Rocking chairs are a classic addition to any home, offering comfort and style. However, after some time, the fabric or padding on your rocking chair can become worn out or damaged, leaving it looking tired and uncomfortable. Rather than replacing your beloved chair, why not consider reupholstering it? Not only is it a sustainable and cost-effective solution, but it can also be a fun and rewarding DIY project.

In this post, we’ll guide you through how to reupholster a rocking chair, giving it a new lease of life and bringing back that cozy feeling. Continue reading, as it only gets interesting.

How to Reupholster a Rocking Chair

How to Reupholster a Rocking Chair

Credit: The Copper Goose

Processes o how to reupholster a rocking chair

1. Gather Materials

The first step in reupholstering your rocking chair is to gather all the necessary materials. You will need the following:

  • Fabric: Choose a material that is durable and suits your style. It’s also important to measure the dimensions of your chair to ensure you purchase enough fabric.
  • Padding: Foam padding will provide the necessary cushioning for your rocking chair.
  • Scissors: Sharp scissors are essential for cutting fabric and padding to the correct size.
  • Staple gun: A staple gun is needed to secure the new fabric and padding to the chair.
  • Needle-nose pliers: Needle-nose pliers will help you remove staples and any other hardware on the chair.
  • Screwdriver: A screwdriver is needed to remove any screws or bolts on the chair.
  • Sewing machine: If you need to make any adjustments to the fabric, a sewing machine will come in handy.
  • Foam cutter: A foam cutter will allow you to cut the padding to size needed for your chair.
  • Optional: trimmings, buttons, or piping – These materials can add a decorative touch to your reupholstered rocking chair.

By gathering all these materials before starting the project, you’ll be fully equipped to tackle the reupholstering process.

2. Remove the old upholstery.

To remove the old upholstery. Follow these steps:

  • Disassemble the chair – Remove any cushions, armrests, and other detachable parts from the chair. This will make it simpler to remove the old fabric and padding.
  • Remove the fabric and padding – Use a staple remover or needle-nose pliers to carefully remove the old staples or tacks that hold the fabric and padding in place. Be sure to save any buttons or trimmings you may want to reuse.
  • Inspect the frame and make necessary repairs – While the old fabric and padding are removed, take the time to inspect the chair’s frame. Look for any cracks, loose screws, or broken parts. If you notice any issues, make necessary repairs before proceeding with the reupholstery process.
  • Clean the chair frame – After removing the old fabric and padding, clean the chair’s edge with a damp cloth or vacuum. This will remove any dirt or debris that may have been collected over time.

By carefully removing the old upholstery, inspecting the frame, and cleaning the chair, you’ll have a solid foundation to work with when reupholstering your rocking chair.

3. Add new foam and padding.

After removing the old upholstery, adding new foam and padding is the next step. Follow these steps to add new foams and padding to your rocking chairs.

  • Cut foam to size – Use a foam cutter or a sharp pair of scissors to cut the foam padding to the exact size of your chair.
  • Attach foam to the chair frame – Use a spray adhesive or a staple gun to attach the padding to the chair frame. Make sure it is evenly distributed and secure.
  • Add padding over the foam – Once the foam is attached, add a layer of padding over the top. This will provide an extra cushioning layer for your reupholstered rocking chair.

Adding new foam and padding will ensure your rocking chair is comfortable and supportive. Ensure the foam is cut and attached correctly, and the padding is evenly distributed.

4. Cut and attach the new fabric.

Once the foam and padding have been added to the chair, it’s time to cut and attach the new fabric. Here is how to do it:

  • Measure and cut the new fabric – Lay it over the chair, ensuring it is aligned correctly. Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the material to the exact size of the chair. Be sure to leave some excess fabric for the seams.
  • Attach the fabric to the chair frame with a staple gun – Starting at the center of the chair, use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the chair frame. Work your way outward, pulling the fabric taut as you go. Make sure to staple the material to the frame securely but not too tightly.
  • Smooth the fabric and trim any excess – Once the material is attached, smooth out any wrinkles or bumps. Trim any excess fabric that may be sticking out.
  • Add optional trimmings, buttons, or piping – If you want to add some extra decorative touches to your reupholstered rocking chair, now is the time. Add any ruffles, buttons, or piping you like using a needle, thread, or glue gun.

By carefully cutting and attaching the new fabric, you’ll ensure your rocking chair looks and feels brand new. Take your time to ensure that the material is aligned and stapled securely. And if you want to add any extra touches, now is the time.

5. Reassemble the chair

The final step in reupholstering your rocking chair is to reassemble the chair. Follow these steps:

  • Reattach any removed parts – If you removed any cushions, armrests, or other detachable parts, now is the time to reattach them. Use a screwdriver to reattach any screws or bolts that may be necessary.
  • Inspect the chair and make any necessary adjustments – Once it is reassembled, inspect it for any loose parts or unevenness. Make any adjustments required to ensure that the chair is stable and comfortable.
  • Enjoy your newly reupholstered rocking chair – Congratulations! You have successfully reupholstered your rocking chair, giving it a new lease of life. Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful and comfortable new chair.

By reassembling the chair carefully and inspecting it for any necessary adjustments, you’ll ensure that your newly reupholstered rocking chair is safe and comfortable. Enjoy the satisfaction of completing a DIY project, and enjoy many more years of use from your favorite piece of furniture.


Reupholstering a rocking chair may seem challenging, but with the suitable materials, tools, and guidance, it’s a fun and rewarding DIY project that can give new life to an old piece of furniture. Following the steps outlined in this post, you can reupholster your rocking chair and customize it to your style and comfort preferences.

Not only is reupholstering a rocking chair a sustainable and cost-effective solution, but it’s also a chance to showcase your creativity and DIY skills. So, whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, why not try reupholstering your rocking chair? You’ll be amazed at the transformation and satisfaction of completing a project you can enjoy for years.