Upholstering Chairs with Oilcloth & a Giveaway!


Have you ever added a new color or detail to your home and then feel like you can’t have enough of it?

It started with the rug in our office and then my addiction to Sharpie Art kept bringing in more (warning- more is coming!).

Black and white – and now I am sharing about upholstering chairs with oilcloth – black and white oilcloth to be specific.  Actually, black and white oilcloth in the yummiest picnic check I ever did see.

And the added bonus?  When I spill my kids spill – it an easy peasy clean up.  If you are not familiar with oilcloth, it has a coating that is almost like a plastic so it acts like thick  fabric, but it is real easy to clean up.

So lets get right to how to do it.

My chair cushions are 18 x 20 and almost 2” thick.  I cut my fabric to 26” x 28” to allow plenty of room for stapling it to the base.  And in case you are wondering, this is me here – so no, I did not sew this project.  I am much more comfortable with a staple gun.

Center your cushion with the fabric facing down and make sure the pattern is straight.


I staples three staples on each of the straight sides which were the front and back of my cushions.  This can be done with one person – but seems to work better with two.  One to pull the fabric really tight and one to run the staple gun.


For the angled sides, we pulled in sections and then folded over underneath as needed to keep it tight.  We kept going in each direction heading towards the corners and keeping it tight.


Then we pulled the corners in and stapled them down.  I would recommend a staple ever inch or two.  We used 1/2’ staples and they worked really well.


Nothing fancy – but this is what the bottom looked like when it was finished.  It took us about 45 minutes to complete six chairs  – with each one getting a little quicker.  Then we simply screwed them back onto the chair frames.  Actually, I sat on the chair to hold it in place and hubby screwed them in from underneath.


I honestly and truthfully could not love them more.  How cute is that pattern and I love the black and white.  My girls keep telling me how much they like them too and that they are comfortable.


I know I have said this before, but just like when you give a mouse a cookie…

When you give a blogger some oilcloth – she may do a whole table setting and come up with a few fun projects.  Stay tuned for those coming over the next week or so…but, even better….


If you would like to try your hand at oilcloth –  I have some fun news for you…

First, are you at all familiar with Modern June?  I have long been a fan and had the opportunity to meet her last year at The Country Living Fair.  Her beautiful buntings were hung all over the fair and also grace my porch.

Not only can you buy oilcloth and laminated cottons through her shop, but she now has another book coming out with lots of adorable projects for your home.


At Home with Modern June

Look at some of the adorable projects she shares in the book..

pet mat


And Kelly is graciously giving away a small bundle of chalk cloth and a copy of her book to one lucky winner.

This giveaway is now closed!

Just leave a comment below telling me what you would make with some oilcloth and I will pick a winner at random!  Giveaway ends April 17th at midnight.

And if you would like to see what other projects and giveaways were shared, you can visit these locations.

Blog Tour for At Home with Modern June Dates



Thanks for reading and wishing you a day full of grace!


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87 thoughts on “Upholstering Chairs with Oilcloth & a Giveaway!”


  1. I’ve made pencil skirts for the grands, bibs(easy peasy to wipe clean,place mats for the Grands, Wrpped gifts from the scraps,tied small pieces arounf flower pots when giving a gift of a plant.Toss pillows for the patio, Oil-cloth is a favorite textile that I use often…….. So bright and cheery and fun!!!!!!!!!

  2. Laura your chairs are beautiful, the perfect combination of modern flair with nostalgic feel. I’d love to make some outdoor place mats for our pool area, every summer it’s a whole other space to decorate!

  3. Oh my, thank you for sweet memories of my grandmother’s kitchen table set for breakfast on an oil cloth tablecloth! I thought it was extinct. Love your chairs and am sucker for black and check anything. I am going to check out Modern June with whom I am not yet acquainted. Maybe I will win 🙂

  4. I would love to make a cute shower curtain! I have been thinking about what I could do in the kids’ bathroom and this is the answer. Thanks!

  5. Love the chairs. I would cover some footstools for my aging dog to jump up on the bed and couch. No more muddy paw stains. I could just wipe them off–a stylish and convient lift up for my distinguished best friend.

