How To Make A Ruffled Chair Skirt

November 18, 2019

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Dress up a wooden chair with a ruffled skirt to add some charm. Skirted dining chairs, rocking chairs even high chairs - check out the easy tutorial and all the tips for this simple DIY.

How to make a ruffled chair skirt

Last week, I spent a lot of time in my living room. It was unseasonably cold outside, so I decided to take advantage of my fireplace and curl up in front of it to work.

Unfortunately, while the room was toasty, the view was less than stellar.

This is what I saw...

Painted Wooden Captain's Chair

...Hmmm. Not great. I liked it better than before it received its painted makeover, but my beloved chair was still missing something. It was bland, stark, cold and the fabric really didn't have any pizzaz.

Poor little chair. It had so much potential when I pulled it out of the trash. Like Charlie Brown's little tree, I knew it could be something amazing. I just couldn't seem to get it right.

My first attempt was a quick fix. I replaced the cushions and that was ok for a while. Then this summer's paint job helped to lighten it up, but still, the more I stared at it, the more I knew it needed help.

My original thought was to reupholster the cushions in a better fabric. I even grabbed what little I had left from my kitchen valances to see it would work in the living room. It was gorgeous no doubt, but it was very light and didn't contrast with the couches. Boring.

Then I started to think about the amount work recovering those cushions would be...piping, zippers...um...no. I vetoed that idea. I needed a quick and easy DIY.

What To Do With Fabric Scraps

So instead, I grabbed my scrap fabric bin and decided to use my skirted kitchen chair for inspiration. After all, that is truly my all time favorite makeover project. I figured why not try to do something like it with this little treasure.

As luck would have it, tucked into the bottom of the bin, I found my old scrap fabric box pleat banner. Bingo.

DIY Fabric Ruffle

I knew it would look great in the room and it was already done, all I'd have to do was staple it on. Of course, it wouldn't be enough on its own, so I layered it over the new kitchen drapery fabric, taped it all into place, took a picture so I could obsess about it in bed

And I left it there, mocked up, overnight.

Fabric Chair Makeover

The next morning, I woke up early, ready to conquer the job, when I noticed that the curtain fabric had fallen away during the night. Only the small ruffle was still attached to the chair and it looked amazing.

It was simple, clean and just the right color. I was hooked on the look and ready to go when I realized that I didn't have anymore of that fabric to complete the job. Always a snag.

I knew I was on the right track though and had a plan, so I flipped that chair over and got started.

How To Make A Pleated or Ruffled Wooden Chair Skirt


How To Skirt A Wooden Chair

First things first, I flipped the chair over so it would be easier to work on. This way, I could clearly see where I needed to staple things, minimizing the chance of hurting myself...which is always a consideration with power tools.

And speaking of...this is my tool of choice. It's the only power tool I own and I use it all the time. I've mentioned it before and people always ask about it, so here it is. It's the Arrow 9100K PowerShot Pro Electric Staple Gun.

It's helped through way too many projects to count and I cannot imagine doing any of them with a regular staple gun. I just don't have the strength. This way, it's a tap and go.

Arrow 9100K PowerShot Pro Electric Staple and Nail Gun

I started by stapling the already pleated scrap banner onto the chair. I wanted it to be as long as possible, so I placed my staples as close to the edge of the bottom of the frame as I could.

Stapling Fabric To A Wooden Chair

When I was done adding the banner, I had to do something to cover the rest of the chair, since the banner was only long enough to go across the front and a teeny bit of each side.

Luckily, I had some Waverly leftovers, including a red Country House Toile, that I thought would blend well.

Creating Fabric Pleats With A Staple Gun

Now this one wasn't already pleated or ruffled and sewn together like the banner, so I had to create the gathers as I stapled. It was actually a pretty easy process. I just folded the fabric over and placed a staple where the fabric overlapped.

For tighter ruffles I would make gaps between pleats smaller, for bigger ones, the gaps would be larger.

For example, the structured box pleats in the front appeared very ruffled. The newer side fabric, less so. When I was done, it looked like this.

Creating A Fabric Furniture Skirt

I could've cut it before I stapled it, but this was the only piece I had to work with, so I wanted to make sure it was going to be long enough for two sides.

