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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Andrea's Easy Tutorial For Refurbishing A Swivel Office Chair

 This is is a super easy, afternoon project that I think has a great result. 

I got the swivel chair from a site called 'free cycle'. A group of civic minded people got together to set the site up so that people can post items on there that they no longer want and others can reply to their posts to accept them. No money changes hands; posters are left with the satisfaction that their stuff will find a new home and not go into landfill. They also don't have the hassle of actually taking it to their local dump. Everyone wins! I noticed the chair on the site a few months before posting to get it and, like everyone else obviously, I thought - what can I do with it? Then I came across a 'how to refurbish a swivel chair' pin on Pinterest and thought I'd give it a go. I've included it here as the how to on Pinterest didn't have information about how to cover the backrest of the chair. As I found this tricky I thought I'd outline one which includes this here.

Step One

Unscrew the plastic base of your swivel chair being careful to make a note of what screws go where.

Step Two

Pry the plastic backing from the chair seat and remove the material cover. DSC_0300  

Step Three

Slide the pole which holds the back rest in place out of the main fixing. Then wiggle and slide the concatina piece of plastic to make your future work easier. Then take a screw driver between the plastic backing and the fabric padding. You may, as I wasn't, be able to remove the plastic backing as with the chair seat. The pole which holds the back rest is also screwed into this part, but as you can't separate the plastic backing you can't get to these screws. Therefore just use the gap created with the screw driver to remove the material.

Step Four

Lay the discarded fabric onto your new and use it as a template to cut around. DSC_0304  

Step Five

Apply the seat cover first. Iron the fabric then take some heavy duty fabric spray and spray over the middle area of the material, approximately the area of the seat. Place the material onto the seat pad, smoothing the fabric in place. On the reverse side of the seat staple the material in place. The glue spray will help in keeping the material tight. Once finished take the plastic backing and screw it back in place.

Step Six

Either by hand or machine sew round the outside of the seat back material with large, running stitches. Once finished iron the material.

Step Seven

Spray the material with heavy duty spray again and place it on the back rest. Pull the running stitch to gather the material then, prising the back rest from the plastic with a screwdriver, push it between the back rest and pad. Keep doing this until all the material is in position; the plastic backing will keep it in place when it snaps back.

Step Eight

Put the chair back together!  

What do you think?


For more great furniture tutorials visit Bacon Time contributor Andrea at Mrs Domestic Bliss


  1. What a beautiful transformation!

  2. Oh, my! Your chair turned out so beautifully! I love it and have a very similar chair that I would like to try to do this to.
    Be a sweetie,

  3. What an amazing transformation!

    So happy to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - Alma, The Tablescape

  4. Boy, that takes the ordinary and makes it something special.

  5. Your chair update looks terrific!! Thanks for the tutorial. I may have to give this a try on mine!

  6. What a fab transformation! love it! Stopping by from the DIY Sunday Showcase :)

  7. Great Transformation!

    We would love for you to come and link up with us at Your Designs This Time, Mondays 8:00am EST. htttp://

  8. I love the fabric you chose. Went from boring to fab! Visiting from The Dedicated House.
    Blessings, Diane

  9. I never would have thought an office chair could look so good! Great tip about the freecycle website, I'll have to check that out!

  10. The chair looks so much better. Great choice in fabric.

  11. Wow great job! The chair turned out so cute!

  12. I looks so good. Love the fabric you used. I would love for you to share this on my Friday T.G.I.F. linky party @ :)

  13. Gorgeous transformation!! I love toile fabric!! I would love to have you join me for my Centerpiece
    Wednesday linky party and share this post with us. Come on over


  14. I love your chair! I've been meaning to get around to this at my I'm even more inspired! It turned out beautiful. I'm featuring this next Tuesday on Twirl and Take a Bow! Hope you'll join us! ~Tammy

  15. Wow! Beautiful job, I love your fabric choice. I've wanted to do this for a long time but wasn't sure I could make it look good. You have inspired me, thanks. Also thanks for sharing your great tutorial with us at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party.

  16. This would make about a 150% improvement to my office chairs! Thanks for the tip! I would love if you would share this over at my Facebook party today! :)

  17. What a huge difference.....The chair in black looks functional, but plain and rather ugly....the chair in print looks.....amazing. It is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. :)

  18. Love it and really love the fabric choice!! Thank you for sharing this at TTF.

  19. How inspiring! You did such a nice job on your chair. Beautiful fabric, too. Thanks for sharing your technique! :-)
    Kim @ Curtain Queen Creates

  20. Great idea. I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party

  21. Have to pin your chair recover. Great tutorial. Great look.

  22. I love free cycle, and I love what you did with that office chair! It looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing this with us at Treasure Box Tuesday- Pinned!! ♥

  23. I totally need to do this for two swivel office chairs here at home, but I'll have to really study the tutorial again. I didn't quite understand the part about sewing the fabric. I don't sew AT ALL, so that was way over my head. I LOVE how you so dramatically changed this chair!!! Great job!

  24. This is so genius! WOW WOW Great job! Featuring you tomorrow. Thanks so much for linking!

  25. I absolutely love it! Now I need to find a second hand chair of my own :>)

  26. Andrea did a fabulous job! I have a chair that needs this desperately.....
    It was so fun to see this linked up at our party. I pinned!! Thanks much!! :)
    “hugs” Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  27. Beautiful transformation, Mindie! You proved there is no need for a boring office chair. Awesome look and great job. I shared on my Facebook this morning.

    Thank you for sharing with us~

  28. Oh I love this and am going to do this to my own chair! Thank you! :)

  29. Hello! I love your work, you are quite a handy woman! I'd like to ask you to share a tip, coz I have no idea how to reupholster the back of a dinning chair. It's a chair with only metal frame, no hard back to staple onto. Is there another solution then sewing? Thx for your advice, Nastja


Mathew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.