How to Make a Slip Cover for a Chair

Do you have an old chair that needs a bit of sprucing up? Have you ever thought about how handy it would be to make a slipcover for your chair to add personality and style to any room? Making a slipcover can seem intimidating, but with the right instructions and tools, even someone with limited sewing experience can create their customized chair cover.

How to Make a Slip Cover for a Chair

Whether you’re hoping to cover an armchair, sofa, or even a wingback chair, the process for making a slipcover is more or less the same. Just follow these easy steps to create a slipcover that will give your chair a new look.

Our complete guide will include all the steps necessary how to make a slip cover for a chair, from measuring your furniture accurately, choosing fabric wisely, and making sure everything fits together as it should. Let’s get started!

What Will You Need?

Before you begin, there are a few important items that you’ll need to use to make your slipcover.

  • Tape Measure: Accurately measuring the chair is essential for ensuring the slipcover fits snugly.
  • Fabric Scissors: You’ll use these to cut any fabric pieces,, as shown later in the tutorial.
  • Sewing Machine: A sewing machine is highly recommended for this project, as it will make it much easier and faster to stitch together the slipcover.
  • Upholstery Needles and Thread: If you don’t have a sewing machine or prefer to sew your slipcover by hand, you’ll need upholstery needles and thread.
  • Upholstery Fabric: You’ll need to pick a suitable fabric that is sturdy enough to withstand wear and tear and any cleaning, if necessary.
  • Pins: To help keep the fabric pieces together while you sew them.
  • Seam Ripper: If you make any unrepairable mistakes, a seam ripper can help you remove any seams.
Sewing Machine is Highly Recommended

Once you’ve gathered all your materials, you can begin making your slipcover.

10 Easy Steps on How to Make a Slip Cover for a Chair

Step 1. Measuring Your Chair

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary tools for making your slipcover, it’s time to measure the chair you’ll cover. To do this correctly, start by measuring the width of the seat at its widest point and then measure along the length of the seat from one side to the other. Measure around all four sides of the seat, taking note of any angles or curves.

You’ll also want to measure the height of the chair back; be sure to include any bumps or ridges in your measurements, as these will affect how you cut and sew the fabric.

Step 2. Determining Fabric Amounts

Now that you’ve taken accurate chair measurements, it’s time to determine how much fabric you’ll need for the slipcover. You’ll want to purchase enough upholstery fabric for a few inches of extra material on each side of the seat and back. Try to select a strong and durable fabric, as slipcovers can experience a lot of wear and tear.

Step 3. Choosing Fabric Wisely

When selecting fabric for your slipcover, deciding on the type of material that will best suit your project is important. Upholstery fabric is a great choice as it comes in many different textures, colors, and weights, which can help make any slipcover look stylish and sophisticated. Be careful not to select a material that is too heavy, as this can make it difficult to work with.

Step 4. Making the Fabric Pieces

Once your fabric is ready, you’ll need to cut out different pieces for the slipcover. Start by cutting out a long piece of fabric that will wrap around the entire seat and back of the chair. Ensure it is long enough to cover both sides of the chair and tuck underneath.

Next, cut out four separate pieces for the arms of the chair: two longer pieces for each side and two shorter pieces for the top and bottom. Ensure all four pieces are wide enough to wrap around the armrests comfortably.

Step 5. Sewing the Pieces Together

Once you’ve cut out all the necessary pieces, it’s time to sew them together. Begin by sewing the longer pieces of fabric together for each armrest. Use a seam ripper to take apart any seams that don’t fit correctly, as this will be much easier than starting over from the beginning.

Next, sew the four armrest pieces together to create a continuous fabric loop. Now it’s time to attach the arms to the seat and back of the chair. Start by pinning one arm piece at a time in place, and then stitch along each side using either your sewing machine or upholstery needles and thread.

Step 6. Attaching the Skirt

Now that you’ve attached the arms of the chair, it’s time to attach the skirt. Begin by pinning the long piece of fabric around the bottom edge of your chair, and then stitch along with either a sewing machine or upholstery needles and thread. Be sure to leave enough fabric at the back of the chair for a seam allowance.

