DIY Recover Chair Cushions With Rag Rugs

You may have seen this chair makeover project I did when renovating my son's Colorful Science Themed Bedroom for the One Room Challenge?  I repainted the chair frame and then recovered the cushions in a simple and easy way using rag rugs. Here's how!

mulit-colored rag rug covered chair cushions

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Here it is before, in all of its glory:

1786 red chair cushions

Well it is one of a set of three chairs that used to belong to my grandparents and at some point were passed on to my parents.  I'm guessing it's from the 1960's?  

My brother and I used to turn them upside down without the cushions and play under them; pretending we were cops putting robbers in jail, or were zoo animals, or building forts with them.  

So when I was having trouble finding a chair for my son's room and my Mom suggested one of these, I thought it would be perfect!

At some point someone had painted it black (it was originally red).  Normally I like a chippy, layered finish but the black layer was weirdly powdery to the point it rubbed off on you.  Also, I wasn't really going with chippy paint in this room.  I wanted it to have a smooth black finish. 

Here are some of my other chair makeovers I'd love for you to check out:

Vintage Ice Cream Parlor Chair Makeover

 Vintage Thonet Inspired Bentwood Stool Makeover

Vintage Metal Stool Restoration

Recover Chair Cushions With Rag Rugs: Supplies

Chindi rag rugs (this link provides many options, you'll have to figure out what size rug will fit your specific cushions)

Recover Chair Cushions With Rag Rugs: How To

I gave it a good sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and then wiped it down carefully with a rag to remove all of the dust.

powdery chippy black painted chair

sanding a black painted chair

Then it got two coats of my trusty Rustoleum Flat Enamel.  This is my favorite black spray paint. 

I always spray paint outside since I sprayed a white bedframe in the garage and the overspray turned my husband's red riding mower pink.  That was totally my bad and lesson learned!

can of Rustoleum Flat Black Enamel Spray Paint

newly painted black chair

Ok, so on to the cushions! 

I will not claim to be an upholsterer or even a great seamstress.  I muddle through projects with my sewing machine or needle and thread.  

So when it came to these groovy cushions, I needed an easy solution.  (As a sidenote, I Googled 1786 and for the life of me cannot find an event worthy of having the year on this fabric!)

1786 cushioned chair

I was also looking for something to tie all of the colors in the room together.  I was prowling the aisles of my Walmart and found these rag rugs that had all of the colors and many more!  They were also cheap!

 close up of multicolored rag rug

full view of multicolored rag rug

For this project it just so happened that the rug for the back cushion overlapped by nearly exactly the amount that one rug was missing to finish covering the seat cushion.  

I was a little nervous to cut into the stitches binding the pieces of the rug together.  At this point I was just figuring it out as I went, but that's the fun of these kinds of projects!

I ended up having to sacrifice a couple of strips of fabric to have enough of the binding thread to tie the ends off.  

You can see on the left side how I used the threads to tie knots around the last couple of rows.  This bound everything back tight again.

I was going for a casual look with these cushion covers so I decided to top stitch them instead of sewing them inside out.  I used this transparent thread so the stitches didn't show.

So basically, I just wrapped the cushion with the rug and top stitched the three edges together. The top was just wrapped around the cushion.  

Then I added the little piece I cut off the first rug to the second rug and stitched it together to cover the seat cushion.

And then top stitched the three sides again, with the front being the side that was wrapped without a seam.

I love the texture this rag rug recovered chair adds to this room!  And it ties a lot of otherwise random colors together very easily!  At first I was worried it may be a little rough to the touch, but my son says he likes it.

So that was my easy and simple chair makeover! The two rugs were less than $20, so I am pretty happy with the cost of this project. I'm loving it so much I think I'm going to ask my Mom for the two matching chairs to use elsewhere in the house!  Thanks so much for stopping by to check it out!