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Dining Chair Covers

Dining Chair Covers - Making Your Own

Dining tables can last forever, and dining chairs can too, if covered with dining chair covers. Unfortunately, dining chair covers can be quite expensive, often costing upwards of $40 per chair. Fortunately, dining chair covers can be made as simply and cheaply or as ornately as you choose. All it takes to make practical yet beautiful dining chair covers is an eye for fabric and a little bit of know-how with a sewing needle (a hand held machine is even better) or hot glue gun.

When making dining chair covers, measuring fabric is of the utmost importance. Throw a flat sheet loosely over one of your chairs and mark about three inches beyond where it hits the floor. Use washable ink if you ever want to use the sheet again, otherwise use a stapler or permanent ink. Spread the sheet on the floor and measure from mark to mark. You will only approximate, but it is OK to err on the side of too much fabric. The same is true when you actually purchase the fabric for the dining chair covers. You will probably only be able to approximate the size you need. It is OK to err on the side of too much.

The next most important thing to do is choose a fabric for your dining chair covers. Keep in mind the style of your dining room and don’t deviate too far from that. Don’t make dining chair covers with lace and roses if you have a Dutch modern dining room. On the other hand, don’t stick too closely to what your dining chairs already look like. Dining chair covers allow your dining room to have a whole new look – like you’ve remodeled – do something different, have some fun. If the current upholstery is plain, go with a pattern or vice versa. If you have a modern dining room, choose fabric with an oriental pattern, which should have clean, modern lines but be ornate and funky enough to really spice up your room. If you have antique French furniture, find a Moroccan pattern to make your dining room French colonial. Making dining chair covers for each season is also fun.

Once you’ve gotten the material for making dining chair covers, throw some fabric over the chair and follow the above steps for measuring fabric. Cut the fabric along your measurement marks and throw it over the chair again. Smooth the fabric so it fits snugly against the chair back and seat. Make temporary darts at the chair back and leg fronts by folding the side of the fabric behind the front and back and pinning it. You can remove the fabric at this point and permanently fix the darts by sewing or gluing, but I find it easier to work with the fabric on the chair. Once the darts are fixed, neaten the bottom edges by trimming and hemming. Add a sash if desired, and voila: dining chair covers! 

An even easier way to make dining chair covers is to buy two panels of fabric, one that is the width of your chair but drapes over it and is able to touch the ground in front of and behind the chair, and one that is the width of the seat of the chair and touches the floor on each side. Drape the longer panel over the chair, pattern up, and then place the seat panel on top of it, also pattern up. Staple, sew, or hot glue the panels together at the edges. Neaten up the bottom edges by hemming, folding or cutting neatly. Making dining chair covers this way cuts down on fabric costs, and is particularly useful for seasonal dining chair covers where you may just want a splash of new color.

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