Most dining room chairs have a secret: removable seats that are oh-so-easy to re-cover. Follow these step-by-step instructions to re-cover chair seats with burlap.

Burlap Projects
  • Chair with removable seat
  • Screwdriver
  • Staple remover
  • Upholstery foam (no more than 2 inches thick), optional
  • Burlap (about 3/4 yard, depending on chair size)
  • Yardstick or clear grid ruler
  • Permanent marker
  • Staple gun and staples 

Prep the Chair

Turn the chair upside down and remove the seat using a screwdriver. Set the screws aside. Carefully remove the old seat cover using a staple remover. If the seat foam is easily removable, remove it and cut a piece of new foam to the same size and place it on top of the seat. If the original foam is in good condition or it is difficult to remove the original fabric, you can leave it all in place, as we did here, and simply cover over it.

Measure the Burlap

Burlap Projects

Place the seat and the foam, facing down, on the backside of your burlap. If your burlap has a design on it, make sure the front is positioned to create the desired final look. Measure and mark a line on the burlap 2–3 inches bigger than the size of the seat base. You can always trim the burlap later, so err on the bigger side.

Cut the Burlap


Using fabric shears, cut along your marked line. Tip: Fabric shears typically work much better than regular crafts scissors, which can snag or have difficulty cutting through thick burlap.

Staple into Place

Burlap Projects

Starting in the middle of one side, pull up the burlap and use a staple gun to secure it in place on the underside of the seat, sandwiching the foam between the burlap and the seat base. Repeat on the opposite side. Alternate sides until both are secure, with staples every inch or so, and the burlap is tight. Repeat on the remaining sides.

Staple the Corners

Burlap Projects

Fold each corner as if you were wrapping a package and staple in place. Make sure to smooth any bumps before finishing each corner.

Reattach the Cushion

Burlap Projects

Use screws to reattach the chair seat to the base.

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