside down and unscrew the seat from the frame. Keep the screws in a safe place.

3. Lie your piece of fabric face-down on the floor, with the seat on top of it (also facing down).

4. Cut the fabric so it’s about 10cm bigger than the seat (more is better than less though!)

5. Using a staple-gun, start stapling the fabric to the seat. Put a couple of staples in the middle of all four sides, further in than the existing staples you see. Make sure you pull the fabric nice and tight.

6. Keep working your way round the seat. When you get to the corners, be patient and staple a little bit at a time. You’re aiming to have nice smooth corners without visible gathers, when it’s looked at from the top. This can be a bit hit and miss! When you’re done, trim off the excess fabric.

7. Cut a rectangle of black fabric about the same size as the seat, and, turning the edges under as you go, staple this on to the bottom of the seat, covering the staples and untidy edges that you just made.

8. Find where the original screw holes are, and poke holes through the black fabric.

9. Reattach the seat to the frame.

10. Unscrew the back and take it off. How you do this will depend on the exact model of your chair, but remember how you did it, as you’ll have to put it back on in the same way.

11. Insert a screwdriver or a blunt knife under the plastic of the chair back, and lever the plastic off. Ours was attached in 4 places with a pop-together fastening system.

12. Unscrew the spine of the chair from the padded bit.

13. Staple your fabric on, following steps 3-6 again. It was more tricky with the back, as we were stapling into plastic this time, rather than wood, but it doesn’t have to be super neat, as you’ll cover it back up with the plastic.

14. Screw the spine back on, and reattach the plastic. I had to stand on it to do this, but then, I’m pretty weak.

15. Finally, reattach the spine to the base. Easy, eh!

4 Responses to “The office chair: a tutorial”

  1. tara says:

    i’ll stop with the sweaters, oops, i mean jerseys, soon. promise. i saw a neat idea on apartment therapy using jerseys to recover chairs:

  2. worldsweetworld says:


  3. Meg says:


    I didn’t realise you guys had a blog till today. Was inspired by you guys to recover our grotty office chair with an old woolen blanket… it looks so cute. I put it on my blog too if you want to see it.

    • Hannah says:

      Hey Meg – wow looks so cute! I passed up an orange and blue blanket the other day at the sallies, but am inspired to go snap it up and do a little upholstery on the weekend. Thanks for sharing!

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