How to Make Chair Back Covers

How to Make Fabric Chair Back Covers for Kitchen or Dining Room Chairs

On a recent trip to JoAnns Fabrics, I came across a turquoise and white fabric. When picking it up to get a closer look, I knew immediately what I was going to do with it. Luckily, it was on sale and I didn’t even have to use a coupon.

DIY chair back covers in turquoise and white on dining chairs in dining room

I bought it to make chair back runners for my hand-me-down dining room chairs.

Making chair back runners are an easy-to-make alternative to full-blown slipcovers and can be made the no-sew way if you don’t have a sewing machine.

The name of the fabric is Akron-Panorama in Surf.  It is a Mill Creek Fabric.


I brought in some yummy pink peonies and one of my new boxwood globes to add some contrast and interest.


I love the mix of colors against the painted white and wood furniture.


I made the white knotted-back slipcovers that are under the chair back runners two years ago. I have a tutorial on how I made them – Simple Slipcovers


I didn’t want to make new slipcovers,  just add an accent of color to go with the bench I painted turquoise before the holidays.

Making these runners is quick and easy.  I sewed them, but they could be made using fuse or fabric glue if you don’t sew.


I simply placed a runner over each chair and tucked the back behind the knot in the slipcover. If I decide to remove the white slipcovers –


I could simply add ribbon ties to each side of the runner so that I could tie them onto the chairs.


I used ribbon, but you could make ties from the fabric.


How To Make Dining Room Chair Back Fabric Runners

supplies needed:

  • Fabric – enough to cover the chair back and front, plus an extra inch all around to create a hem and finished edges.
  • Ribbon in a coordinating color:  4 – 14-inch long pieces
  • Scissors
  • Thread or fabric glue or iron-on adhesive
  • Iron
How to make a dining room chair back runner

1. Cut fabric to size needed.  Turn fabric edges over 1-inch and press.

2.  Sew or fuse edges with Iron-On Adhesive or fabric glue.

3. Sew or fuse ribbon on wrong side of runner where I marked the pink stars in the above diagram.

How to make a simple chair back fabric runner

4. Place over chair back and tie on.


If you don’t sew, no problem, you can still make these chair back runners. Find out how here:

dining room with white chairs and white DIY made slipcovers

Update:  I have painted the walls and chairs in my dining room since I posted this post.  You can find the updates here:

Related Posts:

Easy Sew Chair Slipcovers

How to Make Over a Boring Chandelier

No sew dining room chair back covers using white and turquoise fabric

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  1. Your chair back runner look awesome. I love the pop of color and fabric choice with your white furniture.

  2. I’m glad that I stumbled upon this post…thanks for the tutorial on the DIY chair runner. I would like to make a cool set of them for my chairs… Looking forward to more decor ideas from you :)

  3. Those are sooo cute, Diane! They give such a happy, springy feel to your dining room! Thanks for the great tutorial!

    xoxo laurie

  4. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Oh I LOVE them and both ways! You always pick colors and prints I just love. I could not love the fabric more. And you matched your adorable bench. Sheeh, I am so hopeless.

    So easy and I would have never thought of this. You really are the most clever gal.

  5. Shirley B. says:

    Dang Lady! You got it goin’ ON!
    Love your site, just found you today and adding to my favs!

  6. Beth@WelcomeLaneDesigns says:

    Love the colors in your dining room! Thanks so much for the tutorial; I’ve always wanted to try this.

  7. Cindy Eikenberg says:

    Oh Diane, I LOVE these! This fabric is gorgeous …my dining room chairs seriously need some help but they have they have a low back. Do you think think with adjustments these would look ok on a lower backed chair?

  8. I absolutely love these, its like an apron for a chair. I can picture these in my simplistic dining area. thank you so much for sharing. Off to JoAnn’s shortly.

  9. Love love love that fabric!

  10. Beautiful Diane! I love the pop of color!

  11. Chrissy Farnan says:

    LOVE this!!!!