How to Sew a Parsons Chair Cover

We spent some time this weekend working on building our table, but as with most DIY projects, it’s taking a little longer than expected.  It looks awesome though and I can’t wait to share when it’s done.  In the meantime, I’ve been working on sewing some chair covers for my parsons chairs that will go around the new table.  Last week I shared how I created my own stencil and painted some white fabric for 3 of the chairs and today I’m going to give you the how-to on sewing the covers {this version is much more tailored and “finished” than last week’s}.  I bought some gorgeous gray linen over the weekend at our local Hancock Fabric on sale for $6.99/yard.  It takes a little less than a yard per to cover one chair.  I mentioned that I was going to refer to my sewing book, but didn’t really have the patience to sit down and read their directions {I’m more of a look-at-a-picture-and-figure-it-out type sewer} so I looked on the Pottery Barn website and tried to copy their version {which, by the way, is on sale for $159.00 right now}.  Here’s my version and simple tutorial:

I started by measuring my chair.   To make sure I had plenty of fabric when I sewed and to make it easier on myself, I just cut squares for my pieces, even though the chairs get more narrow towards where the seat and back meet.  I measured a couple times so I wouldn’t make any mistakes when I cut my fabric like I’ve done a million times I hear can happen, and wrote them down.

Then I cut my squares.  I cut one for the front of the backrest, one for the back of the backrest, and one square for the seat.

Then I pinned the front of the backrest and back of the backrest together, and sewed 3 straight seams.

Keeping my fabric wrong side out, I pinned the seat square to the backrest piece.

And sewed that seam as well.

The last step is to sew the “skirt” piece to the seat and backrest.  I cut a 5″ wide strip of fabric that was long enough to cover both sides and the front.  This strip of fabric will be pinned to the seat cushion fabric, as well as to both sides of the backrest {you can see how my pins go around and down near the back to attach everything in the picture below}.

The last step is to hem the skirt.  Simply double fold your fabric all the way around and sew it up.

I took the time to press each seam open to give it a nice finished, tight seam.

I think each chair took about 30 minutes and cost less than $7.


I think the soft gray paired with the fun graphic stenciled print will be perfect for the dining room.  I can’t wait to set them around our new table!




These are the fabulous blog parties I link up to each week:

DIY Showoff: DIY Project Parade

I Heart Naptime: Sundae Scoop

Skip to My Lou: Made By You Mondays

Today’s Creative Blog: Get Your Craft On

Tip Junkie: Tip Me Tuesday

Home Stories A to Z: Tutorials and Tips Tuesdays

Not Just a Housewife: Shoe Me What Ya Got

Blue Cricket Design: Show and Tell

Hooking Up with Hepworths

Shabby Chic Cottage: Transformation Thursday

Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

CSI Project: Challenge

5 Days, 5 Ways

Remodelaholic: Blog Link Up

30 Handmade Days

Serenity Now

Tatertots and Jello: Weekend Wrap-Up



  1. Hey Jessie… Impressive! Can’t wait to see the table! I even logged on yesterday in hopes that you had posted it. Lol That is on one of our next projects as well… We are going for a modfied version of the farm table from ana white’s site.

    • Thanks, Kelly! I’m antsy for the table too:) I promise, we’re getting close! Finishing up the legs and underneath support and we’ll be done. I’d love to see your table when it’s done! Good luck:)

  2. Wow. These look amazing! Now you’ve got me thinking…. ;) Visiting from Tip Junkie.

  3. OH My! I love this project. I am pinning it! Please link up to my party- “Cowgirl Up!”. It is a linked linky, so when you post it on my site, your project will appear on 4 different blogs. I know everyone will love this! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great job on the slipcover. thanks for joining cowgirl up and I sure hope you come back again next week.

  5. wow, I have been wanting to do covers for my dining room chairs (which match yours) for awhile now and just could not motivate myself to wrap my brain around it. You just took all to work out of it for me and saying it just took you half an hour each is the clincher. I have time for that! thanks so much for this, I appreciate the kick in the pants (so to speak)!

  6. These look great! You did a fabulous job!

  7. You did an excellent job the chair cover! Thanks for sharing the tut:)

  8. Great instructions and a beautiful outcome! Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Nicely done! It looks fabulous, Jessie!

    Thanks for linking up at Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL!

  10. Oh, so nice! Will you, pretty please, consider sharing with my readers at ?



  11. Thank you for the instructions. I’ll be working on mine today.

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  13. I’m so glad I found this on Pinterest, as I am planning on making these for the summer. I am going to put a pleated skirt on mine, I’m not sure how long it will be, I’ll have to do some experimenting to see what looks the best.
    Thanks for this simple tute, it taught me what I needed to know.
    I recently made slipcovers for my wing-back chairs, so this should be simple. (Keeping fingers crossed)
    Hugs, Cindy

  14. I just purchased 6 Parsons Chairs from Craigslist and wanted to make covers for them. I found you your blog and it’s just what I needed to get the project started. Thanks!

  15. my parsons chair does not have a straight back it curves. I got about the same measure i added it and came up with 5 yds am i right i don’t want to buy if i am wrong. I would appreciate an answer. Thank You

    • Hi Yolanda,
      I’m not sure of the exact measurements of your chair, but I would go with what you measured. I always measure a couple of times to be sure, but go with what will fit your chairs. Good luck!

  16. Jessie,
    I purchased instructions from a seller on etsy to slip cover a chair like yours. Her instructions suggest that a yard is sufficient for one chair, but that it should be 54″ wide. I was hoping not to have to purchase expensive home decor fabric… looks like you were also able to purchase a yard as well, but was it 44″ or 54″ wide? Thanks. Your instructions are fantastic. I will need your instructions to help me complete my project. Unfortunately, that costly tutorial I purchased did not come with any pics… uhg.

  17. Adele Dentremont says:

    Hi – I have looked in all the local shope for a good and not too difficult pattern for the four parsons chairs I bought recently. I have what I think is great fabric. Pleae advise how I can can obtain a pattern from you and the cost. I appreciate your help in this project. Thanks, Adele

  18. I like what you did; but, do you think that some kind of pleat would be needed between the seat and the front of the back. Because when people sit on the chair, wouldn’t they start pulling on that seam. Or maybe some kind of seam tape.

  19. Thank you for the great idea of inside out sewing! I was thinking about how I can reupholster a parsons chair without having to use a staple gun and another guide showed a decent design but yours is much easier. I may be able to even do it with a single sheet of fabric and a bunch of needles as you did. Once again great idea on inside out.

  20. Mohseena says:

    Great post! Thx! Im going to do that plus add a peplum in the down bakside of the back rest and and bow on top :))

  21. Jessie! I just ran across this tutorial. I have had fabric for my parson chairs about six months, and this is the BEST tutorial I have found. I have been sewing for many many years but for some reason I have been stumped as to how to cover them. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your talent. Besides a pretty young woman I love that you can sew and create.
    Hope your Christmas is wonderful.
    Sincerely, Sandra, Retired in AZ

  22. Howdy I am so happy I found your web site, I really found you by mistake, while I was
    researching on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I
    am here now and would just like to say many thanks
    for a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog (I
    also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at
    the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will
    be back to read much more, Please do keep
    up the awesome job.


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