Cath Kidston Studio: Chair Makeover

Welcome to Cath Kidston Studio! At this time of year we love nothing more than a project to occupy us during cosy nights in and drizzly weekends. Inspired by the creative process that takes place in our own Design Studio, over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing different ways for you to get creative at home, from crafty concepts to super seasonal recipes from our guest blogger What Olivia Did. We’ll also be inviting you to join us and get creative in store, with a programme of in store craft events taking place later in the season. Watch this space for more details!

To welcome you to our Studio, we invited our friends Juliet and Amanda, Design Consultants at Russell & Bawden, to come up with a cool, crafty make for the home. As Cath Kidston fans will know, when Cath opened her first shop back in 1993, she would often rework vintage pieces of furniture, giving old and unloved pieces a modern new lease of life…and that’s exactly what Juliet and Amanda have done here. So, whether you have an old chair that needs some TLC, or never need an excuse to go hunting for a vintage furniture bargain, this is the project for you. Just be sure to share the results with us via our social media channels!


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Chair Makeover

You will need
Old chair with drop in seat
Claw hammer
Tacks or a staple gun with staples
Piece of Cath Kidston fabric 10cm bigger than the seat (R&B used Woodland Rose red)
Dressmakers pins
Dressmakers scissors
Emulsion paint

How to
Remove the seat from the chair and put to one side.

Sand the chair frame to give it a key that the paint will stick to.

Paint the chair with a brightly coloured emulsion. Leave to dry – it may need a second coat of paint if the wood is still showing through.


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Remove the tacks from the edge of the chair seat, then remove the outer fabric. Ours had a calico layer underneath that we left in place.

Use the old chair cover as a pattern and pin it to the fabric of your choice (R&B used our beautiful Woodland Rose red).

Cut out a new seat cover. Place the new seat cover with the right side facing down onto the table. Place the drop in seat section of the chair so that it is centered onto the new chair cover.

Starting in the middle of one edge, either tack or staple the new fabric into place. Work outwards from the center towards the edge of the chair and then repeat with the other half.


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Tack or staple the fabric down on the opposite side of the chair, making sure you pull the fabric tightly as you go. By starting in the center and working outwards you will stop the fabric twisting. Once two sides of the chair are completed, repeat with the other two sides. Pleat and turn in the fabric at the corners to make a neat finish.

Drop the new seat into the freshly painted chair…et voila!


Cath Kidston Studio