A couple of years ago, my Mother-in-law gave me two beautiful accent chairs in the most perfect shade of blue. I loved them immediately. It didn’t hurt that they looked brand new and were free!
Take a look:
These days I’m looking to lighten up my living room a bit. We don’t get a ton of natural light in there, so I’m starting with these chairs. (Shh…don’t tell him, but that cabinet is also on my hit list.)
The easiest way to give them a new look was to slipcover them:
A little less business…more casual. Also much more cheeto fingers-proof since I can just throw them in the wash!
In just an afternoon, I have a whole new look and it wasn’t too difficult to do. To save on cost I used a drop cloth, which I bleached using Miss Mustard Seed’s method. I purchased a 12 x 15, but only used half for both of these chairs. That worked out perfectly since I only bleached half of it anyway!
Let’s make a slipcover!
To cover this particular chair, I decided to follow the chair’s original seam lines, so this cover consists of one piece down the center front to back, and two side panels.
To start, I draped my fabric over the chair, being sure to cover from the bottom front all the way down the back of the chair:
Then I trimmed within 1-2 inches of where the seam would be:
Notice I kept a small fold of fabric between the seat back and seat bottom, so that I would have something to tuck into that crevice to keep the cover neat.
Then I draped my side fabric also. I ended up pinning it in place with a couple of straight pins to anchor it while I pinned it to the center panel.
I pinned away, then trimmed off any extra when I was finished pinning.
I butted my pins right next to one another around the turns to get a snug fit.
Next I sewed my seams, removed my pins, and did a test fit.
It’s okay to make a mistake!
Here you can make any necessary adjustments. I tested them right-side-out, looking for any weird puckers and had a couple of spots I wasn’t thrilled with. I turned them inside-out again and put them back on, undid the seam in a couple of places and repined. After sewing, they were much better on the second test fit.
When I was happy with my fitting, I trimmed the excess fabric at the seams to around a quarter of an inch. Then I sealed my seams by running a zig-zag stitch on the widest setting, all the way around. If you skip this step, you will have unraveling at the seams when you wash them. (I may or may not have learned this lesson the hard way.)
I opted not to add piping since I was going for a more casual feel, but I did give them a double stitched seam, which you can see in detail here:
Making the Skirting
To make the skirting, I cut my fabric into 5″strips.
For the skirting, I used almost twice the circumference of the chair. This required me to sew a couple of strips together lengthwise to get the length I needed.
I sewed the bottom hem by folding it very slightly, then folding it again to get a nice clean seam:
Next I made my gathers 4″ apart, pinning each fold in place.
Then I sewed as indicated and gave it a good ironing to set the folds:
Attaching the Skirting
To attach the skirting, I started by folding the bottom raw edge of my slipcover under. (You may need to pin it under first if your slipcover comes past the bottom edge of the seat.)
Next I pinned the skirting behind like so:
I like to add it this way because I can see the finished product as I go and make adjustments as needed before I reach my sewing machine.
I continued to pint it all the way around.
Then I sewed it in place. Again , I’m about a quarter of an inch from the edge.
Don’t forget to seal the raw edges of this seam too:
I’m really pleased with the new look and feel of these chairs.
With a new fresh look:
I can always remove the covers later if I want to show the blue again, but for now they are making my room feel lighter already!
This simple update only cost around $8 per chair. You just can’t beat that!
I’ve got a few more projects in this room to help it feel lighter. Can’t wait to share those soon!
If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along!