We have this small child size outdoor folding chair that has seen better days. I got it at Target years ago. Where I live the sun means damage. It is hot and it destroys everything over time.
The small rip in the seat kept getting bigger and I thought I would just sew up the rip but then I saw this other little chair recovered by Nikki at Nature's Heirloom and knew I had to recover mine. Hers looks so good!
Here is mine before and a few tips on how I did it.
It's pretty easy to figure out though if you have a chair already and you take it apart. Just put it back together the same way it comes off. Although it's a bit tricky because a normal home sewing machine is not going to be able to reach all the spots that need to be sewn. Those darn chair legs get in the way.
Before I did anything, I put my chair up to my sewing machine so I could tell for sure where the needle would reach and I marked it with "sew". The places that it would not reach I marked with "velcro". I figured that the very top and bottom would be sewn and so that would give enough strength for the little "up to 50lb" the chair said it would hold. A long strip of velcro is pretty strong too for the sides so I was not worried.
(those two little tabs on the bottom I have velcro pointing to, I originally marked with with my pen "sew" but I realized too late it should have been velcro instead)
After marking, I unpicked everything. It was yucky, lots of spider webs and gunk under the flaps.
This little metal bar forms the seat part underneath at the chair fold. It has a little rectangle piece of fabric sewn around it to hold the chair fabric in place.
I touched up the white legs with spray paint.
I Made a pattern from the original, cut extra for seem allowances. There are two pieces, the chair part, and the small rectangle that holds from underneath around the metal bar.
Then I folded the smaller ends up and sewed, then attached the binding around all the rounded parts.
Next I pinned the cover on the chair to get a fit and mark where the velcro will be placed. I ran out of white velcro and used black for some spots. Then after the velcro was marked I took the cover off and sewed on the velcro. The velcro had to be sewn on before the next step.
I then put the cover back on the chair frame and made sure it was a good fit, tightening all the velcro on the sides. I marked where the rectangle piece would go underneath at the fold of the seat and pinned it in place. That is the fold line when the chair is folded up. (I did finish the edges of the rectangle piece so it would not fray)
Next, undo all the velcro and lay the seat cover flat with the rectangle piece still attached with pins.
I folded the chair frame up to sew this part.
This was the beginning of the tricky sewing parts. I had to remove the needle and presser foot completely from my machine to have a larger opening to slip the metal leg under. Then I attached the foot again to sew.
Then I opened up the chair and tightened up the velcro and pinned the other parts in place that were marked with "sew". I had to open the chair frame to sew these pinned parts and had a helper hold the chair for me while I used both my hands to maneuver.
The bottom had two little parts that I had marked with "sew" originally but I ended up not sewing those, it was too big of pain to get the needle there, so I just tacked them down by hand with needle and thread. I would add velcro there if I was to do this again. They are not big stress points so I'm not worried about the needle and thread not holding weight.
The final product. It is nice and tight and looks new. I got the 54" wide Orange Outdoor fabric at Joanns for $6.00 and used 22".
These are very basic tips, but like I said if you take the chair cover off just put it together the same way and you'll be fine.
Let me know if you have any questions!