Reupholstering a Nursery Rocker

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com

 

I recently recovered these outdated cushions for my sister-in-law to surprise her while she was in the hospital recovering from a c-section:

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
My brother-in-law had repainted her black and adding these new cushions completed the whole pink, black and white nursery look for my new niece!

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
The easiest way to recover foam cushions is to use a seam ripper to remove the old covers and use them as your pattern….then you’ll get a perfect fit!

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
I carefully removed each cushion cover and pinned each piece to the new fabric to cut out an identical piece:

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
I marked any pleats with my disappearing ink pen….

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
….and then pinned them into place.

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
Matching the pleats, I place the two pieces for this particular cushion together and then sewed all the way around the edges leaving the back open to re-insert the cushion.

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
Here is the finished bottom cushion turned right side out:

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
To close the backside of the cushion…

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
……I turned the edges inward on the backside of the cushion, pinned the together and used a blind stitch to close.

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
Some cushions are made of multiple pieces and are slightly more difficult….but if you break the cushions down into pieces you can easy recover them as well. Just approach each cushion as its own project!

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
You can see how this one had two pieces:

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
I left the cover on the top piece (the piece with all the fancy stitching):

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
I simply stitched any indentations into the cover…..

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
……by just adding a stitch through the new fabric and straight through the foam, knotting the thread in the back of the cushion.

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
Here you can see the stitched indentations. Then I basted the edges of the zebra fabric to the edges of the original cushion cover using a needle and thread.

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
I laid the 2nd piece of the cushion cover on top of the one just finished…….

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
……..and pinned the edges together.

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
Then I carefully sewed the edges together (a little awkward with the thinner cushion attached….but go slowly and it works fine).

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
Turned the pieces right side out and then inserted the other foam piece.

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
I didn’t want to have to buy new hardware for the straps that attach the cushion to the chair….so I made tiny sleeves for them….

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
….and opened up a small area on the back of the cushion with a seam ripper to slide each strap into place and then resewed the cushion shut.

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
For these side pieces, I didn’t want to mess with the hardware either, so I made slipcovers for them. I just traced the pieces, added seam allowance…..

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
….and then stitched the sides together. I just serged the ends to finish since they were hidden once attached to the chair.

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
Finished cushions! Better than new because they were custom!

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
Perfectly coordinated nursery:

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com
Even the name painting I made my sweet niece Cari before she was born matches!

How to recover / reupholster a nursery rocker via lilblueboo.com

Comments

  1. Amy says

    What an amazingly timely tutorial! I just spent a half hour scrubbing chocolate out of my beige rocking chair cover (looks just like the one you did). Time to recover–they shouldn't make rocking chairs in light colors. Thanks!

  2. Lesley Valentine says

    You are brilliant! Thank you so much. I have been trying to wrap my brain around attempting something like this. Thank you!!

  3. Shari and Amber says

    I always thought you were a little bit crazy, now I know you are a lot crazy 😉 haha! JK! But seriously, the time and dedication to doing it and photographing it…well, just plain amazing!!! You ROCK!

  4. Attilio says

    how so pretty…you're reminding me of when my parents got me a wicker relaxing chair for my room (aged 21 – loooong time ago!) i then did new covers to match my curtain, duvet cover etc. the same chair has now moved with me to my marital home and soon i will be revaming the cushions AGAIN to match the childrens room,as that is our next imminent project! hopefully the kids will love it as much as i did!
    becky

  5. Kestlyn says

    How beautiful that turned out! My mom and I used the same method to recover a $10 chair for my first apartment. If you have someone to work with it makes the job lots of fun! I hope your SIL loves her refashioned room :)

  6. crystal_crtr2 says

    How long did this take you total? My grandma's Birthday is Feb 14th and I think it would be an awesome gift for her if I redid her rocker. She has one similar to your sister's. Is that just regular cotton fabric or special upholstery fabric?

  7. SAMZE says

    Amaaaaazzzzing! Have been thinking about doing this myself with cushions for our rattan chairs and trying to figure it out in my head. Thank you soooo much for sharing this tutorial–it is sooo helpful. You are so amazing and generous to share your creativity with us. That room looks fabulous! Thanks again! :)

  8. Rachel@oneprettything.com says

    That's gorgeous! What a lucky SIL. Thanks so much for sharing the process with us, I'll be linking.

