No Sew Chair Back Covers

This project is for all of you who do not sew, but like to have decorative fabric treatments and accessories around your house to add color, pattern, and style.

I made the sewn version of the chair back covers back in the Spring  – many of you liked them, but told me you didn’t have a sewing machine and asked it I could write a post on how to make them the no-sew way.

No-Sew-Chair-Back-Cover-How-to-make--turtorialNo Sew Chair Back Covers to Make for Dining Room Chairs

Now that I am decorating for Fall, I changed the chair back covers to bold black and white stripes. I wanted to warm things up. I chose the horizontal stripe because it is a classic and will look nice anytime of the year. I made them without making a single stitch – the easy no –sew way.

Online Fabric Store

I found the fabric online at the OnlineFabricStore.   I have become an online fabric shopping junkie.  I have found the best deals are online and they have every color, pattern, and style in one place, I don’t have to run all over town looking for fabric inspiration.  The downside, you can’t actually touch and feel the fabric to see the colors and size of the repeat. If you like to see the fabric in your hand before buying, you can order a sample for $1.

supplies needed:

  • Fabric – I used Premier Prints Vertical Black/White Fabric  I needed 3 1/2 yards of fabric to make 6 chair back covers. See how to measure your chairs below.
  • Ribbon to coordinate with fabric – I used 48” of ribbon to make  4 – 12” ties for each chair
  • Fabric glue – my fave is Beacon Fabri-Tac, but any fabric glue will work.  You can find fabric glue at any craft or fabric store.
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins

How to figure out Yardage Needed to Make No-Sew Chair Back Cover:

Measure back width of chair  x  back height of chair x 2 (front and back) and add 2 inches to these measurements for hem/finished edge allowance.

  • The back width of my chair was 16”, the back height – 24”.   I added 2 inches  to the 16” width. I doubled the 24” height to 48” and added 2 inches.
  • For each chair I needed to cut my fabric 18”wide x 50” long.   Optional: I added 6 more inches to the height/length of my measurement since I wanted the back to hang longer than the front. 
  • Keep in mind the way the stripes or your fabric pattern runs before ordering and cutting fabric.

*** Wash fabric before cutting so shrinkage will occur before you cut.

Cut fabric to size.


To make finished edges for each cover -Fold over all sides, 1/2-inch and press. Fold over all sides again another 1/2” and press.


Determine where on your chair you want the ties to be.  You will need four, two on each side – front and back.  Mark placement with a straight pin.  Cut ribbon into 4 – 12” pieces.

When the cover is finished and tied on, it will look like the illustration below.


How to Attach Ribbon to Sides of No Sew Chair Back Cover


1. Remove pin for one ribbon tie placement.  Add a dab of glue under and on top of one end of ribbon. Place end of ribbon under fold.

2.  Add a dab of glue under fold and on top of ribbon.  Fold fabric fold over it and press with fingers to adhere.

3. Bring ribbon across fold.

4.  Glue down with a dab of glue.  Let dry.

5. Ribbon section that goes over the fold should have glue under it and look like photo.  Repeat steps for each tie.


6. Once each ribbon tie is in place, run a line of glue under the rest of the fold all around the cover.


7. Press with your fingers to smooth and adhere fabric to glue. Repeat on all sides.

8. Press each cover and place over chair and tie on.

Covers can be washed normally after 24 hours.   Do not dry clean.

I like to use this type of cover on my dining room chairs because they are so versatile and give me lots of seasonal options for change.

I can tie them on over a bare chair as shown in the tutorial.


Or without a tie over my existing white chair slipcovers , as well as tuck the backs into the knotted back of the white slipcover.

Quick and easy no sew chair back covers add a lot of impact for little time and cost – my kind of project.  I wish stripping the chairs would be as easy.


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  1. Well written with perfect pictures

  2. Would you have a pattern for a chair seat cover with ties? I think two separate pieces for the chair cover? What would you suggest? One for the back and one for the seat

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jane – I don’t have a pattern for chair seat cushions with ties. I did however make cushions for my kitchen chairs without ties. You can see that post here:

      As for how many pieces to use to make seat cover, do you want to cover a cushion or just have fabric covering the top of the chair and tied on along with the chair back cover? I just want to make sure I am understanding your question correctly, before answering.

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  4. I wonder if you take the no sew to an even easier level by using table runners and quickly attaching ribbons for trying?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deb – Absolutely. :-) Using a pre-made runner and ribbons will make making a chair back cover an Instant chair back cover.

  5. Catpainter says:

    The stripes look smart and crisp, but I am really impressed that you matched stripes on all of the chairs so that they look uniform when pushed up to the table and finished each with a smaller stripe ribbon tie. Love your attention to detail – makes a huge difference.

  6. Sibby Leith says:

    I’ve completed my no sew chair back covers and they look so cute and a fresh look for the summer. Your instructions were spot on and just enough creativeness and easy. Thank you so much, I’ll be looking at some of your other projects. I’ll be sending you a picture.

  7. Sibby Leith says:

    I’m so glad I decided to search the web before tackling my project. I just pulled out my sewing from my cluttered closet, I’m still measuring and sizing as to how to sew back covers for my kitchen chairs. Everything is going back in the closet and I will be getting ready for my ‘no sew’ project, will keep you posted and send you photos when completed.
    Thank you so much for sharing your crafts.

  8. Sue Guzman says:

    I would LOVE to do this! However…I have rounded back chairs :( Is there a way to modify the project? Thank you so much for the idea! :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sue – It is not as easy when the chair back width is wider at the top or bottom and not straight up and down as well as rounded backs. The only way I think it could work is if you fitted the fabric to the back and front and then on one side seam use Sticky back Velcro to open and close the side to get the cover on. Place the Velcro in the seam where it will be hidden.

      You can also make a runner style back for the chairs. Make the front and back round (follow the shape and cut the fabric the same size. Seam them at the top. You would tie this type of cover onto the side with a fabric or ribbon tie.

      See these two posts, they may give you a better idea of what I am talking about – just cut the fabric out round not straight.

  9. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Thank you ever so much for all the wonderful ideas for beautiful fixer up per decors and so many wonderfully CLEAR and easy to follow instructions and pictures (I need both pics and a book). lol

  10. Everything you do is just so beautiful and feels so…doable. Truly amazing.

  11. Love this idea! It should definitely help many people. Great job!

  12. How did you know this was on my project list?! Can’t wait to get some fabric and glue and go to town on my chairs. Thanks for sharing this super easy method.

    Amy W