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An Upholstered French Chair and a Pleated Skirt

Needing to upgrade your old chairs but can’t justify the price tag? I updated these old caning back chairs that I found for 5$ a piece at the local thrift store. Now, normally one might see caning and think, heck no! However, there are easier solutions to fixing up these chairs than repairing the caning. Take a look at the makeover I gave these lovelies by creating an upholstered French chair and a pleated skirt.
DIY Upholstered French Chair and a Pleated Skirt
The caning on the far back chair was destroyed, but I decided to take a chance on them anyways. After all, it was only a $10 purchase! I looked up how to fix caning and quickly decided I would not be fixing it. I would have to come up with some other way to cover the caning.
I decided to create an upholstered French chair!
DIY Upholstered French Chair and a Pleated Skirt

How to Create an Upholstered French Chair and a Pleated Skirt

First, paint or stain the wood on the chair to the desired color. I also decided to leave the caning on the chairs for added support instead of removing it. Next, add a good quality batting to the front and back of the caning. I then covered the edges surrounding the batting with a border to seal in the fabric with a nicer look.

Instead of purchasing heavy duty upholstery fabric for the recovering, I simply bought a $10 drop cloth I bought at Ace Hardware. I have loved working with drop cloths. They are very durable and a great cost saving option. And I also really wanted a neutral color, so this provided me with all my options.

Furniture makeover - upholstered French chair
I have always loved the look of upholstered chairs but they are not the best idea with little kids. As such, I decided to make a pleated slip cover to go over the top of the cushion. This provided an easier alternative to cleaning if something gets spilled – I can simply throw it in the washer.
New upholstery makeover for my upholstered French chair
Tutorial for this Upholstered French chair


Didn’t they turn out just lovely? I’m pretty happy with that $10 purchase, plus supplies. If you are afraid of that caning chair project, try this upholstered French chair instead!

Kitchen chair makeover
Happy DIY-ing!
You might also like…
these before and after projects: DIY dresser turned bench tutorial, or this DIY chalky finish curio cabinet.
DIY Chalky Finish Curio Cabinet


Start at Home Decor




  • Patricia Kocsis

    Great idea to upholster over the caning. I have passed up damaged caning before, but I will keep it in mind from here on out. P.S. I got my vote in for your dresser re-do!

  • Stephanie

    Gorgeous, what a transformation! Question: your flooring, is it wood? It is gorgeous, you're very blessed to have such a great floor to work with!

  • Oh wow Brooke, those chairs are so pretty! Featured at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Debra

    The slip covers turned out very nice.

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