Making Slipcovers for Folding Chairs

by Karren Doll Tolliver

Handmade chair covers can add sophistication to a wedding reception without a lot of expense.

Table decorated for a wedding reception. image by Gina Smith from

Items you will need

  • Folding chair
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • 2 ribbons

Slipcovers help a formal wedding reception or event space look special. You can dress up mismatched or old folding chairs with slipcovers sewn from a simple pattern. Making the slipcovers at home lowers costs because you will not have to rent slipcovers or more expensive chairs. In addition, you can more easily match the colors of the formal event by making your own chair coverings.

Step 1

Measure the chair from the bottom of the back legs to the top of the chair. Then measure down the front and across the seat to the floor. Add these two measurements together and add two inches for seam allowance. The total is the length of your fabric.

Step 2

Add two inches to the seat width for seam allowance and you have the width of your fabric.

Step 3

Cut the fabric to these length and width measurements. You should now have a long piece of material two inches wider than the chair.

Step 4

Turn the fabric under a half inch all the way around and press. Turn under another half inch and hem with a sewing machine. Hem the ends of two ribbons as well. The ribbons can be wider or longer depending on how large you prefer the bow or knot at the back.

Step 5

Put the fabric over the back of the chair so that it is even with the floor in back. Drape it smoothly over the front of the chair to the floor at the front. Stitch a ribbon to each side of the fabric on the front of the chair where the back of the chair meets the seat.

Step 6

Tie the ribbons at the back of the chair, and the slipcover is done.


  • Cut the cover several inches wider than the chair for a more luxurious-looking slipcover. Avoid making slipcovers longer so they do not drag on the floor.

    Use contrasting fabric and ribbons. This is an especially good idea for a wedding color scheme.

    Use fabric glue instead of stitching the hems if you do not have a sewing machine.

Photo Credits

  • Table decorated for a wedding reception. image by Gina Smith from

About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.