How to Reupholster a Leather Armchair

A leather armchair.
  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 110-160
What You'll Need
Leather fabric
Staple gun
Flat head screwdriver
Seam ripper
Small hammer
Electric scissors
Nail head tacks
Sewing pins

Taking the time and knowing how to reupholster a leather couch or armchair can be beneficial in a number of ways. It will revitalize the appearance of the chair, and sitting on it will be more comfortable. If your armchair is worn and torn, purchasing a new one may be too expensive. Instead, reupholstering it may be a better option. Before you hire a professional to do the job, keep in mind that doing it yourself could save you a couple of hundred dollars in labor costs. Here is how to reupholster a leather armchair.

Step 1 - Remove Old Leather

First you must remove the old leather. Turn the chair upside down and carefully take out the existing staples using the flat head screwdriver or some other tool that is sturdy enough to remove them. Once they are out, the existing leather fabric should be free to take off. You may notice that it is sewn together at various sections. If this is the case, use the seam ripper to separate the leather and the chair, making sure that you do not destroy or rip it out of shape because you will be using this as a pattern later on.

Step 2 - Cutout for New Leather

A leather armchair.

Spread the new fabric on the floor and put the old leather pieces over it to use as a pattern. Secure them over the new fabric by pinning the two together. You now have two options for the next step. You can either trace the outlines of the old fabric onto the new and cut them out, or cut them out while they are still pinned together. Either way, use the electric scissors to cut them out. Now you have the set of new fabric pieces for your armchair.

Step 3 - Fit New Front and Rear Leather

Put the back of the chair together first. Lay the fabric flat on the rear of the chair and use the staple gun to staple it along the edges on the top part of the rear. Now do the front by positioning it into place and letting it run down the rear, as well. Staple it where you stapled the rear leather and pull it onto the front side of the chair. This will cause it to cover the staples at the top edge of the rear of the chair. Now staple it on the corners of the backrest area and underneath the rear of the fabric piece.

Step 4 - Fit the New Leather Armrest and Seat Area

A leather armchair.

Position the fabric on the armrest and staple it at the inner portion and at the back of the chair. Line up the fabric for the seat area and staple it on the bottom front edge. Flip it back, going back up to the seat area and staple it on the inside.

Step 5 - Cover Rough Areas

Cover the rough areas by cutting out strips of leather and sewing Velcro onto them. Pin them in places in the rear of the chair that have rough areas so they can be covered.