Upcyling over COVID

by | Mar 24, 2020

Hi Everyone,

I’m Rachel and I teach on SEFY, the Science and Engineering Foundation Year.

I love running, cycling and making things. Haven’t got massively into the iForge yet… bad timing corona.  But I have tried to use the laser cutter once and can’t wait to get back and make more things with the super fancy kit.

In the meantime, I’m going a bit more low-tech and have been upcyling a chair one of my neighbours gave me (hope she doesn’t want it back now).


What you need

This needed an old chair, some spraypaint and spray on varnish, about 0.5m of fabric, cut into the shape for the seat, a few tacks to attach the fabric, a hammer and some ribbon or trim to edge the seat with (though you would be fine without this, it looked pretty professional before I put this on).


Time needed

It took me about an afternoon, but spread over 2 days because I needed the spray pain to dry before I could put the fabric on.



  1. Cut the fabric to size, about 2-3cm larger than the cushion you want to cover in all dimensions (I used a thick upholstery fabric so it won’t wear out quickly.
  2. spray paint your chair. I applied a coat of primer first and then spray chalk paint and then spray varnish. I think you could probably cut the primer step, but the varnish was needed to stop the paint going dirty looking really fast and make it more hard-wearing.
  3. Nail on the fabric. Fold the edges under so it looks nice and neat, and watch out for your fingers. I don’t know how I managed to buy the most lethal nails in all of Sheffield. You probably could find some better ones, but make sure that the head bit of the nail is wide enough so it doesn’t just go straight through the fabric
  4. Glue on the trim/ribbon (or nail it if you aren’t sick of that already). Glue gin (haha I meant gun) or any other kind of glue you have is fine, or just ignore this step.


iForge danger warning 🙂

Don’t spray paint inside, or if you do, spread loads of newspapers or plastic sheet to protect your space, and open the windows to ventilate.

If you bash your hand with a hammer or poke a nail in it, it will hurt… don’t do this.

Maybe don’t paint all your landlord’s stuff unless you ask them first