  9. Skooks says

    These kind of projects intimidate me sometimes, but I think the end result looks to be well worth the effort. Great job! This summer I'm going to be doing something similar when I make new couch cushion covers for my mother-in-law. :)

  10. Jo Archer says

    What a fab and funky room. The rocker looks amazing. You have inspired me to finally re-do my the seat pads on my kitchen chairs. A project long over due!

  11. Tanya says

    Excellent job! I need to redo the one in my dd's room. It was one of my first sewing projects and I'm embarrassed everytime someone sees it!!

  12. Kathleen says

    That is amazing! I wish you were my sister-in-law. :)

    Thanks for the tutorial. I have a chair in mind that I'd love to redo like this.

  13. Katie says

    Ashley, you never cease to impress me. Seriously. Could you please post next on how to reupholster my couch? I think I could handle the seat cushions, but I'm a little worried (freaked, actually) about the back and sides. Or, you know, you could just use my couch as an example for a tutorial or something if you want. :) Great job on the chair!

  14. Helen190390 says

    wow! so gorgeous! although i have no need anymore for a rocker chair, i may just have go on a search for a chair to re-upholster!!

    love your blog!

    hollie-in-bloom.blogspot.com

    helen x

  15. thewinkingfrog says

    It looks wonderful! Thanks for the instructions – now I can attempt mine, which has migrated to the living room and really needs freshening up.

  16. Mauri says

    Thanks so much for the tutorial!!!! I have always wanted to redo the fabric on my rocker cushions but haven't had the guts to tackle it. Now that I am pregnant with my fifth I think I might give it a go! So excited to get rid of that 90s dark green floral print! :)

  17. Sheena says

    Love…love…love it!! I need you to come live next door to me so that I could be inspired and you could teach me your ways:)

  18. Heather :: AFD Jewelry :: says

    Oh, how I wish I could actually *successfully* do this! We just moved Leila's rocker into the baby's room and I discovered that Leila went in there and drew all over it. Not cute.

    What a cute room!

  19. Heather says

    hi! this is great, thank you!! i have that exact rocker and was JUST thinking about recovering it last week. perfect! quick question, how mnay yards of fabric did it take? thanks!

  20. Angela says

    Hallelujah! I was googling this exactly and found your tutorial link on another blog. I have a customer who sent me her cushions to recover and I have been dreading doing this. I don't care for these kind of orders. I have new hope! May the sewing Gods bless you! Not only so helpful but so well done. Thankyou

  21. Patti D says

    I'm a newcomer to your blog and I'm glad I found it. I have been hired to recover the same rocker. I have reupholstered before but I wanted to see if there was an easier way and I think you just showed me. THNX

  22. The Ericksons says

    Wow! This looks great! Just wondering how much fabric was needed for this project? I have a glider in need of a redo and would like to know approx. how much fabric to buy BEFORE I rip it apart, LOL!

    • Meg says

      I bought 5 yards to do mine, and could have done it with 3. But it never hurts to have too much!

      • Linds says

        I am going to do it for the rocker in my baby’s room! (due Oct) What type of fabric did you use?

        • Meg says

          I used light denim. The thicker the fabric, the more sturdy it will be so it really depends on how thick the cushions are (mine were SUPER thick foam, so had a lot of tension when sat on).

  23. vonFRINKenhagen says

    I have a glider that has the same color cushions. I'm in a time crunch before baby gets here…how do you think dying the cushions would work? In a big tub? Sounds like a good idea in theory…

  24. vonFRINKenhagen says

    I have a glider that has the same color cushions. I'm in a time crunch before baby gets here…how do you think dying the cushions would work? In a big tub? Sounds like a good idea in theory…

    • Linds says

      Did you try this? I think I am going to! I think I will still seam rip the cushion on the backs, then dye and sew back on. Sounds like a good idea to me! Same situation here, altho I see your comment was a couple of years ago. =P

  25. keri says

    You did a very good job on the nursery rocker! You are so patient with it by the way. I had never made something like that even if I love doing things with my hand.
    hardwood furniture

  26. Nicole Solomon says

    Awesome! Hope to do the same thing on my glider. I would also like to know how many yards of fabric you used? Thanks!

