Sew Your Own Chair Slipcover

diy custom slipcover

It’s time for another round of the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest, and with this month’s theme of “Take a Seat”, our fabulous sponsor is Minted.  Not only does Minted have adorable greeting cards, stationary, and wall art designed by independent artists, they also have a full line of gorgeous fabric.

before and after custom chair slipcover diy

I figured this was the perfect time to finally make slipcovers for these hideous chairs.  You can see in the top left corner that I attempted to paint one of them, but the raised circles in various tones of brown just weren’t working with the paint, so I quickly stopped, and let them sit untouched for another year.  Someone even asked me if the chair had caught fire.  Who paints a chair halfway and then leaves it as if nothing happened for over a year?  How embarrassing.

I’m going to post some of the process pictures I took while making this slipcover, but I’d highly recommend you go over and visit Christy from Confessions of a Serial DIYer.  She has an highly detailed tutorial on sewing armless chair slipcovers, and I found myself referring to her post here and there as I worked on mine.  Plus, I know she also just recently made a slipcover for her entire sectional sofa.  This girl knows what she’s talking about when it comes to slipcovers!

how to sew a custom slipcoverThe basic concept in making slipcovers is pretty simple – drape the fabric, wrong side facing out, over the piece and pin it to the chair.

how to sew a chair slipcover Then, cut pieces to fit the various sides of the chair and pin the pieces to one another, making sure to pin close to the edge of the chair.

how to sew a custom chair slipcoverBefore removing the fabric, I always draw a line along the edge of the piece to mark exactly where I need to sew.

Then, it’s as simple as sewing the pieces together, turning it right side out, and testing the fit.  I usually need to make some tweaks at this point by ripping out the seams to make them even, straight, or to fit properly, but generally the fit is usually pretty close.

how to sew a custom slipcover with pleated skirt

I definitely used Christy’s post to help make the pleated “skirt” as this was a first for me.  I hate using my iron, but it was essential when making these pleats work.

diy custom slipcover with pleated skirt

This fabric from Minted was amazing to work with.  It feels heavy duty, similar to home decor fabric you’d find at the craft store.  When I opened the package, my stomach initially sunk as I wondered why in the world I chose a light white fabric to cover up obnoxious brown spots.  But let me tell you, this fabric hides that pattern underneath beautifully.  Thank goodness!

diy chair slipcover with pleats

I actually have one more slipcover to sew for the other chair, but I am extremely pleased with the new life this fabric gave to these chairs.  Although there a couple of weird folds here and there and the skirt is a little uneven in the back, I’m still pleased with the end result.  Hopefully I can fix some of those little mistakes when I make the second one.

I must admit, it was quite scary to cut apart such beautiful fabric with the fear that I was going to ruin everything.  If you’ve never sewn a slipcover before, you might want to test out the strategy on a smaller piece, or with something cheaper, like a drop cloth, before using fabric that you love.  I’ve only created one other slipcover, but it made the process much less daunting because I used a cheap drop cloth!  Click on the image below to read all about how I updated a 1970s couch for $70.

Drop Cloth "Slipcover"
Drop Cloth “Slipcover”

A bunch of other amazingly talented bloggers updated their pieces with Minted fabric as well.  Head on over to see their projects by visiting our hosts for the month:  Stacy at Anastasia Vintage and Colleen at 58 Water Street.

FFFC main graphic updated (10.2015)

I received fabric from Minted, but all opinions about the product are 100% my very own.  You can read my disclosure policy here.

You can check out some of my other Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest posts by clicking on the images.

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