the office space in our new shoppe isn’t entirely private. we don’t mind if customers peek in every now and again, but we don’t want to be embarrassed by what they might see. so we’re trying to keep it nice and tidy, and as easy on the eyes as possible. the first glaring opportunity for improvement was our office chairs. maybe someday we’ll be sitting pretty in matching aerons, but right we’re rocking a pair of mismatched ikea castoffs. fortunately, we had a couple yards of an alexander girard-esque wool fabric laying around—just enough to cover both chairs, since they only take a little over 1 yard each. with no need for new foam or batting (we upholstered right over the old stuff), this turned out to be a super simple, super cheap way to dramatically improve our office decor. just click “more” for the full project instructions!
Here’s what you’ll need:
-Approx 1 1/4 yards fabric, depending on the size of your chair. We used a 24″ x 24″ piece for the seat and a 24″ x 18″ piece for the back.
-Flat head screwdriver
First, remove the hardware that connects the back rest to the metal frame and set the back piece aside. Depending on your chair, you may need an Allen wrench to remove the screws. Turn your chair upside down (you can rest the seat on a table or desk for extra support) and using a flat head screwdriver, remove all the staples from the piece of canvas or muslin hiding the ugly stapled mess underneath. We pulled back the canvas just enough so that we could attach our striped fabric over the existing black fabric and cover it up again.
Next, turn the chair upright and place your 24″ x 24″ piece of fabric over the seat, making sure to center the pattern if necessary. Flip it back over and put one staple along the top, followed by one on the bottom. Finish securing the fabric with staples on the left and right sides (4 staples total).
Now you need to gather the fabric around the corners, making sure no creases are visible from the front or sides, and staple it all the way around. It helps keep your fabric taut and in place if you alternate top, bottom, side, side. Trim off any excess fabric when you’re done.
Fold the canvas piece back down and staple it back onto the bottom of the chair. (see detail shot)
Next, use your flathead screwdriver to pry the back piece out of the plastic frame it’s wedged in, and line up your 24″ x 18″ piece of fabric the same way you did on the seat. Insert 4 staples to hold the fabric into place, making sure to pull it taut and even. Then gather up the edges and staple all the way around as before, trimming off the excess fabric when you’re done.
Reinsert the back piece into its plastic frame, attach the hardware and connect it back to the rest of the chair, and voila! A fun, modern (and totally painless) facelift for your office.