How to Make a Chair Cozy

Chair cozies are a simple sewing project and an affordable way to give your chaircozytoile1dining room a whole new look.  They can be made to fit any style dining chair, even those with arms.

I made them for my dining chairs a few years ago using red toile fabric.  Even though toile is not as popular now, I have not grown tired of it … maybe because I only bring it out for the winter season.  I chose to do only the side chairs and not the two with arms.  I really love the way the covers visually cozy up my home.

chaircozytoile3

Recently, we made chair cozies to update some of the dining chairs at the Manor House .

mhchairbeforeafter

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1:  Cut two pieces of fabric, a couple inches wider and longer than the back of the dining chair.  If your fabric has a pattern you will need to make sure it is straight both vertically and horizontally.  For our project  we used drop cloths that we first striped with paint to resemble an old french grain sack.

Step 2: Position the wrong side of the pieces on the front and back of your chair and pin them together, following the contour of the chair back.  Since our fabric had a stripe down the middle we needed to be sure to center it.  Also, because our chairs had arms, we needed to leave the sides open so it was only necessary to pin across the top of the chair.

chaircozy2

Step 3:  For the Manor House chairs, we added a cording detail along the edge.  To do this you  need purchase cotton cord filler.  Some Walmarts still carry it pre-packaged.

cordingpkg

You can also buy it by the yard at Hobby Lobby and Joann’s.    Cut the length you need by laying it along the edge of the chair and adding an extra inch for hemming later.

cordmeasure

Cut a 2 1/2 wide strip of fabric, the same length as your cording.  Lay the cord in the center of your fabric strip  and fold the fabric over it.  You can pin it or just hold it in place as you sew.  Key to sewing this is a zipper foot attachment.  This allows you to sew real close to the cording.

cording

After you’ve sewn it, trim the raw edge down to 1/2 inch.

Step 4: Trim away the excess fabric on your chair cozy by cutting 1/2 inch from your pin line all the way around except for the bottom.

chaircozy4

If you are adding the fabric cording, you need to remove your pins one at a time, insert the cording, lining up the raw edges, and re-pin.

chaircozy3

Step 5:  If you are leaving the sides open, turn the raw side edges over, even with the edge of your chair and pin in place.

Step 6:  Remove the cozy and sew along your pin lines.  You’ll need to use the zipper foot attachment if you are doing a corded edge.

Step 7:  Sew the hem on each side edge of your cozy (if you are leaving the sides open).  I use the standard sewing machine foot and place the edge of the foot on the edge of the fabric to keep a straight line of stitches.

Step 8:  Turn your cozy right side out and place on the chair. For the bottom hem, fold the bottom edge under to the appropriate length and sew in place.

mhchairafter

Step 9:  If your cozy is open on the sides, you’ll need to add some ties to the bottom to keep it in place.  You can use ribbon or you can make the ties using 3 inch wide strips of fabric.  Fold the two long edges of your fabric towards the middle, then fold in half.  Iron and sew.  Cut four pieces about 8 inches long and sew them to the front and back of your cozy at each corner.

Step 10:  Use the chair cozy you just completed as your pattern for additional cozies.

For the Manor House chairs, we also needed to cover the seats.  We did this by making a slipcover out of the same fabric and using velcro tabs to hold it in place.  We also did an embroidered monogram  as an added detail.

mhchairs

Chair cozies are not just for dining chairs … consider using on a desk chair or counter stools for a fresh look.

chaircozytoile2

As you plan your decorating projects for the new year, this might be just the kind of affordable and easy project that would be fun to try!

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