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Project Fifteen: Re-Upholstering an Old Ugly Swivel Chair

February 13, 2011

Four great things about this project:

  1. It was really really easy
  2. It only took me one hour
  3. It looks fantastic
  4. It cost less than £4

The boy has been after a swivel chair for his workstation for ages, and he finally found one in a charity shop in Bournemouth for £1.99 so we took it back to Cambridge with us. It’s just a run-of-the-mill child’s swivel chair, black plastic, blue wooly upholstery, you know the thing, and when I first told the boy I would recover it his response was “but I like it now, I don’t want it covered in your girly flowery fabric”.

I didn’t mention it again, but while he was on a Beavers sleepover this weekend I took my screwdriver and staple gun into his room and got to work. I think he will be pleased with the result. No flowery girly fabric in sight.

First I unscrewed the screws holding the back-rest to the frame, and once this was off it was easy to pop the padded bit away from the main frame. I left the old fabric on and just covered it with the new fabric, pulling it tight around the frame and securing it with a million staples. Getting the seat pad off the frame was a bit trickier, but a bit of brute force set it free and the seat was then re-upholstered too.


I used some fabric from Ikea that is white with colourful blue and green trees printed all over it. I had this left-over from making the boy’s blind, so it worked perfectly in his room.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Siouxsie Homemaker permalink
    February 14, 2011 9:21 pm

    “I didn’t mention it again, but while he was on a Beavers sleepover this weekend I took my screwdriver and staple gun into his room and got to work.” – Haha! So is he pleased?

    • February 14, 2011 9:34 pm

      Yes luckily he was pleased with his chair transformation, otherwise I would have been in trouble!

  2. February 14, 2011 10:58 pm

    I love it! Am really enjoying reading about all your projects.

  3. February 16, 2011 4:53 pm

    How great! I love this idea. Now I need to find a swivel chair!


  4. February 16, 2011 9:40 pm

    It’s amazing the difference it made. I like. 🙂

  5. February 18, 2011 9:23 pm

    Am in love with this idea. I am going to definitely give it a try on our 2 boring computer chairs. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. March 18, 2011 4:28 pm

    This looks so cool. It can be difficult to inject a bit of style in a boys room as its usually all tractors and aliens.

  7. November 6, 2011 4:26 pm

    I am really impressed! But also gutted because my hubby cleared out some offices recently and we had several journeys to the tip! We must have dumped about 10 of these swivel chairs. I did however save an old 1960’s kitchen type chair that needed a lot of TLC. I sanded it down and repainted in white gloss. I made a padded tie on cushion with a little dangly heart ornament and I love it!


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