  6. I would love to cover some cushions on stools and make a table cloth for my outdoor table! Love your covered chairs!

  7. I love what you’ve done with the chair covers. Who knew a Sharpie could cause such inspiration 🙂 I was going to do something with Sunbrella but I think the oil cloth would be much better. We have a pergola and I wanted to make a roller shade because the sun in the afternoon hits us right in the face. If I made a shade then I would get some coordinating fabric to make a cushion for the bench and then I would HAVE to HAVE additional fabric to coordinate the chair cushions. I do see how a Sharpie could affect a domino effect. Whew I’m getting dizzy just thinking about all I could do.

  8. Love to make a tablecloth for my screened in porch table. Would be perfect for all kinds of weather! Just love oilcloth it brings back memories from school when our teacher would give each child a piece to use to play with clay!

  9. So cute! Loved the sneak peek at your table too! 😉 I would love some oilcloth to make lovely placemats that would be easy to clean up after dinner!

  10. I’d like to cover some small coffee tables with oilcloth. I’ve used it before for making simple pouches, but have not made anything for the home with it yet. Kelly’s book is inspiring and so colourful.

  11. I have never worked with this material… It’s so exciting all the possibilities!!! I would love to make a custom shower curtain… How fun!! Your chairs look awesome.. Thanks for the giveaway

  12. I will be making dog pillows…..lol….,with the oil cloth . The slobbers and drooling will be easier to clean. My dogs love a nice pillow!!!!

  13. Your chairs are a hit! Congrats on an awesome project. I would use oil cloth to make placemats for our outdoor dining table.

  14. I love the look of your chairs. I would use oilcloth to recover my patio furniture and make some new cushions for them. Thanks!

  15. What a super idea! I had heard of using outdoor fabric one time but I never thought about oilcloth!

    Perfect for dining room chairs or upholstered bar stools!

  16. I would love to make some precious pennants for my patio!! I love how they make everyday look like a party!!

  17. Love your chairs, what kind of paint did u use on your chairs, love them painted black and with the oilcloth what a great combination. I dont sew but i know how to use a staple gun lol. Love the black chairs with the dining room table to. You have such great ideas for all different kinds of projects. Thanks !!

  18. I have covered chairs as well…and yes…love it! Also, I am crazy about black and white check. My hubs and I have downsized to an adorable 2 bedroom cottage and I painted the walls all a warm tan and all the trim and doors are black. I even got unfinished kitchen cabinets and they are black. I use the black and white check in different places. Having this cohesive color theme throughout the small cottage makes everything look so crisp and best of all, ALL my holiday decorations from Easter Eggs to Christmas stockings goes GREAT with it.

    I think next I will work on a colorful outdoor curtain for my deck. The outside of my house is a beachy teal green with white trim and that pop of color would be awesome!

  19. I’ve been dreaming about this for a long time ~ I would cover my ancient farm table in the dining room!

  20. I would make several things for sure but I think liners for baskets for my office and pantry will be first!!! Along with kitchen appliance covers (kitchen aid mixer, vita mix and etc). Also I would make some pillows for my outdoor benches….whew! Now you’ve got me really thinking!!! Today is my day off! Headed to walmart now!! Love your blog!!!

  21. I could definately use oilcloth to protect my sofa from my “snack monster”. My sweet husband snacks on the sofa ALOT! Although I keep it covered,that cover needs washed weekly, ahhh. Since oilcloth is washable I could cover his side (at least) with oilcloth and wipe and smile. I will definately be watching for oilcloth. Thanks for the great info!

  22. Oh, would I love to have some brand new oil cloth to cover our outdoor picnic table and benches at the cabin. I usually just have to depend on finding enough of the same color at a thrift store. Count me in!

  23. I would use oilcloth for placemats and cushions for outdoor dining. Your black and white checks look so classic and fun at the same time. The book sounds like a great reference.

  24. Ater 4 years, it is time to make this house a home. I LOVE the chairs and shower curtain. I can also see porch chair cushions, a table runner, cloth basket on the bathroom counter…. Oh my. I guess its finally time to move in.

  25. I love the idea of the shower curtains! I am just wondering if you will stick to the oil cloth if you are wearing shorts and have sweaty legs? I can’t think that the kids would like that very much come summer. I live in Texas and even sticking to wood chairs isn’t much fun and I’m 60!

    Of course, the cats won’t let me have any kind of padding on chairs, they would tear it up.

  26. I Loooooooooove oil cloth!! A couple of years ago I covered an old door with some and made a desk top out of it.
    I have been needing to order some oil cloth for some outdoor chair seats. Many thanks for the great chance to win!

