Re-upholstering Rocking Chair Cushions

What You'll Need
Chair cushion
Dense foam for cushion or pillow form
Tape measure
Craft paper
Staple gun
Sewing machine (optional)
Thread (optional)

Reupholstering rocking chair cushions is an inexpensive way to update furniture. You can choose any fabric that suits your design aesthetic. It is advisable to use a sturdy fabric for longer wear. Whether you choose to sew your cushion for ease of cleaning, or staple it to a board, the result will make your rocking chair look fresh and new.

Step 1 - Determine Size

If your chair has screwed-in-place rocking chair cushions, use a screwdriver to remove it from the chair. Remove the existing fabric from the cushion. This will be the pattern to follow for your new cushion. If the padding is worn, it should be replaced as well. If the fabric can be removed without damage, lay it on a piece of craft paper and trace it. Otherwise, measure the cushion's width, length and depth to calculate fabric requirements.

Step 2 - Determine Fabric Requirements

To make a pattern for your rocking chair cushions, add at least a standard seam width of 5/8 inch to all measurements. Since most upholstery fabrics are supplied in 60-inch widths, you will need to calculate what will suffice for the total required length, in order to purchase an amount that will be wide enough for the cushion. For example, if the seat cushion is 14 by 14 inches and has a band width of 2 inches, the width of 14 inches for one side is determined: 1 yard = 36 inches, and therefore 1/2 yard = 18 inches. This will be enough for 14 + 2(5/8 inches seam allowance) = 15 1/4 inches. You'll have plenty of fabric to spare.

Step 3 - Sewing the New Cushion

If you have chosen to sew new rocking chair cushions, remove the covers for cleaning. First, make a pattern. The simplest cover is without a band. Nonetheless, you must make the cover large enough to fit the pillow form. Measure the pillow form, adding 5/8 inch to every edge. Cut two pieces this size for the front and back of the cushion. Sew three edges, right sides together. On the last side, leave an opening to insert the pillow form. Hand-sew the open end closed after placing the cover over the form. On the last side, you can sew in Velcro to allow for easy removal when dirty.

Step 4 - Cushion on Backboard

If your cushion is on a backboard, you need to cut the fabric about 2 inches wider all around the form. Tape or glue dense foam to the board. Place the fabric over the foam face up and showcase any patterns in your placement. On a clean surface, place the cushion with the fabric and board face down. The foam must be the same size as the board. Beginning on one edge, you will staple the fabric onto the board all around the edges, pulling it snug. Turn under and fold the corners to avoid bulkiness. Trim excess fabric to within 1/4 inches of the staples. Tape the fabric edges to prevent fraying. If desired, glue a piece of thin board or sturdy cardboard over the fabric to give a more finished look. Reattach your new rocking chair cushions to your rocking chair.