Office Chair Makeover – Easy Tutorial

I always spend so long looking at all the beautiful craft rooms and home offices on other blogs and on pinterest that I thought it was time to get stuck in and make a start.

What better way to start than with a project that I have been wanting to do for a long time.


‘To Pimp My Office Chair!’


Office Chair - Before Makeover


The chair I had was super ugly with the burgundy upholstery and a badly scratched base that was covered in paint.


(oops I got carried away and resprayed it before taking any photos to show how bad the base was – but I am sure you get the picture)


I love recycling / up-cycling and since it was free (some one gave it to me) I figured ‘you shouldn’t look a gift-horse in the mouth!’


I used a lovely soft fur material to cover the  office chair.


Fabric used to reupholster swivel chair

I looked at a few other great tutorials online where they had totally re-upholstered – removing old material, adding new padding and recovering the chair.  Lots of inspiration.

But … as usual, me being me (mrs super lazy), thought I could get away with just pushing the material in the crack between the seat pad and the plastic.  And guess what – it worked!

Here’s how I did it


1. Respray (if needed)


To start with I took the chair outside and spayed the scratched base, the plastic sides and the plastic back with black spray paint.

(if your chair is in a decent state you can skip this bit).

Since the base and plastic bits of the chair were already black this was really simple to do, it only took a couple of light layers to make it look good as new (except for a few deep scratches on the arms of the chair).

I left the chair in the shed overnight to make sure the paint was completely dry before beginning with the recovering.

2. Measure and cut out pieces of material

I measured out and cut 2 pieces of material that covered the seat pad and backrest pad, plus allowed an additional 10cm (to tuck in).

3. Start fitting material on seat and back pads


Next I prised the cushion pad slightly away from the plastic backing using a couple of flat headed screwdrivers then pushed the material in the gap using a dinner knife (I have all the best equipment ;o) ).


4. Use staples to secure (this is optional)


I also used a upholstery staple gun to put a few staples in strategic places to make it extra secure (this step can be omitted if you don’t have a upholstery stapler – the material sits pretty snug when the plastic is pushed back in place).

Do this whilst the pad is still slightly pulled out with the screwdrivers, this ensures that you don’t see the staples when the pad is pushed back flush with the plastic backing.


5. Pimp the arm rests (also optional)


At this point I was already loving the chair but wanted to fix the problem of the scratches on the arms.

I cut 2 pieces of material to fit the arms of the chair allowing approximately 1cm seam allowance on both ends.

(doing this stops the raw edges showing)

Next I wrapped the material around the arm and sewed it together so it sat very snug on the arm.


Now your lovely chic new DIY Office Chair is ready to use!


I think in all this took me about an hour and a half to complete from start to finish (including intermittently seeing to the kids).


And here it is


Upcycle Project - Office Chair After Makeover

I simply love this chair now – I can’t stop stroking it (not very productive – I know!)


Did you like this tutorial?  Why not pin for later! ๐Ÿ™‚

 office chair upcycling tutorial
Have you also ‘pimped’ your office chair (or about to and have questions) ?  I’d love to hear about it.


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41 thoughts on “Office Chair Makeover – Easy Tutorial

  • January 17, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    That's so much better than the original chair. Very modern!

  • January 17, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks Mary, I too was going to use a fairly plain fabric I had left over from another project but there wasn't quite enough so then I started looking through my material stash 'et voilร ' my furry baby was born.

    I think the first chair is very fitting for a gent and your second one is very pretty, perfect for your sewing room (it looks a lot neater than my craft room / office at the moment – but that is work in progress).

    And thanks for sharing your pics, it's so great to see everyone else's projects. I have added your pics above.

  • January 17, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks Krystle, As I said to Mary it wasn't planned, I just had a little rummage around in my stash. It actually turned out better than I expected. on Office Chair Makeover – the quick (& easy) way!

  • January 22, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I love this redo Sam! You did a lovely job! Any time you can recreated something and keep it from the trash when it is still functional is a great project in my book. Thanks for linking this up the Bewitchin' Projects Block Party this week. You are one of my Featured Picks this Sunday over at Recreated Designs ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs, Lisa

  • January 23, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks Lisa,

    Iโ€™m glad you liked it, I was really pleased with the end results, I wasnโ€™t expecting to look as good as it did, my daughter keeps begging me to let her have it in her own room.

    I hate throwing functional things away, If there is a way of revamping something I always give it a try (people know where to off load their stuff – lol).

    Wow Iโ€™m really chuffed (is that too English? I mean stoked, happy, made-up) that you have chosen this as one of your featured picks. It gives me a lot of encouragement that I am going in the right direction.

