One of these chairs has a dirty little secret…it is held together with duct tape!
Before we had kids we found these great leather dining chairs at the Room and Board Outlet (similar to the Madrid chairs on the kitchen mood board). We loved the look with our frosted glass table…that is until we had kids! As soon as our oldest started sitting on a regular chair at the table we realized how messy kids really are. Unfortunately the leather is not scrubbable :(
For a while we managed by gently cleaning them
often all the time. Then one of the backs started cracking…I blame my hubby for always leaning back in the chairs. Any mending of the chair would have been unsightly (like the duct taped mess above). Anyway, we were not prepared to replace them yet so I got creative.
I found a big, modern floral fabric called Harmony by Diversitex. I used it to create slip covers for the back of the chairs (you saw a sneak peek of the finished covers yesterday when I revealed the new pendant light over the table). The covers allowed me to protect some of the leather and conceal duct tape I used to “repair” the cracked chair. The covers were so easy to create and could be replicated on most chair styles.
Here is how:
- Laminate your fabric with Heat N Bond Iron on Vinyl. Or choose an easier to keep clean outdoor fabric.
- From your laminated fabric cut a piece slightly larger than you will need to cover the front and back of the chair back.
- To perfectly fit the chair back, drape your fabric wrong-side up over the chair.
- Pin along the side seams close together making a line. Note: I pinned my cover along the bottom first to hold it around the curve of the chair back while I pinned the sides. I had to remove the bottom pins before taking the slipcover of the chair.
- Remove cover from chair carefully.
- Sew the side seams along the pin line, removing the pins as you go.
- Trim excess fabric with pinking shears leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Trim the bottom edge with pinking shears leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance. Hem the bottom by folding the edge over 1/2″ and stitching.
- Turn right side out and slip over the chair back.
My first iteration of these covers did not include the iron-on vinyl. They looked great…until the kids got to them! After being covered in ketchup and syrup fingerprints the fabric just did not hold up well to washing. Back to the drawing board…
I decided to get more of the same fabric (I loved the print and it was the perfect colors for our space…so I got even more for throw pillows in the family room). Anyways, I also picked up a few yards of Heat N Bond Iron On Vinyl. I used it to laminate the fabric before recreating the slipcovers. The end result was easy to wipe covers still in my favorite fabric! I even like the slightly glossy vinyl finish. Beautiful & kid-friendly!
P.S. Since making these covers, I have discovered Harmony by Diversitex also comes in an outdoor fabric, which is cheaper than the home decor fabric. I think I am happy with my thicker laminated fabric covers. They are ultra-wipeable.