How to recover a chair seat cushion, vanity seat cushion or ottoman



Timeless furniture pieces can last a lifetime with proper care but sometimes, spills happen or just good ol’ wear and tear to the fabric portions of seat cushions or ottomans.  No need to throw the furniture away; just replace the fabric!  Same thing would apply to finding a piece of furniture at a second-hand store; that junk could be your treasure.

In this example, I found a combination seat/storage bench but the fabric was all wrong for the tween/teen room it would be in.

Here are the materials I used:

1 1/2 yards of black velvet

3 1/3 yards of trims

staple gun & glue gun

How to:

1)  Most all seat cushions and ottomans are constructed the same way.  That s, that the fabric is wrapped around the front facing side and stapled to the back which is usually a wood base.

2) In this case, since my furniture piece was new and the fabric was in excellent condition, I didn’t remove the fabric.  Instead, I laid the new fabric directly over it.  Start at one end and begin stapling to the wood support board leaving the corners loose.

3)  On the opposite side, repeat step 2 pulling the fabric taught and smooth before stapling.

4) At each corner, tuck one side under the other pulling the flap over as smoothly as possible before securing with a staple.

5)  Once the fabric is securely fastened, you can begin gluing the trims with a glue gun at the position desired.  In this example, I glued the trim to the bottom edge.

The finished project will look brand new again with your fresh fabric.  This project took me about 1 1/2 hours to complete.  Please feel free to leave comments or questions.  I hope you can do this too!

Examples of other recovering projects:

Vanity stool with new fabric and trim

Underside of vanity seat. Fabric stapled to the underside
Dining chair seat cushion
Underside of dining chair; wood support fastened to the chair frame with screws can be removed to recover only cushion


  1. That is what I have on my list to do for the dinning room chairs….I did the one on my vanity stool years ago and it still looks good!! Love the instructions~~

  2. Hi! I have a old armchair. here, in french we call it “fauteuil bergère” (if you do a “cut/past” of that in google, you can see what I mean. do you think, it’s too much to try to do it myself? if I never did that kind of thing. I thnik that I could do a chair like you did, but this armchair…. not sure!?
    see you. thank’s again for your good idea.

    • Hi Kat:

      Honestly, I’d be a little intimidated to do one of those chairs myself! Why? I think I would be most concerned about the cushion part, more than the surrounding areas, because I don’t sew and the cushions appear to have piping around the edges. It would have to be something I could glue, staple or nail which is usually the case with a simple ottoman or dining chair cushion. Having said that It appears that the surrounding areas are tacked into the wood framing with “upholstery nails (the little pin head tacks)” and of course, the bottom is most likely stapled to the underside wood frame. Depending on your level of skill, those parts, I think you could absolutely do yourself as long as you took your time to “deconstruct” what was there as you take it apart so that you could duplicate it in reverse with the new fabric. Turn the chair over and look for signs as to how it is made such as are there screws anywhere that maybe you can undo and see how it comes apart? You can always screw it back together if you get into something you didn’t expect to find. If the cushion isn’t something you can tackle, how cheating with a newly purchased coordinating cushion?

      I hope that helps. Come back and post a picture of your work! Good luck!

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