Slipcover Fail

 My newly built farmhouse table has been begging me for some new slipcovers. The greenish ones were never my favorite and they don’t fit well at all – the backs are too tight and the bottoms are too loose. Most of the time they look like this….

slipcover fail

I bought the chairs on Craigslist, I want to say it was $80 for five of them. One turned out to be broken beyond repair, which was okay because I only needed four. The other four I ripped apart, pulled off the broken springs, added plywood, foam and reupholstered. They don’t look at all pretty underneath the slipcovers, but they’re dang sturdy. The only “process” picture I can find is this one…Craigslist chairs

(I just noticed that this picture was taken on Levi’s birthday, one year prior.)

Anyway here is what they look like under the slipcovers. I had no idea when I bought them that the rounded and flared backs would make finding slipcovers nearly impossible.

impossible slipcovers

I decided to try and make some new slipcovers. I’ve only ever sewn square things before (pillows, curtains, tablecloths) but I’m always up for teaching myself something new.

Anyway, my slipcovers were a total fail. I worked on one for a week, but I couldn’t get things to fit quite right and my attempt to make them feminine just looked dumb. So I decided to give up…and I NEVER decide to give up. If I only had to finish the one then I would have done it, but I had to make THREE more. No thank you.

So here it is, my failure…

ruffle slip cover fail

ruffle bottom slip cover

I’m not going to lie, this was the most frustrating project I have ever done. I may have cried a little. Sewing just isn’t my thing.

It actually doesn’t look tooo terrible in those pictures…let’s get closer.

impossible slip covers

So of course I’ve been eyeing new chairs ever since I decided making slipcovers wasn’t going to happen.

I love these from Crate & Barrel, they would make our dining room look very industrial farmhouse…and I love me some industrial farmhouse. Not to mention you can just wipe them down – a big plus in any moms book.

Crate & Barrel chairs

…but at $199 a pop I (coughthehusbandcough) won’t even consider them. (UPDATE!)

World Market has these for $99…

World Market chairs

 I don’t like them as much (can you even push them in?) and they would still add up to $300.

I also like these chairs from World Market. True, they’re not that different from what I have now…except that they’re made for slipcovers, no funky curved and flared backs and rounded seats. Plus new slipcovers come out every season…fun!

fabric chairs with slip covers

 I can’t seem to find the price of just the chairs on the World Market website right now (weird), but I think I could get three with slipcovers for about $300.


We could spend about $10 and make another bench.

two benches at table

I’m just afraid that two benches would look like a picnic table. Plus sometimes you just want to kick back in a chair, you know?

So what do you think…galvanized chairs, slipcover chairs, bench, or make do with what we have?


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  1. I think you should stick with what you’ve got! I love the shape of those chairs, even though that’s what makes them so impractical for covers. Have you tried using elastic on the underside of the seat to keep your slipcover in place? Maybe you can try sewing on strips to the back for a bow/knot to keep the cover tighter and in place like:
    Although I do love the look of a bench, (my table has a bench on one side) I hate sitting on it. After like ten minutes my back is killing me. Good luck!

    1. Because I’m scared of ripping everything off and not being able to put it back together. I do have one extra chair now though, so maybe I will give it a go. I also like being able to wash the slipcovers, but now that we have a bench I can just make the kids eat on that.

  2. See what you can do with what you have–your creative mind will figure out something. Why go with mass market store items- its so not your way.

  3. So I’m basically obsessed with the galvanized chairs – but that’s just me. Two benches might look like a picnic table UNLESS you get the guys to build a back on the second one and put a long seat cushion on it. That way it still functions as a chair, but won’t break the bank. You could always buy two metal chairs just for the end and have two benches. Either way, it’s looking awesome! :)

  4. I actually love the parson’s chairs with the new slipcovers every year, but they’re kind of pricey. I’ve seen farmhouse tables with a mix of different metal chairs, flea market and goodwill finds. That is way cheaper and looks good, too!

  5. What I would go for if you have enough room is a second bench and then add his & hers captains chairs. Best of both worlds right there. Good luck!

  6. Those world market metal chairs look like a high quality lawn chair! If you used those with your bench it would definitely look like a picinic table. But that’s only my opinion :) You might want to try pinning the fabric on your chairs with the wrong side out and that way you can follow the lines of the chair. Slip it off and it’s ready to sew! Hope that works for you. Or as suggested earlier, upholstery fabric. There are many out there that are stain resistant.

    1. Yeah, the world market chairs aren’t my favorite, they’re just the cheapest metal chairs I could find. I did what you suggested for the slipcovers, but the top is so much wider than the bottom and I couldn’t get it off…the only option is to make them too big with a tie in the back or something. I actually think I decided to try reupholstering them…eek!

      Thanks so much for the suggestions!

  7. Hi, I found you through FFA over at Vintage Revivals. According to homegoods style quiz, we have the same style. Anyway I was just going to throw in my two cents, although I think someone else recommended already. I would add another bench and two chairs. That’s what I have at my home and I love it.

  8. I think you should give upholstery a shot. Chairs are pretty easy to do. You could even staple your fabric into the side and glue a thick ribbon around it to hide them. It’s so much easier than it seems, I promise! And if you’re thinking about replacing them anyway, what can it hurt?

    1. Thanks Brooke, I am going to try and upholster them. Not anytime too soon (so.many.projects…) but it’s gotta be easier than slipcovers, right?

  9. Did you make your table from Ana White’s plans? I am hoping to make this exact table and yours looks amazing! I am your newest follower from the Networking Blog Hop! I would love if you would check out my blog and if you like what you see please follow back :)
    Modern Modest Beauty

  10. Did you make your table from Ana White’s plans? I am hoping to make this exact table and yours looks amazing! I am your newest follower from the Networking Blog Hop! I would love if you would check out my blog and if you like what you see please follow back :)
    Jenny from Modern Modest Beauty

  11. I had a client with round top dining chairs that we needed to recover. He wanted a more dressy look than the upholstered seats/metal legged chairs. Hmmmm,…what to do? I ordered some SureFit slipcovers knowing they were not going to fit because they’re designed for Parson-styled chairs. So I put them on inside out and custom fitted the slipcovers to the shape of the chair. It was not easy for the first one—-took me an hour and a half! But after I had the “pattern” figured out (like sizing a pattern for clothing to the person) the others only took me about a half hour each from fitting to sewn. This might be an option especially if you want the ease of washing them with your little ones…who by the way are pretty dang cute kiddos :-)

  12. Shoot me an email any time and I will help you with that. Those chairs would be soooooo easy to reupholster and they would be so fun to do! The first step is the hardest, just jumping in :)

  13. I know this post is old, but in-case someone else was having a problem with the same thing- I would velcro the old slipcover b/c I actually like it. That way, it stays on when used, but still comes off easily for washing. I plan on doing with the slipcovers that are shipping in…

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