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DIY: Recover a Dining Room Chair

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Change the look of a tired dining room chair by covering it with new fabric.

Change the look of a tired dining room chair by covering it with new fabric.

Redecorating a room doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take months to accomplish. For example, changing the fabric on padded dining room chairs can instantly liven up a tired-looking room, and it doesn’t take a professional upholsterer to do it. All you need is a screwdriver, some new (or old) fabric, some newspaper, and a staple gun (or a few thumbtacks and a hammer). Here’s what to do.

1. Turn over a chair, remove the screws that fasten the seat to the chair frame, and lift off the seat. As long as the old fabric and padding aren’t in horrible shape, you can leave them intact.
2. Place the seat faceup on a large piece of newspaper. Trace around the seat, adding about 8 inches all the way around. This is your pattern for the new seat cover.
3. Now it’s time to visit the fabric store or rummage through your own fabric stash. Choose fabric that can stand up to spills and occasional use of the chair as a stepladder.
4. Spread out the fabric and use your newspaper pattern as a guide to cut out the new seat covers.
5. Place a piece of fabric over each chair seat, then use the staple gun or hammer and thumbtacks to secure the fabric to the underside of the seat.
6. Screw the seats back onto the chair frames, and you have a new dining room set.

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