Five Elements

As mentioned in the video above, there are at least five elements of any chair that you can change to makeover the look. They are: tufts and buttons, nail heads, skirts, legs, fabric.

Generally speaking you will need to have some good upholstery skill (and equipment) to fully change the fabric of an item.

But below are some ideas about how you can alter these same elements without any (or much) upholstery skill.

Tufts and buttons? – find pre-made buttons

(This way you won’t need a fabric button maker. Depending on the style of your chair you might need to open up some of the fabric from the back of the chair to apply buttons. See these videos on how to add buttons)

Nail heads – are relatively easy to apply (you will need an upholstery mallet, or something similar -like a hammer with the head covered with cloth, to drive them into the wood of the chair)

Skirts – easy to remove or add.

To remove chair skirts, see this video how to remove chair skirts video

To add is a bit trickier, you will need a staple gun to attach the skirt. But as far as the skirt itself goes, you can use premade bedskirts so you don’t have to sew a skirt from scratch. Cut them to the length you need, then use some decorative trim and a glue gun to finish off the cut edges.

Legs – If you remove the skirt you might what to also spice up the legs. You could refinish them, or replace them with more decorative ones. (How-to video from Kim’s Upholstery)

Fabric – fabric paint stencils

Not good at sewing or re-upholstery? Rather than changing the fabric, you might want to give it a new look with fabric paint instead. You can use a stencil to paint the design you want.

Here is a how-to video and there are others here.