Folding Camp Chair Cover

Step one: understand that this is not a period chair. This is a quick fix until such time that you acquire a real chair. Also good for extra seating on occasions that family stops in for dinner and you don't want your mom to know you can't afford real furniture...until, of course, you acquire a real chair.

Understand the bones of the chair. It isn't all 90-degree angles. This is a pin-and-fit pattern because so many chairs are made differently and are different sizes.
For best result, don't use horizontal stripes. Not only do they make you look fat, but it's a lot more noticeable if you screw up. To add a little weight at the hem, use something heavy, like an upholstery trim. Especially with lightweight fabrics (like that cotton/poly off the Wal Mart clearance table that you had no business buying in the first place), the trim will help keep cover in place so the legs won't show. It looks cool too. When choosing fabric and trim, consider things like mud. I wouldn't make a white chair cover with white silk trim, for instance...but that's just me.

Using measuring tape and chair to figure size, cut the lengths you need, with a few extra inches to allow for accidents and hems. Don't cut the width yet.

Lay the fabric over the chair, inside out. Use straight pins to mark where seams will be, lining up the grain of the fabric according to the floor hem. Don't pin it too tightly. If it's too tight, it will rip during use. You can always take in the seams, but it isn't always as easy to let them out.

Remove the fabric from the chair and stitch it together. Cut away excess fabric with a reasonable seam allowance. Serge or fold over your seams so they won't unravel. This thing is likely going into the washer several times during its lifespan, so you don't want the seams coming apart. Another option is to use double-fold bias tape--but that's more expensive unless you make your own, in which case it's more work.

In the back, you'll have some extra overlap of fabric at the arm since the arm is shaped funny. Mark a seam and stitch on the green line so the arm will fit properly.

If you want a cover that's a little more tailored looking, you can tighten up your seams a little and add gussets.

Now turn the cover right side out and try it on. I meant on the chair, silly.

When you do acquire your REAL chair, you can pass this cover on to someone who needs it--like the newcomer at his first event. Just make sure he knows it's a temporary fix!

If you have any questions, please email me at and include "Camp Chair Cover" in the subject line so I won't mistake it as spam and delete it.

---Ceara ni Neill

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