Chair Makeover Ideas | Vanity Stool

Are you looking for some creative chair makeover ideas? Then you have come to the right place! Let me show you how easy it is to makeover a vanity chair with a creative twist!

The following post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and then buy something, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you! Thank you for supporting my blog. full disclosure here.

graphic showing before and after of vanity chair makeover ideas

how can I make my chair look better?

You might look at a chair like this little vanity chair and wonder how can you make it look better?

vintage vanity chair with needlepoint fabric removed from seat

It’s cute and all, but how can it look even better?

I say, of course you can make this sweet chair look even better!

vintage vanity chair with needlepoint fabric removed from seat

how do you revamp an old chair?

There was a time when needlepoint was a very popular upholstery material for a chair. Especially if it wasn’t a chair that would get alot of use.

It was a great way to show off the workmanship of someone who was skilled in needlepoint. I did a bit of needlepoint in high school but it just wasn’t my thing.

Back in the day when Home Economics was an elective that was offered in school, you can bet I signed up any chance I could. In fact, I spent all four years of high school in some sort of home economics class – sewing of every kind from clothing to home decor.

My sewing teacher, Mrs. Moore, was my idol and she arranged for me to come to her department during every study hall I had. That was such a happy place for me during some very turbulent years.

Anyway, let’s get back to this sweet chair!

closeup of needlepoint chair seat on vanity chair

how do you update chair upholstery?

One easy way to update chair upholstery is to just simply take off the old fabric and replace it with new upholstery fabric.

A few staples later and you can call it a day!

BTW, when I remove the screws from a chair seat like this, I either put them in a Ziploc baggie or tape them to the underside of the wood section. You don’t want to lose those!
vanity chair with seat upholstery removed and screws taped to underside

the old is gone, the new has come

So, back to one of my chair makeover ideas and the upholstery on this vanity stool. Regular upholstery fabric would work perfectly. But we tend to think outside of the box here in my workshop!

A couple of my Instagram friends were working on patchwork projects and I thought, “Hey, I could do something like that on this vanity chair!!”

The project started with a base fabric big enough to cover the whole seat section with some extra for wrap-around.

Old sheeting is the best for this. You could also use muslin or drop cloth. Any light-colored scrap will do!

vanity chair with seat lining fabric laying on top

When you are thinking of chair makeover ideas, decide if you want a formal look or an informal look. The look I had in mind for this vanity stool makeover was less formal and a bit more farmhousey.

Fabric scraps came to mind. And then I thought torn edges would be so adorable! We like the use-what-you-have-on-hand approach here at Reinvented Delaware!

Tearing natural fiber fabrics like the ones I am using in this project is easy! It can seem a bit weird the first couple of times you do it, but this method works like a charm to get the frayed edge and on the straight of grain to boot!

Make a tiny snip on the edge of the scrap…..

woman clipping fabric

Shop the Post!

….and then tear the fabric!

I realize that might seems scary, but trust me, this method of tearing fabric, especially natural fiber fabrics, is a breeze! Try it on a scrap to conquer your fear!! You’ll be hooked!

woman showing how to rip fabric on straight of grain

fabric tearing video

Here’s a little slow-mo video to watch how I tear the fabric. I repeated the steps around all four sides of each scrap piece.

You’ll end up with lots of sections like this. Each section is a different size and I didn’t measure anything. I made sure to have enough to cover the section of base fabric I had to cover the chair seat.

You’ll also end up with a lot of loose threads!!

plan the layout

It’s best to find the center of the base fabric before adding the scraps to it. To find the center, just fold the fabric in half and then in half again. A little pressing gives nice center lines to work with. Working from the center out will help when covering all of the base fabric with the scraps.

woman ironing fabric for chair makeover ideas

Shop the Post!

a lucky find

See that doily? That was a lucky find in a box lot from an auction. Look closely and you will see the word that was created with the yarn.

scraps of nuetral colored fabric for vanity chair makeover ideas

My first torn edge scrap of fabric went smack in the center of the base fabric.

The wrinkles add to the time-worn look, don’t you think?

scrap of fabric with frayed edges

From there, I continued to add the scraps working my way to the outside edges of the base fabric. I also kept in mind that this chair seat is a circle. Using the circular wood piece helped me to not go to far off the outside edges. I only needed to go enough to wrap around.

scraps of fabrics for vanity chair seat

A few pins held the pieces in place as I took the patchwork to the sewing machine.

added over time

To go along with the patchwork theme, I thought it would look awesome if the pieces appeared to be added over time. A little patch here and there over the years.

woman sewing scraps of fabric together for chair seat

So, I kept that in mind as I stitched, lifting pieces in the areas it made sense.

You can see this in the image below. The solid piece was added first so I lifted the blue grain sack style fabric when I reached the spot where they were layered.

woman showing how to sew fabric scrapes together for chair makeover

You can also see that once all the pieces were stitched, I missed a few spots. There was a tiny section of base fabric that was still exposed so I just added another patch!

You might also notice that one of the scraps has a hem. That was a section of dropcloth from a pillow project. The hem just adds a bit more texture to my library of chair makeover ideas!

woman showing spot that still needs a fabric scrap sewn to it

attach to base

Once all of the patches were sewn on, I started to attach them to the wood base section of the chair. Just a few staples to hold it in place and then I added some covered cording leftover from another project.

This chair makeover idea sounds more like a project leftover idea, doesn’t it??

chair seat with fabric and pneumatic staple gun laying on top

Shop the Post!

how to decorate a wooden chair

That’s it for today! We’ll look at how to decorate this wooden chair in the next post.

What are your thoughts on chair makeover ideas? Share your ideas in the comments and we can inspire each other!

And please, accept my apologies if you want to keep all the scraps of fabric now!!

vanity chair with patchwork style chair seat

chair makeover ideas

Thanks for stopping by for this tutorial! If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook! We love to show many of the behind-the-scenes of our projects in stories.

Pinterest is a great place to store ideas and inspiration so feel free to pin any image to your furniture makeover idea boards, DIY boards, or your home decor boards! Follow us while you’re there!

graphic showing before and after of vanity chair makeover ideas

see ya next time!

Thanks again and have a great day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Patti Donophan says:

    The slo-mo video was very good, I liked the sound effects (so cool-sounded like a tree falling). The little vanity chair is so cute with all the scraps, the effect you wanted really shows up. The etched doily is a real find! Decorating the chair, hmmmm, that takes a little thinking. Looking forward to what you come up with!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      So funny about the sound effects!! I never even thought about that!! Can’t wait to share the final reveal!! Thank for stopping by Patti!!

  2. I love using patches on reupholstered furniture! This is a great idea and I love how it turned out.

  3. The shape of that chair is so CUTE! Love the fabric combination for the patchwork cover. So creative as always Cindy!

  4. You removed a beautiful needlepoint (it looks like needlepoint to me) seat cover to replace it with scraps of messy fabric??? Shame on you!!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Rest assured, the handcrafted needlepoint will be loved in another way! Believe me, when I say that I value the work others have put into so many pieces we come across in our travels. The needlepoint will find new life in another project! Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!