Step 7. Fitting the Slip Cover

At this point, your slipcover should be starting to take shape. Now it’s time to fit the cover onto your chair. Begin by sliding the fabric over the chair, ensuring that the seams line up with the edges of the chair. Adjust as necessary to ensure a snug fit. Pin the fabric where it needs to be adjusted and remove the cover from the chair. Make the necessary alterations using your sewing machine or upholstery needles and thread. Once the adjustments are complete, slide the cover back onto the chair.

Step 8. Final Touches

With the cover now fitting properly, you can focus on the finishing touches. If you want to add decorative trim or any other details, now is the time. Make sure to sew these on to ensure they are secure carefully. Once all the details are complete, you may choose to stitch an extra line along the bottom of the slipcover to secure the hemline.

Step 9. Cleaning and Maintenance

Now that your slipcover is ready, knowing how to clean and maintain it is important. Most upholstery fabric can be machine washed gently with mild detergent. However, be sure to check the fabric care label before washing. If your slipcover gets stained, spot clean with a fabric-safe cleaner. Regularly vacuum the slipcover to remove dust and prevent dirt from settling into the fabric.

Most Upholstery Fabric Can Be Machine Washed

Step 10. Enjoy Your New Slip Cover

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created a new slipcover for your chair. Not only have you given your old chair a refreshing new look, but you’ve also gained the skills to create slipcovers for other pieces of furniture in your home. Enjoy your revamped chair!

With these tips on making a slipcover for a chair, you’ll be able to give your furniture an updated look in no time. Slipcovers are an easy and affordable way to spruce up any room without buying new furniture. Next time you want to freshen up the look of your home, why not start with some DIY slipcovers?

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Before beginning your project, make sure to pre-wash and press the fabric. This will prevent any shrinkage or distortion when sewing the slipcover.
  2. Use thinner upholstery fabrics such as twill or linen blends to get a snug fit for your cover. These fabrics are easier to work with and have less bulk than heavier fabrics.
  3. Use a zipper foot attachment when sewing the sides of your slipcover together. This will ensure that you get an even and secure seam.
  4. If you’re not confident in your sewing skills, consider using upholstery tacks or staples to attach the fabric pieces. Although this method won’t give you as neat of a finish, it is an easy way to get the job done.
  5. To ensure the durability and longevity of your slipcover, consider using a fabric protector such as Scotchgard or Fabric Shield. This will help repel spills and make cleaning easier.
Use a Zipper Foot Attachment

Creating slipcovers for furniture can be a fun and rewarding project that allows you to add your personal touch to any room. With the right materials, tools, and techniques, you can easily transform any piece of furniture with a stylish slipcover.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid choosing fabric that is too delicate or not durable enough for regular use. The fabric should be robust enough to withstand wear and tear, especially if the chair is frequently used.
  2. Take your time with the measuring and cutting process. Accuracy at this stage is crucial for the fitting of the slipcover. Mistakes here could lead to ill-fitting and unattractive results.
  3. Refrain from using a fabric that cannot be washed or cleaned easily. Since the slipcover will be used regularly, it might need frequent cleaning. Therefore, selecting a fabric that is machine washable would be ideal.
  4. Be sure to complete the step of pre-washing the fabric. This ensures any shrinkage occurs before the slipcover is made. Making a cover without pre-washing could lead to a poor fit after the first wash.
  5. Avoid not using pins or clips to secure the fabric during the sewing process. It helps keep the fabric in place and ensures accurate sewing.
Avoid Not Using Pins or Clips

Avoiding these common slipcover mistakes will help you create a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing cover for your chair.


Having the right slipcovers for your furniture is an important part of decorating and can make a statement in any room. As you can see from this guide, making a slipcover for a chair can be quick and easy with minimal skill and effort. Not to mention that it can save you money compared to buying custom-made ones!

With the right fabric selection and sewing know-how, you’ll surely get the perfect look for any chair in your home. Once complete, sit back and enjoy your new creation – whether practical or stylish, you’ll appreciate how fantastic the results look!

Hopefully, the article on how to make a slip cover for a chair has provided you with the information and inspiration to start your project. With a few simple steps, you can give any chair in your home a whole new look! Good luck! 

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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