Taking something old and turning it into something new is so rewarding. What makes it even more awesome is when the thrift store find is extremely ugly. For this thrift store project, we partnered with our good friends at Cotton to use their fabric to cover three different chairs.

With the holidays on the way, this is the perfect way to spruce up your house before you host any guests. There are so many great cotton holiday prints and colors available. What we love most about cotton is its durability which makes reupholstering a breeze. By using cotton, we know the fabric will last and won’t get torn up by all the booties that sit on the chair :) Don’t forget that cotton comes in brilliant colors and patterns, which makes updating chairs even more fun.


Materials + Tools:

– sandpaper

– spray paint

– cotton fabric

– fabric scissors

– staple gun

– screw driver



1. Use a screwdriver to take apart the seat cushion of your chair.

2. Sand down the chair base and spray paint in your favorite color.

3. Lay the chair cushion on top of your fabric, and cut a large square that will wrap around the cushion. Start by putting a staple in the middle of each side. Then work your way out to the corners.

4. Once you’ve reached a corner, fold the fabric inward, pull tightly and staple to hold the fold.

5. Reassemble the chair and you’re ready to take a seat!


This is the chair that we picked up from our local thrift store. We are obsessed with the structure of the chair but the colors are all wrong.


Use a screwdriver to take apart the chair.


Sand the chair and spray paint with your favorite color. The more you sand, the better the paint will attach to the chair. Apply a protective coat to the chair to keep it from getting chips and nicks.


Place the cushion on your fabric and cut out a piece that will be large enough to wrap around the front of the cushion. Grab your staple gun, put a staple in the middle of one side, then put a staple in the middle of the opposite side. The key to this process is to make sure you pull the fabric tightly before laying the staples down.


Our chair had a slight curve so we needed to make small folds in the fabric to keep the top area smooth. Once you reach a corner, fold the fabric inward, pull tightly and add a staple to hold the fold together.


Our cushion had an indentation for the poles of the chair. If yours has the same shape, cut the fabric to make it fit. Pull the strips back and staple down to get smooth coverage.


Screw the seat cushion back onto the base, and take a step back to appreciate your brand new chair. Ahhh, we are in love. Isn’t this cotton fabric amazing? Such a score. The best part about using cotton is that it is easy to clean. You can either spot clean or remove your cushion and staples, and throw your cotton in the wash!


Of course we couldn’t just make one. Don’t be afraid to mix styles, colors and patterns when re-doing your thrift store finds. Now that you know how easy it is to make and switch out new seat cushions, you can make seasonal ones for the holidays with themed prints. Talk about a great way to add some holiday cheer to your space!


Thrift store chairs can be super chic. We added a plush rug and our favorite black and white print to amp up the posh style and allow our chair to do all the talking. BTW, need some books? Check out our B + C book store.


We found this amazing cotton fabric at Britex, here in San Francisco, and just can’t get enough! We love the coral, turquoise and orange combination. Don’t forget to decorate with a dip dyed rope bowl. Want to make your own? Check out our kit!


Yellow + black is always a jaw-dropping color combo. Spruce up your seating area with a pineapple catch-all. There’s no better place to hold your extra blankets and throw pillows than a large pineapple basket.

We are obsessed with upholstering chairs! Try it yourself and share your creations with us using the hashtag #iamcreative.

This post a collaboration with Cotton Incorporated.

DIY Production + Styling: Kelly Bryden

Photography: Chris Andre and Brittany Griffin