Remodelaholic · May 13, 2014

How To: Reupholster a Tub Chair

Happy Spring Remodelaholic readers. Jaime from That’s My Letter here today to share a reupholstery project. How to recover a tub chair and completely change the look.

My friend recently was looking to get rid of two Ikea Tullsta tub chairs. They were older, dated and covered in brown leather that just didn’t suit my style. Time for a furniture makeover.

I reupholstered the chairs in a classic blue and white ticking, added wheels for mobility and finished off the look with a red pillow trimmed in white pom poms.

These tub chairs are a great addition to our family room space and the wheels make them fun and completely mobile for additional seating where ever we need it.

How to Reupholster a Tub Chair


  • tub chair
  • 4 yards home dec fabric @ 54″ wide
  • 10 yards cotton cording (1 package)
  • 4 – 5″ swivel casters (2 with break)
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • scissors
  • rotary cutter
  • self healing mat
  • clear ruler
  • 22″ heavy duty zipper
  • staple gun
  • staples
  • pliers
  • flat head screwdriver

Step 1: Unscrew the wood legs and begin removing staples using flat head screwdriver and pliers from the black base cover.

Step 2: Remove all the staples in order to loosen leather from frame.

Step 3: Gently pull leather off of frame keeping big pieces in tact.

Step 4: Label all leather pieces. (You really only need one side of the leather pieces, just reverse to make the other side.)

Step 5: Begin with largest piece (center back typically). Place leather pattern on fold of new fabric and cut center back. I opted to make fewer seams than the original leather by combining two panels.

Step 6: Begin sewing panels together. Make both the interior paneled section and exterior back section.

Step 7: To make the piping cut 2″ strips on the bias.

Step 8: To make the piping sew binding strips together by lining up bias cut (A) then sew pieces at a 90 angle (B). Press seam open (C) and the final seam (D). Make 10 yards of piping for each chair.

Step 9: Sew cotton cording into binding by placing cording in the middle and folding binding over. Use a zipper foot to get seam as tight as possible.

Step 10: Pin the piping to top raw edge of interior back.

Step 11: Place exterior panel on top of interior (right sides together) matching up center backs.

Step 12: Sew panels together (still using zipper foot) with piping in between. Start at the center back and complete one side.

Step 12 continued: Sew other half of main body.

Step 13: Pin piping to raw edge of arm portion.

Step 14: Pin front arm piece at center top to main body portion then sew in place.

Step 15: Staple raw edges of interior panels to crevice of frame at seat.

Step 16: Staple raw edges of exterior panels to underside base.

Step 17: Staple the front panel cover into seat crevice and under base.

Step 18: Replace black base cover by using staples.

Step 19: Cut seat cushion pieces – top, bottom, side panel, piping

Step 20: Make zipper closure panel.

Step 21: Sew side panel to top with piping in between. Repeat same process for bottom piece.

Step 22: Sew zipper panel onto side panel at ends. Then pin piping in place and continue to finish sewing top and bottom panels. ** Be sure to leave zipper open in order to turn right side out after sewing.

Step 23: Paint interior of wheels, first white then red acrylic. Seal red with clear gloss varnish to prevent chipping.

Step 24: Attach wheels to base, predrill and use wood screws to fit.

Your tub chair is ready, now try to keep your kids from rolling all around the house!

If sewing is not your thing then consider building a piece of furniture. I recently constructed this pipe and wood slats bed for my son:

All the details including construction plans and dimensions can be found here.

And of course don’t forget the handsome nightstand to go with the pipe bed:

This very masculine nightstand is a nice simple build you can check out here.

And lastly something for your dining or living room, my most recent build is this sliding barn door console:

It’s a knock off project and you won’t believe the retail price. Never fear you can DIY this barn door console, link to plans in my post here.


More reupholstering tips and tutorials:

easy slipcover instructions from Adventures in Creating on Remodelaholic

how to paint upholstery from Hyphen Interiors on Remodelaholic

how to reupholster a wingback chair by Savvy Design on Remodelaholic

More tips for recovering a wingback chair from Diffen Dwelling on Remodelaholic

how to reupholster a square side chair by Unexpected Elegance on Remodelaholic

reuphostering tips and tricks from The Fickle Hobbyist on Remodelaholic

how to reupholster a cane chair by Peacefully Home on Remodelaholic

The post How To: Reupholster a Tub Chair appeared first on Remodelaholic.

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