Upcycle Scrap Fabric Into Patchwork Chair Covers

patchwork chair

A great way to give your dining room an updated and upcycled look is with repurposed scrap fabric turned into patchwork. Look to your own wardrobe to collect your scraps. Heavyweight fabrics from retired shirts, jackets, and pants work great. Leftover fabric from past projects are also a good scrap source. Stay away from ones that have a lot of stretch and your patchwork assembly will be simple.

I intentionally chose two chair frames that were similar, but didn’t quite match. This way, when I want to add to the collection, I can continue with the same color scheme, but can go with slightly different chair styles.

Once you’ve finished your patchwork chairs, don’t forget to make a matching table from an old door. Select one of the colors from the cushions to paint the tabletop and it’s the perfect pairing for your patchwork.

patchwork seat cushion

The beauty of patchwork is that each chair can match in color but still be unique.

upcycled door table and patchwork chairs

Pair your patchwork with an upcycled table.


Step 1

 Open Galleryremoving seat cushion

Remove Seat Cushion

Remove the seat cushion from the chair. Most seats are connected underneath with screws in each corner.

Step 2

 Open Galleryattaching legs to door

Paint Chair Frame

If your chair frames needs a color update, place the frame in a well ventilated area and paint. Let dry completely.

Step 3

 Open Galleryremoving upholstery

Remove Upholstery

Remove the upholstery from the cushion. Upholstery is often fixed to the base with staples or upholstery tacks. The easiest way to pry them off is by using a flathead screwdriver and pliers. This upholstery piece will act as a pattern for your patchwork.

Step 4

 Open Gallerycutting fabric into strips

Cut Fabric Scraps into Strips

Cut your pieces of scrap fabric into widths of 2”, 3.5”, and 5”. These varying sizes will provide a standard way to create a varied patchwork. Keep the three different widths in separate piles.

Step 5

 Open Gallerycutting fabric

Cut Fabric Scraps into Smaller Pieces

Then, cut these strips into varied lengths. My strips varied between about 2” to 7”.

Step 6

 Open Gallerystitch together along edge

Sew Fabric Scraps of Similar Widths Together

Start with the 2” wide pile and begin to piece them together. Pin two pieces together along the 2” edge with the right sides facing each other. Then stitch along this edge using a .5” seam allowance.

Step 7

 Open Gallerycreating long fabric strips

Continue to Sew Scraps Together

Continue to piece together 2” pieces until you have a strip slightly wider than the old upholstery fabric you removed from step 3.

Step 8

 Open Gallerycreating fabric strips

Repeat Until You Have Enough Fabric

Repeat with your other piles. You’ll need about 2 – 3 pieced strips of each width.

Step 9

 Open Gallerystitching along long edge

Sew Strips Together

Then, stitch your strips together along the long edge. Continue attaching your strips until you have a piece larger than the old upholstery fabric.

Step 10

 Open Gallerytrimming patchwork

Trim Excess Fabric

Use the upholstery fabric as a pattern and trim off any excess from your patchwork.

Step 11

 Open Galleryattaching fabric to cushion

Attach Patchwork to Cushion

Stretch your patchwork around your cushion and staple around the bottom.

Step 12

 Open Galleryattaching cushion to chair

Reattach Cushion to Chair

Reattach your cushion to the chair frame and your patchwork is complete. You’re ready to take a seat!


  • Heavyweight fabric scraps
  • Chair with upholstered seat cushion


  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Staple gun
About Tiffany Threadgould 


I am a design junkie who gives scrap materials a second life and the head of design at TerraCycle, a company that collects and creates products from waste. My ...

More About Tiffany Threadgould

2 Responses

  1. Net Curtains says:

    This guide have all the details, great job! This is truly a site for DIY projects.

  2. Michelle Reynolds says:

    Nice! I like the door table too!

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