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When I started working on my new sewing room, I immediately started looking for a chair to use with my build-in table, I wanted something comfortable that allowed me to move and that would not be a pain to sit on if I needed to sew for a long period of time, after some research I found the perfect one in the Ikea website, the SKRUVSTA chair, sadly it was WAY out of my “office renovation” budget, so I hunted on Craiglist until I found the almost-exact-one I wanted for just $30.00 – SCORE! I already had fabric and foam to give this very dirty found a brand new look =]

I definitely wanted the wheels that the more expensive version of this chair has, so on our last trip to Ikea I got the set of 5 wheels for $9.00 to make the total for the brand new chair a low $39.00 compared to the $149.00 retail price of the leather version.

If you saw the revamp I gave my office chair, you already know that one of the most important factors when recovering a chair to me is making the cover removable. Because well, I have a little dog that loves chairs and going outside – not a good mix!

So in order to make the covers removable, because of the shape of the chair, I decided to add 2 zippers, one on the back and one on the front-bottom part. The original chair was in a very decent shape, it was just dirty and the only really bad part was the foam of the cushion.

I basically pull the covers apart as carefully as I could (I could not believe how many staples this thing had!) with the help of Ken because at one point the staples got insanely hard to get (or it could have been my pregnant butt crying for help hehe)

After that I carefully rip all the pieces that covered the chair apart, to place them back together again with tape and cover all the little “holes” in the pattern with paper, that helped me create the perfect pattern to make the cover for the chair. After I cut my pattern I saw it together and fit it, then alter whatever parts needed some adjusting and sew again, repeat until the cover fit like a glove!

The cushion of the chair was in pretty bad shape (if you can see a but crack is time to toss away!) so I decided to replace the whole thing, but since I was kind of overfitting and sewing I decided to go the lazy way and only cover one side, after all, I will be the only one using it hehe!

The part that I love the most about the chair is the back, funny because usually, I tent to hide zippers as much as possible, but in this case, I think it gives it character =]

Here a more detailed view of how I resolved the bottom and back of the chair to make it completely removable, so I can wash it easily whenever it gets dirty.

I also added elastic on both sides of the zippers so that the bottom will fit better, it just makes the zippers come together much better than without it.

So here once again the before and after =]

I hope this inspires some of you to not give up on the chair you want just because it's out of your budget! I Love Craiglist and whenever I find something I really like I search every day until I get a lucky post, I guess you just have to be very patient. Do you have other tips on recovering a chair? Want to share!?

I hope you all have a lovely day!



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Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop. Read more about her & the blog here →

28 replies
  1. shiu
    shiu says:

    what a brilliant idea!

    I am going to get myself a sewing machine, so that I can work on stuff like that. My computer chair is really old, the cover is ripped and it really needs a removable cover like yours.

    When I was little, my mom used to sew different things for us. Now, I feel like i should carry it on :)

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      You should definitely carry the sewing on =] it’s so much fun and you can create so much with just fabric and a sewing machine!

  2. Eleyn
    Eleyn says:

    Very cool. I love the colors you’re using in your sewing room. You kinda make me wish that I would have paid attention when my mom was trying to teach me how to sew as a child.

  3. Val Shepley
    Val Shepley says:

    That is so great, you’re so clever! I have re-upholstered three chairs in the dim and distant past and it is great that they seem to last years. Well done and thanks for your blog.

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Thank you Nadia, it was a discount fabric I found for $1 a yard at a small shop in Hesperia, CA. I love that place!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      I got the Fabric at a super small shop in Hesperia, CA. they don’t have website, so i can’t give you a link, sorry! But they should have one because they have awesome cheap fabrics.

  4. Isabel
    Isabel says:

    Awesome Job!!! I would love to see your studio when completed!!! Todas las cosas que haces son tan lindas!!!!!

  5. Donna Thorson
    Donna Thorson says:

    Hi Joy,
    I’m a fairly new sewer, but I have fallen in love with it. I have a nice dutailier rocker that desperately needs recovering, but I am confused how I would recover the back side. How do you figure out the measurements and size of fabric. Can you help?

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Donna, to figure the pieces I used the old covers to make a template on paper, whenever I was unsure of the shape (I changed a lot of parts) I placed my template on the chair and used little pieces of tape to check the fit. I would also recommend you to maybe make one out of cheap fabric first (muslin or something like that) so you can correct the pattern and not ruin your pretty fabric. I hope that helps a little! =]

  6. Mariele
    Mariele says:

    Hola, me encantó!!! Me suscribí a tu blog y si junto coraje voy a retapizar una silla de computación horrible pero comodísima que mi socia se niega a cambiar! Podré hacerle la funda sin desarmarla como lo hiciste vos? No me animoooo! Soy cobarde! Beso!! Uy, la traducción va a quedar muy rara, pero bueno lo que digo es que me encantó!!!

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hola Mariele!

      Que genial que vas a intentar esto! yo te digo no fue TAN dificil y el resultado es genial porque la puedo lavar cuando se ensucia =] un beso grande y muchas gracias por suscribirte!


  7. Mariele
    Mariele says:

    Hello, I loved it! I subscribed to your blog and if I coupled courage I will reupholster a computer chair horrible, however yeah very comfortable, but my partner denies change!without removing the cover Will I be able disarm him? As did you? I do not dareeeee! I’m a coward! Kiss! Oops, the translation is a little weire doesen’t? but I say it is good and I loved it!

  8. Kristyn
    Kristyn says:

    Any chance you’re selling or giving the chair pattern for free? I want to redo my own but I’m not good with pattern stuff. Buying the wheels tom!

  9. Joan Lyons
    Joan Lyons says:

    Love your chair. I am attempting mine. However I did not take it apart, made patterns with mulin. Problem I am having is the inside back does not want to fit correctly, seems a bit baggy. Does the cushion “Hold” it in place? I like you want mine removable for washing.Thank you. Joan

  10. Heather
    Heather says:

    I love this! Great idea with the zippers and making it removable. I would also be very interested in the pattern if you have it available.

  11. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Was it easy to add the castor wheels? Did you have to perforate the legs? How did you do that? I’m trying to figure out if I would be able to add wheels to a SKRUVSTA.

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Actually the chair has the holes, and the wheels that they have at ikea fit perfect =] you might want to go down to ikea and check their wheels on the show room =] good luck!!

  12. Katelyn
    Katelyn says:


    I just picked up 2 of these for free from the bubble tea place in my building but they are quite dirty. I would be interested in the pattern also if you have it, so I too can attempt your wonderful transformation.


    • Joy
      Joy says:

      I’m sorry Katelyn, I traced my pattern using the part of the old cover, so I didn’t keep any parts, wish you luck with your transformation!!


  13. Brooke
    Brooke says:

    how did you add the wheels? I have the black fabric Skruvusta chair and it doesn’t have wheels? COULD I too add them?

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