Fixing the Dining Room Chair Seats – Part Two

I described the beginning of the recushioning of the vintage dining room chairs here.

Three pieces each direction was a little too much so I opted for two.
Three pieces each direction was a little too much so I opted for two.

After finishing the webbing on the first frame I decided that I had used too much webbing and so reduced the remaining chairs to 2 vertical pieces and 2 horizontal pieces.

Turn under the raw edges of the muslin and staple over the webbing.
Turn under the raw edges of the muslin and staple over the webbing.

Next step is to cut and attach a fabric layer over the webbing.

The applied muslin can be seen through the woven webbing.
From the underside the applied muslin can be seen through the woven webbing.

Some sites call for burlap; I used unbleached cotton muslin.

The foam is marked with a Sharpie. (I moved the frame out of position so the marking could be seen.)
The foam is marked with a Sharpie. (I moved the frame out of position so the marking could be seen.)

Trace with a marker the outline of the seat frame onto 1-inch high density foam. I used foam that was already approximately the size of the seats. I laid the front edge of the seat frame against the edge of the foam so only three sides would need to be cut.

Since this foam is only an inch thick it was easy to trim with scissors being careful to cut a perpendicular edge.
Since this foam is only an inch thick it was easy to trim with scissors being careful to cut a perpendicular edge.

I carefully trimmed the excess with scissors. (My preferred method of cutting foam is an electric knife but I couldn’t find ours.)

The layers: wood seat frame, woven jute webbing (not seen), muslin, foam,
The layers from bottom to top: wood seat frame, woven jute webbing (not seen), muslin, foam, batting.

On top of the foam a layer of batting is applied that is just a bit larger than the foam.

My linen upholstery fabric was cut to approximately 22" by 23".
My linen upholstery fabric was cut to approximately 22″ by 23″.

Finally a layer of the upholstery fabric is cut with enough excess to totally cover the top and sides of the cushion and be pulled to the underside for stapling.  After the fabric is cut but before it’s applied is a good time to iron it.

The front of the seat cushion should line up with the straight edge of the fabric.
The front of the seat cushion should line up with the straight edge of the fabric.

Starting with the front put a staple in the middle of the upholstery fabric.  Pull it taut to the back of the cushion and staple again near the center. Then do the same on both side making sure the fabric stays on the straight of grain.

The staples must go through extra thickness at the corners.
The staples must go through extra thickness at the corners.
Take time to make the corners as neat as possible. My corners are on the front and back of the cushion.
Take time to make the corners as neat as possible. My corners are on the front and back of the cushion.

Adjust the corners so they lie flat in a neat pleat.

When the cushion is fully stapled I'll trim some of the excess fabric.
When the cushion is fully stapled I’ll trim some of the excess fabric.

Staple all around the perimeter of the fabric pulling taut to remove bubbles but not so tight as to pull on the bias.

Before and After
Before and After

Place the newly upholstered cushion into the chair.

What project took you a lot longer than expected?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

13 thoughts on “Fixing the Dining Room Chair Seats – Part Two”

  1. That looks good, Jo. Your list is getting smaller. Heading back home today from Asheville NC. My company leaves tomorrow.

    1. It only appears as though my list is getting smaller. Every time I tick something off the top I add 2 items to the bottom. Jo

  2. Looks beautiful, I’m working on a cane back barrel chair in which the cane was pretty much destroyed. I’m replacing the cane with fabric & padding and I have to replace the seat cushion too (it was a trash find) . Although, the seat cushion is extremely curvy and I’ve been putting off trying to sew a cover because I don’t know if I can actually do it. I’ll eventually get the courage I’m sure.

      1. Thanks for the confidence Jo 🙂 I need to get over my “fear”. The chair is very similar to yours but the cushion I need is curvy plus, I’ve never worked with piping before. Fingers crossed!

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