03 September 2011

DIY Makeover: Ugly Office Chair Transformed

The chair I'm currently using at my computer is super comfortable, but, up until yesterday, was super ugly with a faded & stained yellow fabric. The fabric was very similar in texture to burlap (heck, what do I know? Maybe it was burlap?) and thus super uncomfortable to sit on when I'm less than fully dressed. [Nick jokes that I prefer to stay home because I don't have to wear pants here. So true!] I got the chair from a curb alert sometime last summer and have meant to do something about its ugliness every since, but just never got around to it.

Well... as luck would have it, I found an AMAZING zebra print fabric at the recycling center this week. It's white cotton upholstery fabric with black flocked velvet stripes. I paid $10 for a giant roll of it. I bought the fabric thinking of my teen and tween students, because this is some seriously "fresh" fabric that I know they will just love. I made this awesome little purse using only a stapler, some duct tape, a zipper and the fabric:

(Tutorial here)

The more I looked at the fabric, though, the more I thought that I wanted to do something awesome with it for myself. I decided that it was darn well time I covered my desk chair, so even though I have a million and one things to do to get ready for the Providence Arts Festival on September 10, I decided to take an hour to recover my chair.

The project was a little more complex than I'd anticipated, and I actually put the chair back together without the height adjustment lever in place. [Nick fixed it for me later.] I had the darndest time trying to remove the staples on the bottom of the seat, and after a few frustrating minutes, I decided to just staple the new fabric over the old fabric, being careful to avoid the old staples. Still, even with a few hiccups, the chair turned out GREAT!

With just a staple gun, scissors, a socket set (is that what it's called?), and my new fabric, I changed dull and dingy to fresh and fabulous.


I wasn't using it like this, but I had already taken the top off before I thought to do a before/after shot!

Awesome right? I used this tutorial from Curbly. I definitely recommend you give it a whirl if you want a quick update to your space for very little money. I am seriously considering doing my couch in the zebra print next. Hmm...


  1. Wonderful transformation! I'm so into animal prints...great deal on that roll of fabric! If you don't want to cover your entie sofa you can always just do a few throw pillows.

  2. Your chair looks great! What a great makeover.

  3. Wow!
    This looks fantastic. What a clever idea, thanks for sharing! :]

  4. that really looks impressive!


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