How to Sew Chair Covers
Want to freshen up some older chairs? Or are you going for a totally different look but don't have the budget for an entirely new set? Is there too much wood in a room that needs a softer touch? Maybe you're having a lot of guests, and you want to protect the furniture. A toddler's birthday party can create just such a scenario. Today, we'll learn how to sew chair covers that meet all these needs.
There are a few ways of making chair covers. It all depends on how much effort you want to put in, and how much chair you want to cover.
1. Measure the chair from all angles. Get an count from the top of the chair to the floor in the back. In the front, measure from the top of the chair until the seat, and then all along the seat down to the floor. Measure the height, length, and width. Leave 1 1/2 " seam. Sew an equal number of ribbons or material to the back and front of the material, along the edge. So, if you want to have your chair cover secured by four bows on each side, attach four ribbons to the front left, four ribbons to the front right, four ribbons to the back left, and four to the back right. Try your best to line them up evenly so that the chair cover will sit nicely when ribbons are tied. Then sew down the seam. Tie your bows, and now you know how to sew chair covers!
2. Here's another chair cover tutorial if you're only interested in the top half being covered. Lay your chair back flat against a piece of pattern or news paper, and trace it with a marker. Cut out the pattern, and pin it to your chosen cover material. Cut out two identical pieces of this pattern, being sure to leave 1 ½" seam allowance. Attach ribbon at key points around the edge of the material (on the side that will be facing in). Lay the two pieces of material on top of each other, pattern side facing one another. As you sew along the three edges (you're keeping the bottom edge open), gently move the ribbon so that it gets sewn down, and is now in between the two pieces of fabric. Turn the fabric right side in so the pattern is showing on front and back, and the ribbons are sticking out. Repeat this procedure. Now you have two (well four really) pieces of fabric with ribbons. Place one in front and one in back of the chair, and secure by tying bows with the ribbons. You can also put a layer of padding in before you sew the pieces together to turn your chair cover into a cushion as well.
3. For a quick version of the one above, slip a wide pillowcase or t-shirt over the back of your chair!
4. Now that we've done the top piece only, we may as well mention that bed skirts convert wonderfully into chair skirts! Simply cut to fit, and use Velcro, glue, or tacks to secure in place. If you don't want to have any residue on your chairs when you remove the skirts, there are a few options. One, you could pull the skirt tight around the chair bottom, and fasten or sew the edges of the skirt to itself. This seldom works, though, because it's hard to get it tight enough that it will stay put. It doesn't hurt to try, though. Here's another option that works well. Close the edges of the skirt with a small piece of elastic. This allows you to pull the skirt over the chair, and then settle back into place to fit nicely as a skirt. Finally, here is my favorite trick. Sew the skirt edges together to loosely fit around the chair. Then sew one or two thick straps across the top of the skirt so that, when on the chair, the lay across the seat, and hold up the skirt. These strips can be matching or complementing colors, or a pretty fabric to add some frills.
Chair covers can be fun, festive, or formal. The steps are easy enough to let your kids help, and fast enough to do on your own. Once you learn how to sew chair covers, you'll be turning them out by the dozens.