If you are looking for a quick guide on reupholstering an office chair, then we have got you covered. As in this article, we have provided a step-by-step guide on how to reupholster an office chair.

When it comes to re upholstering your office chair, you can do it in many ways based on your requirement. Office chair cushion replacement, seat replacement, fabric upholstering, foam or cushion upholstery are some ways by which you can do it.  Also, one of the advantages for reupholstering an office chair is garbage reduction. There are many office/reusable chairs lying around in garbage trucks which results in land pollution. So by recovering an office chair, you can reduce the waste production in the environment.

The entire process of upholstering a torn fabric takes around 2-3 hours. The project is also very flexible. You can add your twist and style to it and create a customized chair using your preferences. Now without an adieu, let's learn how to reupholster an office chair.

NOTE: If in case you are not able to recover your chair even after trying out the below given steps, then consider buying budget chairs for programming which doesn't put a hole in your pocket.

diy reupholster an office chair

How Much Does It Exactly Cost To Reupholster An Office Chair

Reupholstering an office chair is great for the environment and also fun to make, but for certain cases, it might also be expensive. The average cost to reupholster an office chair is around $200-$700, but it might also increase depending on your requirements.

The fabric cost takes up the major expenses. In the case of expensive fabric, it might cost you around $300-$400. The cost of material to reupholster a desk chair generally ranges from $20 to $200, depending on the type. Also remember, the materials made from natural fibers are a bit more expensive than synthetic fibers.

How To Easily Reupholster an office chair

Now that you know the reasons and advantages of upholstering an office chair, it’s time to get working on your torn chair. The very first step is to simply make sure you have all the equipment and are not devoid of important tools.

  • Upholstery weight fabric
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Steam iron

Once you have these things ready, you can start with the reupholstering process. 

The first thing is you should take some pics of your office chair before you start working on this step. Then, you need to figure out a way to dissemble your chair apart in pieces. Most chairs have a backrest and a seat cushion. You just have to remove a few screws using a screw driver, and both the cushions would come off while doing this.

If you have an office chair with armrests, you’ll need to remove the decorative screws attached to the arm. You should also check if your armrests are removable or not.

dissasembling chair - reupholster an office chair

Reupholstering the back and seat cushions

To upholster an office chair with a different covering fabric, back & seat cushions has to be upholstered at first. Follow these three steps to that can help recover office chair.

Step 1: Pull off the old fabric cover or plastic backing from the seat and backrest

Some office chairs have just fabric-covered cushions, and some incorporate plastic backing pads behind the cushions. Once you have pulled the cushions off from the chair, start separating the fabric cover or backing pieces from the foam or wooden base underneath. 

In the case of a plastic backing chair, before you start removing the plastic backing from the wooden base, ensure that you have removed all staples or screws. It is the most time-consuming and hardest part of the entire process. If the chair has just a fabric-covered backing, you need to remove all staples using an upholstery staple puller. Once you are done, remove the old fabric cover from the cushion and keep the foam in its place.

Step 2: Measure and cut your new fabric 

For chair fabric upholstery, first you need to measure the fabric and cut it using a pair of scissors as required. It is necessary to place your cushion or cut-out paper on the chosen fabric to cut around to the size. You can use your old fabric cover for measurement as well. Before cutting around the new fabrics, you need to make sure three things –

  • You need to fold the fabric layer properly in an accurate direction, especially when the new fabric has a directional pattern. Ensure that the patterns of all fabric pieces have been placed in the same direction.
  • Try to use a flat and smooth-surfaced table to cut around the new fabric.
  • Make sure that you have enough fabric to cover the entire cushion. So try to keep enough extra fabric around the perimeter that you have labeled with the help of cut-out samples. It should be extended over the edges by about 3-4 inches. You can staple the extended fabrics onto the back by pulling them around the entire cushion.

Step 3: Cover up the cushions and staple up it with the base and backing portion

Now it’s time to envelop the cushion with the new fabric covers. Spay or spread some glue at the back of the fabric, and pull it around to the backside of the foam cushion. After holding it in place for a while, staple it into the plastic or wood backing behind the foam. While stapling around the foam cushions, never cover up the cushion too tightly; otherwise, it will create wrinkles. On the other hand, you need to pull the fabric cover tightly around the edges to look overall good. To do so, fold the fabric covers into pleats in the back of the cushion. No one can see the staples from the backside of the chair as these are so small in size. If your fabric looks crushed, you can iron it using stream iron. 

For reupholstering an office chair without sewing, things you need to remember –

  • After using glue, leave the cushion seats until it gets dried.
  • A snazzy stapler can ease the attaching process.
  • While doing so, never forget to put on gloves or eye protection.  

To reupholster leather office chair, you may need to sew or apply hemming stitches to attach the cover with foam cushions. Finally, re-attach both back and seat cushions to the chair. Your fabric upholstered chair is almost ready.

If you have a fabric cushion on the office chair with arms, there is one more step waiting for you to recover your swivel chair.

Reupholstering the arm cushions

Here, you can attach a new fabric cover on the top of the old fabric as well. To do so, cut down two fabric pieces to cover both arm cushions, pull the fabric cover around the foam cushions, and staple or pin it up toward the back of the foam cushion. Here, you need not make the backside look decorative or fancy as it will not be visible anymore. The fabric layers do not get tear apart quickly if we use pins to space them around the pieces before stapling the cushion to the arm.  

Reassembling the Chair 

Now it’s time to recall how you take your chair apart. You need to revere the steps only to re-attach the upholstered seat cushion to the chair, and Boom! The reupholstered office chair is completely ready for use. 


The reupholster office chair process or recovering office chair may take time; however, it has its benefits as well. It adds style/decor to your regular office chair hence making it look more vibrant and colorful than it previously was. It is also cheaper than giving it to a chair upholsterer. Time efficiency is another advantage of making your DIY office chair. In the process of learning this, you will also get an idea about reupholstering an office chair without sewing. 

While reupholstering is very interesting to try, make sure that you carry out the tasks properly so that you don't damage the chair during the process. Also, take necessary precautions to tackle unwanted injuries. If this DIY reupholster office chair article was interesting, then give a big fat thumbs up!


Hello, Myself is Antonio. I’m a full-time blogger, Interested in accessories like the camera and other tech accessories. In my meantime, I enjoy writing about it. On my self-testing, I shared many reviews on the tools and gadgets I used. My blog helps you to get your ideal products or accessories at the best quality.

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