“Upholster” a Metal or Wood Chair with Fabric

When I saw this project I knew immediately what chair I was going to “upholster”. I have a small plastic chair that I use for any number of things because it’s easy to carry where I need it, but the bottom line is that it’s ugly. It has a plastic seat and back with metal legs, just like the wooden chair in this project. Thinking of transforming the way it looks merely by picking a pretty fabric and glueing it on with Mod Podge really gets me excited!

You should keep an eye open for used chairs like this that you can cover. If you just have to have one now you can buy one on Amazon.

Supplies Needed:

This chair took around a yard but it’s best to measure your chair so you can be sure you purchase enough.


  1. If you want to spray paint the legs of your chair, do it before assembling it.
  2. Next, lay your fabric on a flat surface. Place the seat of your chair on top of the fabric and trace the perimeter of the wood–be sure to trace about 1 inch beyond the wood surface, so that your fabric piece winds up being a bit larger than the seat itself. Using the lines you have traced as your guide, cut your fabric out.
  3. Coat the surface of your seat with Mod Podge.  Then lay your fabric on top and smooth out any wrinkles/bubbles.  Once your fabric is in place, coat the top of the fabric with Mod Podge as well.  Allow it to dry overnight.
  4. By the next morning, your fabric should feel nice and stiff, particularly around the edges of the wood. If it does, you are ready to trim off your excess fabric with a sharp craft or utlity knife. Use the edge of your chair as the guide and cut off your fabric as close to the edge of the wood as possible.
  5.  You may wind up with some stray threads of fabric. Trim them off as necessary and then coat the entire perimeter of your seat with Mod Podge. This should flatten any stray threads that cannot be trimmed AND prevent further fraying.
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for the back rest portion of your chair.

That’s it! If you use your chair a lot you may find that you’ll need to trim threads that start to unravel from the fabric edge. Also watch for areas that may need a little more glue applied.

Image and Project Source: Designer Trapped

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