    See you at the party! ;o)

    P.S. You have a great blog! I really love the Queen Anne dresser

  • February 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I love it! Your description of your process was hysterical- I love how you tell how you REALLY did it without being overly fussy- that gets in done in my world! Love it~

  • February 6, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Glad you liked it! ;o)

    With me I want to do everything (so many projects but so little time) and time is always of an essence, so if there is a fast and easy way I'm all for it.

  • February 7, 2016 at 3:20 am

    Great idea! Never would've thought of recovering one of those spinny office chairs but yours looks great.

  • February 7, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Ana, DazzleWhileFrazzled thanks so much for dropping by.

    I have popped over to check out what you ladies have been up to – you both have some lovely projects!


  • February 7, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I love redoing something old and making it fun and beautiful again and you've done both of those things, Sam! Thanks for sharing the "how-tos" as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • February 8, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks Bev. When I bought the material I had no idea what I was actually going to use it for, I just thought it was fun and liked the look of it.

  • February 11, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Love this – I can't seem to go past animal print and faux fur – love the look and feel of it. Your chair looks amazing, what a vast improvement. Good to have the tutorial too. Well no chair makeovers for me but my latest post was about a bench makeover I did so you might like to have a peek. I'm at Found your lovely post at Inspire ME Monday Linky Party.

    • February 11, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Tracey your bench looks great! A real pop of colour in the garden (I see you have a bit of fur hiding in the background of the photo ;o) ).

  • February 11, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    This makeover is so much nicer than the bland burgundy! I am sure you're having "fun" sitting in it now (as much that you can have at work!) Thank you for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop & Link Party!

    • February 11, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Yes it's lovely and super comfy to sit on but the only problem now is that the desk is looking a bit sorry for itself lol – See you next week at the blog hop!

  • February 11, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I never thought about just shoving the fabric in between the pad and the plastic. I have an office chair that is so not comfortable but I couldn't figure out how to recover the back portion due to the plastic. I think I'll look for some fabric (and some foam for the seat) and try this! (visiting from This is How We Roll)

    • February 11, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      If I'm honest I first looked at getting the back completely off but after a few tugs it seemed like too much hard work. This way was so easy. If you are buying new material I would say not to buy anything that is too stiff or thick. This fur material was actually pretty thin and easy to work with.

  • February 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    This looks fantastic! How fun and funky! You did a great job! I am looking for white faux fur right now to do a similar project! I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

  • February 15, 2016 at 2:53 am

    you rocked this makeover!! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Watch for your feature tomorrow xo

  • February 15, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Beautiful job and how comfy is that fur! I just may be a bit more productive sitting in a chair like this one. We appreciate you sharing this at Celebrate Your Story link party.

  • February 15, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    LOL you should see the office chair I'm sitting on right now. The fabric started to peel and my kids have picked the heck out of it — so there's exposed foam/cushion. It's not a pretty sight!

    You've inspired me here – the chair looks great.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    • February 16, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      I know what you mean about the kids! We'll see just how long this makeover stays looking pretty – my daughters have already taken a shine to it!

      You should give it a try – the great thing about this is it was so quick and cheap to do it really doesn't matter if the kids wreck it.

  • February 18, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Office chairs are so boring… this is a super fun makeover! Thanks for sharing at the Celebrate Your Story Link Up Party!

  • February 18, 2016 at 5:13 am

    Great makeover! I've wanted to try this with my own. Thanks for the how-to ๐Ÿ™‚ Tweeted and Pinned to share! Thanks for linking up with us at Brag About It!

  • February 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I can't believe it only took you an hour and a half to create this super cool (and soft) office chair. You could go into business; your chair is much prettier than any office chair I've ever seen before. Congrats, you're featured this week on the #ThisIsHOwWeRoll Link Party on Organized 31.

    • February 23, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Super! Thank you so much Susan!

      I've never thought of doing it as a business but at a certain point my home will be over flowing as a result of my furniture makeover addiction, so that is maybe something I should consider.

  • April 18, 2016 at 2:53 am

    Do you know approx how much material you used? I have the same chair and the fake leather is falling apart and looks terrible, from little fingers pulling loose pieces off.I was going to put it out by the curb, but maybe I'll try what you did, thanks for the idea and pictures!

  • April 18, 2016 at 11:43 am

    I already had a big piece of the faux fur material so I just laid it on top of the chair and allowed roughly 10 cm extra on top of the chair pad size (I literally just cut it whilst holding it above the chair pad – not very professional ๐Ÿ˜‰ I know!). I think depending on the pattern you shouldn't need any more that 1 to 1.5 meters. I would suggest that you use a material that is not to thick or stiff – that will make it easier to push in. The faux fur material I used also had a bit of stretch in it so it was very easy to work with. Good luck! I'd love to see it if you do go ahead and do it.

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