Making slipcovers for your dining room chairs is a simple way to give new life to old chairs, hide years of stains from rambunctious and sloppy children or just update your dining room with a new look. You do not even need to know how to sew and can make slipcovers from fabric, pillowcase, or other things you might already have on hand. These are so easy; you can even use them as part of your decorating strategy for holidays, birthdays, or other events.
All you need are some fabric, fabric glue, a measuring tape, an iron, and some ribbon that coordinates or contrasts with the fabric.
Measure the total height of the chair, from the top of the chair back to just above the floor. Then measure the front of the chair. To do this, start at the top of the chair, run your measuring tape down to the seat cushion, then across the seat cushion and continue to just above the floor. You now have the linear dimensions of the chair.
Add the two figures together and add 1-1/2 inches for seam allowances. Now measure the width of your chair at the widest spot. Cut a piece of fabric as long as the first two dimensions plus seam allowance, and as wide as the width of the chair plus seam allowances.
Iron the hems all the way around and secure them with fabric glue or sew them. Drape the cover over the chair and use pieces of ribbon to secure it to the chair. Once you know where the ribbons need to be placed, you can glue or sew them in place as well.
For quick changes, you can use pillow cases slipped over the back of the chair, or make your own more tailored slip covers by making large envelopes the size of your chair backs and attach ties to them along the side seams. This will, however, require some basic sewing skills. Place these over the back of the chair, make a knot behind the chairs, and you'll have an elegant and more formal looking slipcover that is still easy to make. Pair this with recovered chair cushions by removing the seats and the old upholstery, then covering the seats with the new fabric. Secure the new seat covers with a staple gun and reattach the seats. For a an even more finished look, sew piping in the same or contrasting color around the edges of the slipcovers and then trim the seat covers with the same piping.
If you are using folding chairs for a casual party, you can just slip t-shirts over the backs and tack the sleeves in place behind you. For a big game, you could use game shirts or college shirts and let the guests take them home as party favors. This would also work for a child's party. For a slumber party, you could use pillowcases that the kids could take home with them.