The Simplest Dining Chair Makeover


If you have some dated dining chairs…read this! If you need to lighten and brighten your dining chairs, stage your home for sale, and don’t want to spend a lot of money…read this!


In my short upholstery career, I have upholstered 9 chairs, 2 ottomans, and 1 sofa. These thrift and hand-me-down finds were given a new lease on life with new cushioning, fresh fabric, and trendy button and nail head details.

Each piece was a labor of love and a physical manifestation of much needed creative brain-break therapy.

But I am slow. Each piece took me a LONG time! Maybe it was my finicky obsession with detail and perfection. More likely it was my brain’s difficulty with the concept of sewing a cushion. Give me a hammer to pound and I am a golden girl. Give me a cushion to sew and listen for a colorful change in my language. (Apologies to my mother!)


I have six sturdy, well-built dining room chairs. They are classic Parsons chairs upholstered in an olive green velvet fabric that was perfect 20 years ago when I was inspired by a certain Pottery Barn catalog page.

This upholstery has served us well, but it has served its time.
This upholstery has served us well,
but it has served its time.

Fast-forward. The color scheme in our home has completely changed. We took out a wall and added colorful, dramatic wallpaper. Actually, it is still changing and our olive green dining room chairs look dated, old, and dumpy. Green chairs and coral wallpaper do not work.

New wallpaper and light fixture in the dining room.
New wallpaper and light fixture in the dining room.

But the chairs are in GREAT shape. I mean SOLID! Ideally, I will recover each one in a white fabric that ties in with the emerging home color scheme. But I don’t have time right now. And I want them changed NOW. I want simple and white. No pattern. No embellishment. Clean and classic. Solution? These slipcovers! Hmm…let me think about that. White slipcovers look amazing in photo shoots but usually become a tangled, wrinkled mess when actually used.

Then I found them. White textured stretch slipcovers from Amazon that will fit my slightly larger than usual Parson chairs, don’t look like someone covered them in plastic wrap, and stays put when I sit on the chair. Will these last as long as upholstery? No. Will they last the same 20-year time span that it has taken me to change them. No. Will they give me a temporary reprieve from the current dusty sage fabric for a reasonable price while I work on other home projects and decide upon the upholstery fabric I want. YES!

Dining Room Chair SlipcoversClick to order

These may not stand the test of upholstery, but they will stylishly get us by for a while. Here are some tips to make this temporary slipcover appear to be the real deal. Placing the slipcover on the chair is easy. Intuitive. But work the details in order to line up the seams and cover the old fabric. Tip #1: Start with the top of the chair and make sure the seams line up on the corners. Because it is a stretch fabric, there is some leeway with this. Slide the bottom portion around the seat and line up the bottom seam with the bottom of the chair.

Successful and easy chair makeover complete!
Successful and easy chair makeover complete!

Tip #2: Use upholstery pins to anchor the bottom seam of the seat as this is the area that will want to rise up.

Tip #3: Use a credit card to tuck the seam where the seat meets the back of the chair I was able to slipcover 6 dining room chairs for $50. When the time comes for reupholstering,

I was able to slipcover 6 dining room chairs for $50.  When the time comes for reupholstering, that cost will triple.  For now, and $50, I am creating six new chairs and buying myself time before the true reupholstering begins.  AND I can throw them in the washing machine!  AND I can keep extra on hand in case our new large dog decides to chew one up!

While this is a somewhat temporary fix, I am loving the breath of fresh air that these slipcovers have given our dining room.  Setting the table is a joy! For this table, I used classic white plates and some fun patterned dessert plates.  I used my mini plant garden for a centerpiece, added martini glasses and some small cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes. I have a perfect “drinks and dessert” table setting with new classic dining chairs!

Cake, martinis and new chairs!
Cake, martinis and new chairs!

Click to order these amazing and affordable slipcovers!

Cheers!  ~Missy

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