Re-cover a director's chair in 9 easy steps

September 30, 2015

These days, we’re often quick to toss worn-out items into the garbage when all they need is a bit of care. Here’s how to breathe new life into an old director’s chair with a new cover and a touch of paint or wood stain.

Re-cover a director's chair in 9 easy steps

New cover, new life

With these 9 simple steps, you can save your favourite director's chair from the scrap heap or revive a junk shop bargain. When replacing the chair's cover, thick canvas or deckchair fabric is best as it withstands damp. Clean, stain or paint the chair before replacing the covers.

  1. Carefully remove the old fabric from the chair with a craft knife, gently easing out the nails and taking care not to damage the wood. If the nails won't come out easily, hammer them in and cut the fabric free.
  2. Open out the old seat fabric and use it as a pattern to cut out the new seat, allowing an extra 2 centimetres (0.75 inches) at the back and front edges for hems.
  3. Sew the hems and press under a 5-centimetre (2-inch) allowance at the left and right edges.
  4. Lay a folded end of fabric on the outside of one rail. Collapse the chair and fix the cover in place with six tacks. Repeat the process on the other side.
  5. Remove the back support, chiseling out the nails if necessary and then sliding off the fabric.
  6. Measure the old back support, adding 5 centimetres (2 inches) at each side and 2 centimetres (0.75 inches) for hems at the top and bottom.
  7. Cut out the new back support to match the size measured and then sew the hems.
  8. From behind, secure one side of the support on the inside of the back post with four tacks.
  9. Wind the fabric around the post, pull it across the front of the chair and fold it around the other back post, securing it with tacks.

With a bit of creativity and an hour or two of handiwork, you can give your old director's chair a brand new lease on life!

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