Butterfly Chair

Get through the winter in a stylish and comfortable way with this chair from us and Refinery29!

What you need

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What you need

  • 2 yards of sturdy upholstery fabric
  • Spool of thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors and pinking shears
  • Pins
  • Posterboard (2-4 sheets)
  • Spray paint
  • Pencil & chalk
  • Plastic dropcloth for painting

Let's Get Started

Step 1

Remove the cover from the old chair and lay the base flat on a plastic dropcloth to paint. Spray the entire base the color of your choice. First paint while the base is closed and allow that coat to dry. Then paint a second coat with the base fully opened. Allow 24 hours to dry.

Step 2

Lay the old cover on top of the posterboard. Using the cover as a pattern, trace around the cover with a pencil. Draw a curved line horizontally through the pattern to create a “top” and bottom” piece, then cut the pattern from the posterboard. You only need half of the pattern as you will place the pattern on the fold of your fabric.

Step 3

Place the halved pattern on the fold of your fabric. Using the chalk, trace the pattern onto the fabric.

Step 4

Create “pockets” for the chair base to slip into by tracing “half-oval”-like shapes onto the fabric. These should be as wide as the edges of your butterfly chair pattern.

Step 5

Once you’ve traced the pattern onto the fabric, cut it! Remember the cardinal rule of sewing: “Measure twice, cut once!”

Step 6

Place the pockets right sides together and stitch them all the way around leaving a 2 inch gap allowing you to turn the pockets right side out. Once you’ve turned the fabric, fold the unstitched part in, and create a ¼” topstitch or hem by going all the way around each pocket again.

Step 7

Stitch the back and bottom of the chair together first by pinning 1 top piece and 1 bottom piece together at the curved horizontal line. Remember to pin while right sides are together! Sew the pieces using a ¼” hem. Go back over it once more to reinforce the stitch.

Step 8

Pin the sewn pockets to the bottom of the chair and stitch them by sewing right over the topstitch on each pocket. Now the bottom of your chair should be complete! It’s time to add the top!

Step 9

Create the top part of the chair cover by repeating step 7.

Step 10

Combine the final pieces by pinning right sides together. Pin all the way around the chair to allow the most accurate sewing!

Step 11

Using a ¼ hem, stitch all the way around the chair cover leaving a 5-6” opening at the top to allow you to turn the cover right side out. Use a blind stitch to close up!

Step 12

Press the cover with an iron to clean up any wrinkles and give it smooth edges! Now place it on your base and enjoy!

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