Using Slipcovers

An easy and often affordable way to change the look of an upholstered piece of furniture is a slipcover. Not only can you change the color or fabric, these nifty fixes are easy to launder. With a busy household of children and pets, using slipcovers is a great alternative. Welcome to our monthly DIY blog hop and the focus for April is Furniture. At the end of my blog, please continue reading to see what the other talented ladies are contributing.

Yard Sale Find

Last year, I scored 4 fabulous Parsons chairs at a yard sale for $50. The lines and scale of the chairs are exactly what I am looking for in our dining room. However, the yellow buffalo check did not match at all. And the chairs are badly stained.

As you can see in the photo below, this yellow checked fabric DOES NOT go with the color scheme or formality in the dining room.

Great scale; wrong fabric

Since I did not want to go to the expense of re-upholstering four chairs, AND I did want a similar style to the existing chairs, slipcovers are a great option…especially for a dining chair.

Finding the right dimensions and color

You would think there is a standard Parsons chair size, but I can confirm that is not true. Measuring is key here. Make sure you measure, measure and measure again. Since I did purchase the two camelback upholstered chairs from Ballard Design for the ends of the table, I am looking for a similar white fabric. As you know, there are a million shades of white.

Ballard Designs does send fabric samples with the content and care of each. I do not want a fabric I will have to dry clean so I narrow my search to twill, which is 100% cotton.

Looking at the fabric samples in different light during the day, the Super White twill is the winner. Now I carefully watch for sales and discounts (as Ballard Design is frequently having sales) in order to obtain the best price possible.

Fabric is clean using Bissell Little Green

In the meantime, the yellow checked fabric on the chairs is cleaned with our handy, dandy Bissell Little Green machine (best purchase EVER!). When the slipcovers arrive, I am so happy that they fit perfectly! Now it is time to put on the slipcovers.

Using a hand held fabric steamer I am able to easily get the packing wrinkles out and tightly secure these slipcovers. Amazingly, they fit like a glove.

Cost Savings

Below is a cost comparison of purchasing slipcovers vs. buying new chairs.

Yard Sale Chairs (4) $50.00 vs. 4 newly purchased Parson chair frames $988

Twill Slipcovers (4) $177 (sale) vs. upholstery ?

Total cost: $ 227.00 / $69.25 per chair vs. $291.25 per chair (new)

I love the look of these smart, white, crisp chairs around our dark dining room table.


If someone were to spill something on the chair during a meal, I can just take it off and throw it in the washing machine. With twill, I can use a stain remover too. You also have the option of using a Scotch Guard product for extra protection.

We love slipcovers here at Bella Terra because of the wear and tear on our furniture from our family and pets. Do you use slipcovers? Now off to the DIY Blog hop!

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Andrea from Design Morsels shows how to Update Furniture without Paint.

Design Morsels

Chas from Chas Crazy Creations is sharing her Reclaimed Wood Dining Table and Chairs.

Kim from Shiplap & Shells makes a 100-year old cabinet into the perfect bedroom built in here.

Niky from The House on Silverado makes an Easy Makeover with Paint on her kitchen bar stools.

Tarah from Grandma’s House DIY makes a custom hickory workbench and shelves.

Kippi from Kippi at Home demonstrated a DIY chair upholstery project here.

I hope you enjoy all these great furniture DIY ideas! If you have time, please leave a comment as we all love those!