  27. Barbara says

    I plan to recover a rocker like you recovered for your niece’s room. The problem that I have is I don’t have the fabric that covered the back pad and seat pad. Do you have any idea how I can make a pattern from the foam back and seat so that they will fit nicely? I would really appreciate any help that you can give me. I have searched and searched and am having trouble finding any advice in recovering with out the orginial material to use as a pattern. Thank you, Barbara

  28. Marisa says

    LOVING this tutorial! I just picked up an amazing rocking chair at a yard sale and was curious how I would replace the hardware portion–now I know how! Thanks a million!

    But one question–what type of fabric did you purchase for this project? Does it have to be something heavy?

    • Meg says

      I don’t know if she’s answered your question of not but something heavy would be best. You can always do it in whatever you want, but a heavy fabric will hold up much better. I used a light denim fabric, but I’m thinking canvas would be better (I wanted a solid light grey color, and that wasn’t available in canvas). Before you use canvas, though, make sure your sewing machine is able to sew through it or you will regret it hours into hand stitching!

  29. says

    I am very thankful you created this tutorial. I had an idea in mind as to how to do this, but your step-by-step instructions are wonderful! Great room, by the way!

  30. Martine says

    This tutorial was exactly what I was looking for! I’m convinced I just saved myself a lot of money. Thank you!

  31. Katie says

    I am going to be recovering my glider cushions (although I think I’m going to make slipcovers rather than completely removing the old ones so that they’re easy to wash) but this was SUPER helpful! Thanks for taking the time to put it up.

  32. Vicki C says

    Several people asked for the yardage for that fabric and I did not see your reply. I too would like to know–have promised to recover glider/rocker for good friend of my daughter whose second baby is due in April…
    Could you give the specifics about fabric type and wide and total yardage?
    Did you treat with Scotchguard?

    • Mary P says

      I am wondering the same thing. My glider *really* needs to be recovered but I don’t want to start and run out of fabric, but buying a bunch of heavy weight fabric can get expensive too.

      • Meg says

        Don’t know if you had your question answered or not, but something heavy would be best. You can always do it in whatever you want, but a heavy fabric will hold up much better. I used a light denim fabric, but I’m thinking canvas would be better (I wanted a solid light grey color, and that wasn’t available in canvas). Before you use canvas, though, make sure your sewing machine is able to sew through it or you will regret it hours into hand stitching!

        I bought 5 yards to do mine in because I was sure I was going to mess it up and then not be able to get fabric. I could have done it with 3 yards. Light denim fabrics sell for $12.99/yd and canvas for $10.99/yd at JoAnn fabrics (and they ALWAYS have 40%-50% off coupons on email, in their ads, and I’m assuming on their website! I paid $32 for 5 yds of denim).

  33. Jenni says

    I would like to know the total yardage that you used to cover your cushions.
    Could you also give the specifics about fabric type?
    Did you treat with Scotchguard?

  34. Cathy says

    Hi Ashley,

    We picked up a glider a few weeks ago. It desperately needs reupholstering. I washed the cushion which helped, but it I want to make new ones soon. However, I like the dimensions of the ones you made. Do you by any chance have the measurements for the fabric and cushions?

    Thanks,
    Cathy

  35. jules says

    Hi,

    Just what I was looking for–thanks! Quick question–how did you expose the hardware for the arm cushions without tearing a hole in the slipcover?

    Thanks!

  36. says

    I love this tutorial! I have a super comfy glider/rocker that I now use in my bedroom as a quiet reading spot but HATE the light blue denim-ish material it’s in. I’ve been meaning to recover it and this tut is going to help me do that!! One question that I didn’t seem to see anywhere was how much material did you initially start out with?? I am always worried about overbuying or underbuying material at the store for a project! I was thinking…. 3-4yards? Or is that too much??

  37. Meg says

    I’m doing this with a yard-sale purchased glider right now…already painted it and did the foot stool! I had a question for you on the back cushion–is the creme color of it the original OUTER fabric of the backpiece? Or is it just the fabric for the cushion itself (that was underneath the outer cover)? The backpiece on mine is the same way with the decorative sewing and I’m terrified to rip the seam of it to find that it’s just stuffing and no case underneath, but the outer fabric is a corduroy fabric so if I cover it with the new denim fabric it will look different than the rest of the cushions!