  27. Just visited the Modern June website and now have so many ideas! I think I would start off by covering my cupboard shelves which don’t have doors and then move on to making some pillows for our patio chairs. Living in the Northwest we always plan for rain – Summer usually starts in late July! Thanks for sharing this website and all the fun things you do with your home.


  28. We really need some cushions for our banquet (kitchen) table. I never thought about using oilcloth. Perfect!

  29. I have a chair just like yours and would love to recover the cushion. I haven’t tried oilcloth before, but have been wanting to for awhile now!

  30. The possibilities are endless but the first thing that comes to mind that I would like to make is a shower curtain and then maybe a coordinating valance for my guest bathroom.

    Love the chairs and the black and white check material.

  31. Very nice! I’ve not worked with oilcloth. I’m not sure what I’d make but I’d like to give it a try.

  32. I’m loving the idea of pet placemats! I’d like to take it a step further and make a mat for under my dog bed-he’s a mess maker!

  33. I use oilcloth to make zipper pouches for travel with fabric from Kelly’s etsy store. I would love to try this chair project too.

  34. I LOVE oil cloth. My oldest daughter is getting ready to leave for college. I’d love to make a laundry bag and a loner for her shower basket. It would be so easy for her to clean and not worry about staining regular fabric.

  35. I’d like to make cushions for my picnic table benches out of oilcloth. I already have a laminated cotton table cover for it made by Kelly.

  36. i love these ideas!! I have always wanted to try something out of oilcloth and now I have plenty of inspiration…
    first up, placemats for the patio table and some outdoor pillows and cushions. Here I go…..

  37. Great idea! I have some outdoor chairs that need recovering and I like this idea so much better than vinyl!

  38. I want to make an organizational caddy that hangs on the back of the car seat. I think the oilcloth would look great in my red VW Bug!

  39. I want to make a new shower curtain. I love the example in the book. Your chair seats look great!

  40. I would absolutely make a cover for my crafts table…that would be *perfect*….actually I had been thinking of doing this for awhile now! Thanks and cheers, Valerie 🙂

  41. I run a small in-home day care. Needless to say, things get messy! I would LOVE to make a tablecloth and recover my chairs just like you did! Thank you for bringing the wonderful world of oilcloth to me!!

  42. Great idea and super fast/easy – how can you not adore black/white…I am going to do this with my outdoor patio chairs, tfs…

  43. This looks like so much fun. I haven’t worked with oilcloth before but I can see so many possibilities. I absolutely have to try the shower curtains.

  44. I lived with my grandparents growing up, and seeing all this oil cloth makes me sentimental! We had oil cloth-covered kitchen chairs when I was really small. I love oil cloth, but I’ve never much worked with it. I have a cheap little toiletry stand in my bathroom that’d I’d love to line with oil cloth mats.

  45. So many memories brought forth with oil cloth. Growing up, it seemed there was a use for oil cloth everywhere. Hello Mom, need some more oilcloth? She was the oil cloth queen. thanks for a chance to win this book, it is so fun.

  46. I have just got so many good ideas myself. Like a matt to place under my cats litter box; and one for inside; or maybe cover the entire box. And a large matt for my bathroom tub. And a valance for my bathroom window; because the window is over the tub. And maybe try making a set of indoor shutters for the bottom of the window; that way you don’t
    have to worry when using the shower. Oh! I hope I when the book……………………..
    thank you
    Have a nice easter

  47. I would make placemats and outdoor cushions.. I grew up with oilcloth on our kitchen table almost 80 years ago!

  48. I would love to make placemats for my pugs. They are very neat eaters-they get every drop and crumb. But, they are kind of messy drinkers.

  49. Thinking the oilcloth would be a wonderful outdoor cushion….yellow pollen would wipe right off….we are covered in yellow pollen!

  50. This is so inspiring! Love the black and white checks, yummy! I know Spring has not arrived yet, but I’m already thinking about Summer and the hot, humid air on my front porch. Any cushions I have on my front porch rockers and benches are prone to mildew real quick like and in a hurry. I never thought of using oilcloth! I remember my Granny Godwin kept an oilcloth tablecloth on her kitchen table all the time. I would love to make some pillows for the porch, and also cover the tops of some porch tables I have. Right now, I have one covered in a piece of plastic tablecloth stapled (on the underside)so I can wipe it off. It would be nice to coordinate the pillows and the tables. Thanks for the ideas!

  51. How does the oilcloth hold up? Does it start to tear at the staples, or is it good? I can’t wait to try this out & just wondered if I needed to try to reinforce the fabric edges…