Furniture Skirt DIY

Once I knew it was going to work, I measured how long I needed it to be and cut very carefully to ensure a straight line.

My husband was a little worried that the mix of fabrics wasn't going to look right, but I think it work out very well.

Wooden Chair Makeover

I love the mingling of patterns, it's interesting, but honestly unless you really look closely here, it's hard to tell that they aren't the same.

SKirted Scrap Fabric Chair

It was finished in less than an hour and now, with its coordinating pillow, it looks outstanding. This is how I envisioned it when I hid it in the bushes all those years ago.

I finally got it right. I guess third time's a charm.

It's much more at home in my cottage style living room and I'd say that my view has improved dramatically.

Cottage Style Fabric Chair

So much so that now I can't get enough of it. My husband laughs at me, because when I'm in the room I won't sit in it.

I prefer to look at it.

I mean, really now, wouldn't you?

22 comments:

  1. Boy Kim you surely did get it right. Your brain is amazing. Love your coordinating pillow too. You think of it all.

    Cindy

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    1. Thank you so much, Cindy. I just knew I could do better...and it only took me like 10 years!! Ha!!

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  2. Love the little chair with the white paint.. and the ruffles at the bottom are darling! Doesn't matter if the fabrics don't exactly match.. you can hardly tell, and I like it that way.. also the matching pillow pulls it all together. Now that's a view to behold! Marilyn (Oregon)

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    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn!! I really do love it…and like you, I think the mix of fabric is fun. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

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  3. I love the way the chair looks with the ruffle and the fabric is beautiful and matches the pillow! You are so talented with your sewing skills Kim!

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    1. Thanks Julie! I’m getting better with the machine for sure…lucky for me this one didn’t require any sewing. That’s my favorite kind of sewing project. Hahaha!

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  4. I love how you figure things out, Kim. It looks just like it was meant to be together and I agree with your eyes, it is a beautiful view..Happy Monday..xxoJudy

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    1. Thank you so much, Judy! I guess things happen the way they're suppose to and in their own time. Happy Monday! xoxo

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  5. That is a clever and pretty idea. I love the chair.

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    1. Thank you, Betty! I think I just got lucky with the right scraps. I guess it pays to keep everything!

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  6. I love it! It looks so cozy and comfortable. I don't blame you for not wanting to sit on it because you just want to look at it!

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    1. Wow, Briana, thank you so much for the very kind words! Now, I just have to make sure no one else sits on it. 😉

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  7. Wow! It is so cute! It makes a world of difference. I'd be looking at it too!

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    1. Thank you, Mari! It's funny how different it looks with that silly little ruffle. I guess it really is the little things!

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  8. Perfect-perfect-perfect! It looks so much more down-home and it even looks more comfortable now. Great job--and good mix of fabrics,too. xo Diana

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    1. Thank you, Diana! I have to say I agree with you...much more down home and comfortable. I should've done this years ago!! xo

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  9. You just have the "know" with how to bring fabrics together to create a beautiful thing of beauty! I love how your vision came out perfectly, even though your husband was a bit worried... he should know better by now, lol! The transformed chair is gorgeous Kim, I just love it! It feels so nice to sit in a room and enjoy the view, I do agree :)

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    1. Thank you, Marilyn. I don’t know if it’s a gift or a curse, but I definitely know what feels right to me when it comes to decor. When it works out, it’s great, when it doesn’t, well…I have a lot of seam ripping to do!! Ha!

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  10. Kim, this is fantastic. Well done! My mom and dad bought me a chair for $1.00.. I did a post about it awhile back. Atticus helped me give it a paint job and my husband helped me put on new fabric. Funny thing.. I like to just look at the chair too. I have sat in it and all our company sit in it and say how comfy it is. Hee Hee me and my $1.00 chair.

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    1. I remember your chair, Carla and I think it's fantastic! Can't do better than a buck and I'm glad I'm not the only one who sits back to stare at the pretty every now and then. Here's to our chairs!!

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  11. Yup, yup, yup. That totally works Kim. She looks so cute now with her little pleated skirt. Does she have a name? Me thinks she needs a name :D

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    1. Thanks Michelle! She is so pretty, she does deserve a name. I'll get working on that immediately! Thanks friend.

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