Ugly Office Chair Makeover

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This is a basic $60 office chair of the sort sold at any large retailer or office supply store. For few years its black leather upholstery has been like a pair of sensible shoes, servicable but not any fun.

With nothing to lose, I decided to give this grim-looking chair a makeover with a $5 remnant of upholstery-grade fabric, and it’s nothing you can’t do.

The most difficult part was the back cover. I took the arms off, leaving the back and base separate (We had assembled the chair when we purchased it and it was easy enough to unscrew and remove the arms. Howevver, this is an excellent example of why you should keep the allen wrench that comes with the chair). I simply folded the fabric over the back wrong side to wrong side and pinned the sides together to form a sort of pillowcase. A standard 52″ wide fabric can fold over the back with plenty of fabric left on each side.

I stitched along the sides,trimmed them, turned this “pillowcase” inside out, and pulled it down over the back of the chair, then stapled the fabric edges together along the bottom. With the chair put back together, this edge doesn’t even show.

I took the remaining fabric and stretched it over the base of the chair, stapling it around the underside. The arms are then easy to reattach by feeling for the bolts underneath the fabric and cutting small slits for the screws to go back through. Voila, the plain black office chair is reborn with two seams and some staples.

Don’t settle for a harsh black chair if you desire a more stylish or feminine one. Until attractive office chair slipcovers are mass produced (and isn’t it past time?), this is an option you can try for yourself.