  38. Sophia says

    Wow, this was so helpful! It took me 4 hours to cover just the seat cushion, but I am new to sewing and took my time, following your instructions step-by-step! The seat turned out awesome!! I have 2 questions if you can help-
    1. My seat back cushion is all batting, no foam pad! Should I still take the front and back covers apart and do the same thing I did with the seat, then restuff with batting, or is there a better option? I’m afraid I won’t be able to restuff it evenly…no one wants a lumpy back cushion!
    2. How did you sew the side cushions so that the hardware was still exposed and able to clasp, but the original cover was covered?

    Thanks again for the awesome tutorial! I’m hopeful I can finish this project before our son arrives in about a month from now! :)

  39. says

    Thanks for this tutorial! I reupholstered my glider following your steps for the seat and back cushions. Then I had a good handle on how to attack the arm rests and ottoman! I linked your blog on my post. Thanks again! :)

  40. says

    Hi,
    Your tutorial was awesome! I used it to reupholster my nursery glider and it turned out amazing. Here’s what it ended up looking like:

    I did love your choice of fabric :)

  41. AllyL says

    I just have a question about the back cushion. I took off the old fabric and there was only one cushion not two. I am having a difficult time figuring out how to stitch the detail in the middle of it so it will fit tight and nicely. Any ideas?
    Thanks a bunch,
    Ally

  42. Kristy says

    I am in love with this tutorial. I am going to pick up my glider from a friend tomorrow and I will start this immediately after. This is going to be my all time favorite project when it is done. I can’t wait to get going on it.

  43. says

    So happy I found your website! We just bought a glider and ottoman for $10
    It’s already in great condition but would love to recover it with some fun bright fabric! Thank you for such an easy step by step tutorial!!

  44. Tabitha says

    So my boyfriend just brought home a glider that was given to him from a friend. It was free so I was VERY happy about that. But, it needed some love. The actual wood part of the rocker is in great condition but cushions were horrible. Stained and even some mold spots. I looked all over for replacement cushions but they were all to expensive for me. So in my search i came across a blog that mentioned this tutorial and it was all I needed to accomplish my goal. 28 weeks pregnant wasn’t the most comfortable project, but I am about half way through and I feel proud of myself for making the best of what I had. Thank you Ashley :)

  45. Maria says

    This sounds like exactly what I’ve been looking for. However….. none of the pictures came up. I’m reupholstering a rocker that I got when my son was born, 1971. It has been in contineous use and not a thing wrong with it, except it is straight out of the 70’s.
    If you can help me in any way, I’d be a happy camper,.
    Thanks, Maria

  46. barbara says

    how much do you want if I send you the fabric? i love it but i dont know how to use a sewing machine lol

  47. Amy says

    Great tutorial, thank you! I bought the same yellow rocker on Kijiji. It was stained and ugly. Here’s the “after” shot:

  48. Cheri Torres says

    OK! Well the only thing I know about sewing is how to sew a button back on…I am really loving the way you redid this nursery chair…How much would you charge to re do my cushions???

  49. Debbie says

    So excited to find this. I am going to reupholster my cousins rocker. Her first baby is Due in December! Thanks for sharing!

Trackbacks

  1. […] It was my dream to have a gliding rocker in the room, and I found one at a yard sale for $35! It was a white glider with cushions covered in denim. I didn’t like the cushions, but I decided I could recover them. (I found the most helpful online tutorial for recovering gliding rocker cushions here.) […]

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  3. […] fabric all picked out to recover my glider cushions – probably will make some slipcovers, but this tutorial is very inspiring!  And I’m thinking that I’d like to make a custom changing pad cover, like in this […]

  4. […] List Price: $47.04 Your Amazon Price: $47.04 Outdoor Double Glider Cushion Fabric: Skyworks Multi Outdoor Double Glider Cushion Fabric: Skyworks Multi 9TT-2B-017-REO-26 Fabric: Skyworks Multi Chair …el="nofollow external" title="Outdoor Double Glider Cushion Fabric: Skyworks […]

  5. […] List Price: $47.04 Your Amazon Price: $47.04 Outdoor Double Glider Cushion Fabric: Skyworks Multi Outdoor Double Glider Cushion Fabric: Skyworks Multi 9TT-2B-017-REO-26 Fabric: Skyworks Multi Chair …el="nofollow external" title="Outdoor Double Glider Cushion Fabric: Skyworks […]

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  7. […] naps but definitely not in its current condition. I decided to re-upholster the glider and found this tutorial by Lil Blue Boo on how to do it. Even though the shape of my glider was different and I […]