How To Reupholster A Round Chair Seat

If you saw my patio set makeover last week, you’ll remember the round chair seats I reupholstered:
They were easy to do, and boy do they look a ton better with new fabric! I figured out a pretty great method for getting a smooth finish on the seats. Here’s how you can cover your own round seats:
Cut out a circle of fabric 3-4 inches larger than the seat. Place the fabric right side down on your work surface, then lay the pad and wood seat on top of that. All three layers should be front side down.

Start stapling! You will need to use a heavy duty staple gun. I stapled following the order of the numbers in the photo below. Every time I stapled, I made sure to smooth out the fabric and pull it tight. That’s why you always staple one side, then go directly across from it next… it helps pull the fabric tight.

After you’ve stapled a lot, you’ll end up with bunches of fabric that stick up. Pinch them into triangle shaped pleats like this:

Then staple them in three places, like this:

Continue around the whole circle until everything is stapled down nice and tight.

You should be left with a perfectly reupholstered seat cushion!

Mine sit loosely atop the metal frames, so all I had to do was set them on and I was done.


  1. what type staples? I'm using light duty 5/16th & it keeps stopping every 3-4 staples….& doesn't shoot..?! irritating! I bght this staple gun, just for upholstering..Sears Cratsman.Thanks

    • It just stops,& have to click it nothing click it shoots out..Gonna look it up..maybe it needs oiling… it's a 2009 & not used much.. But Bght another one today, & they sold me wrong thickness, for my new gun..had to call the co. to find that out..

      What size staples did you use? 5/15" or 5/8? Not sure which is the longest, as I'm out of the 3/8" Thanks.. I used a thick batting & sponge too, for better padding. Thanks!

    • I gave the rest of my staples to my mom, or else I'd look on the package to tell you the exact size. BUT… I used really short staples because the round wood seats weren't very thick and I didn't want the staples to go through to the other side and poke people in the buns when they sit on them. Ha!

    • If you have a hardware store locally that rents equipment I would check if they have an air compressor to rent, an air stapler, and an air glue sprayer. the air glue sprayer is not essential but, saves so much work if you have the ventilate/outdoor space to use it. the time and effort that these will save you is invaluable. Good luck.

      Kelly N

  2. Thanks, I bght the 3/8s as they looked longer but they did not all stay down..Thickness of furn & wood is hard, but I hammered..Thanks again.. I read that the springs in the staple guns get loose, & tried to get mine out=impossible, so bght a new one.

  3. Love your cushions – have 6 patio chairs to do this week! So your guide was very helpful. I would like to finish the bottom as well for a nice clean look – any suggestions?

  4. This is awesome and exactly what I needed! I started with a huge square and was getting nowhere fast with all the bunching. Your post was a lifesaver! <3

  5. I have six chairs, the seats are long gone. It has been in storage for 40 years. I’m getting the set powder coated. Were the seats marine plywood? Masonite of some kind? Did you use an out fabric or a vinyl covering? Thanks.

  6. As I wrote when I Pinned this: Now, if only I knew what happened to the wood from under the fabric that came off a while ago, so I don’t have to start from scratch!
    It looks like I’m not the only one who may have a trip to a lumberyard in her future. That’ll be ‘fun’ – trying to turn chairs upside-down and try to trace the right size circles, so they neither fall through nor sit too high above the the iron circle.
    Oh well, I bet we can do this, once we set our minds to it!

  7. What kind of fabric did you use? I am wanting to do a waterproof fabric, do you have any recommendation on what type to use?


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