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How to decorate chairs for Christmas


Ben Taylor

The festive season is a period where we often spend more time with our friends and family, welcoming those we haven’t seen in a while into our homes to celebrate with them. Decorating the house in the lead up to Christmas is an exciting time for many, but did you know that you can go as far as decorating your seating arrangements as well?

With a little bit of work, you can transform an ordinary straight-backed chair into a Christmassy throne worthy of Santa himself. If you’re interested in making sure your chairs are full of festive cheer, keep reading to learn two different techniques for decorating chairs at Christmas with our handy step by step guides.

How to decorate a chair for Christmas

To begin with, let’s consider the reasons you might have for decorating your chairs. Firstly, it’s a great way to make your dining area festive in time for Christmas dinner, and can really help an otherwise sparsely decorated room to feel more cosy and homely. You can also decorate chairs around a display or present table, or even spare seating in your living room.

Additionally, you don’t have to stop with dining chairs - in fact, whether it’s a folding chair, a banquet chair or even a desk chair, you can dress it up for the festive season. This can be really useful if you’re having lots of family or friends over and need to squeeze in extra seats. Decorating the chairs with covers or bows can help to distract from any mismatched chairs and focus your guests’ attention on your skilful decorating job.

Moreover, the act of making these chair decorations itself can be a joyous memory for years to come. Get the whole family involved in a fun and festive DIY project in the lead up to Christmas to spend some quality time together and add that personal touch to your yuletide decorations. Just remember to be careful with little ones where sharp scissors and sewing needles are involved.

How to make Christmas chair covers

Chair coverings are a great way to add festive cheer to a room without taking up lots of space. Additionally, they can also be very useful in protecting the backs of your chairs from spills, whether you’re dealing with young children or clumsy relatives. Fabric chair covers can be cleaned and reused - just make sure they don’t shrink in the wash!

The basic components you’ll need to make these crafty chair covers are fabric, something to measure your chairs with, scissors, a sewing machine or needle and thread. However, the design is entirely up to you, so you could also use sequins, ribbon, bows and any other adornments that take your fancy. You might also find it easier to use pins to hold the fabric in place while you stitch it together.

One of the most exciting parts of the decorating process is deciding which decorations to use, and in this case, choosing which pattern to use for your chair covers. If you already have Christmas-themed fabric, when could be better to use it? If not, looking online can be an excellent source of inspiration. You could design chair covers to look like Santa’s face, a snowman, a reindeer’s head and much more.

● Measuring the chair

If you already have chair covers that fit the chairs in question, you can take the dimensions from these. If not, you’ll need to measure the height and width of the chair backs in order to make a cover that fits. Remember to take into account that the chair is three-dimensional, so curve your measuring tape round the sides and over the top of the chair to get more accurate measurements. A chair cover that’s slightly too big is no problem at all - one that’s slightly too small will be of no use.

● Cutting the fabric and putting it together

The next step is to cut out two fabric rectangles that will form the majority of your chair cover. Cut the fabric four inches longer and four inches wider to act as a buffer that will help to prevent ripping or strained seams. This should help to ensure the longevity of your chair covers for plenty of use.

If you’re using pins to put the cover together before sewing it, do so now. This is a good opportunity to test the size on the chair you’re using to make sure it isn’t too small. Then either hand stitch or use a machine to sew the two sides of the cover together and you’re done. If you wish to add decorations or more details, you can, but the main form of the chair cover is now finished.

Top tip! If you want to hide the seams of your chair cover, stitch it together inside out and then turn it out the right way to reveal the finished product.

How to make Christmas chair bows

If you’re looking for a Christmas chair decorating trick that doesn’t involve sewing, then no-sew Christmas chair bows are a great option. All you’ll need for this DIY project is some fabric (or tinsel if you’re feeling particularly festive) and a chair. Depending on the length of fabric you’ve got, you may also need scissors to cut it down, and you can also incorporate decorative pieces such as brooches, tree ornaments or pins.

To tie your chair bow, place the chair in front of you with the back towards you. Start with your fabric in front of the chair, flat against the chair back, and wrap it round the chair so the two ends come together in the centre of the back of the chair. Tie a simple knot (think shoelaces) and then you can tie a bunny-ears bow to finish the look. If the fabric is too long, you can either cut off the ends once you’ve tied the bow, or wrap it around the chair more times in the beginning to use the fabric up.

Top tip! Don’t leave the ‘tails’ of the bow too long, as they may get caught under the chair legs and trip people up.

Once you’ve tied your bow to your satisfaction, you can either leave it as it is or add decorations to your heart’s content.