Recovering a Glider



I have been diligently working on the nursery since finding out we are expecting our first child.  It can be very overwhelming, not to mention expensive, so I have tried to save wherever possible.  In my frugal conquest, I found this lovely glider on Craigslist for $50.00, which normally retails for $150 or more.  Obviously the cushions needed to be recovered and recovering a glider is something that I had never done before, but I was willing to try!

I mainly followed this tutorial, but a I tweaked a few things here and there to give my chair a little more modern feel.

I decided to attack the easiest part first: the foot rest. I took the cushion off the frame and then removed the old cloth from the foam cushion. I purchased this lovely ultra-suede fabric from Hancock fabrics for about $25.00 for 4 yards. It was on sale, so it was perfect. Recovering the foot rest was like recovering a standard chair cushion.  I simply wrapped the fabric over the cushion and stapled it to the back of the frame.

Here’s one of the corners, where I had to fold the fabric around the curve:

Ta-da! Not so pretty from the back, but here is the fully stapled and re-covered foot rest ready to be reattached to it’s base.

The foot rest base posed another problem: the moving glider action can be a hazard for little fingers, so I decided I wanted to cover the moving parts with fabric.

I cut my fabric to the same shape as the glider and used double sided fabric tape and upholstery tacks to keep it in place. My edges weren’t perfectly straight, but they would soon be covered up so it didn’t matter.

Foot rest, complete.

Now for the complicated part: The rest of the glider!

The foam cushions were in good shape, but the fabric had to go. Remember the before?

I took a seam ripper and dissected the fabric off of the foam cushions in order to make my patterns.  In my zest to complete this project I forgot to take photos of the disassembled cushions.  Basically once I had all the pieces ripped apart, I pinned them to my fabric and cut out the shapes.  But…after doing this I decided I wanted a more contemporary and less “puffy” chair, so the pattern had to be modified.

I used an electric turkey carving knife I purchased from Walmart to cut the foam seat (by far the easiest way to cut foam) to a more contemporary shape.  Ignore the random blue line…I messed up, lol.

After cutting the foam, I went back and adjusted my pattern on my brown construction paper.  I traced the foam seat cushion and back, adding two inches for the thickness of my foam and then for my seam allowances.  All together, my new patterns were made using some of the original fabric and then tracing my newly cut foam.


Once my fabric and foam were cut, I went on to cut out my new fabric pieces. The back of the chair didn’t involve any sewing, but it was time consuming.  I used double sided tape to get my foam to stay in place while I stapled my fabric over top.  I used staples sparingly just to hold the fabric in place while I tacked it down with the upholstery nails. The bottom of the back rest would be hidden by the seat cushion so I didn’t bother using the upholstery nails there.


Applying the upholstery nails was tedious, but I love the look.  I found that pre-drilling a tiny pinhole about 1/4 of the length of the nail helped me keep my lines straight and my spacing looking the best. When I free-handed it, my lines got crooked as you can tell from the top row (free-hand) compared to left side (pre-drilled).



Next, I sewed the seat cushion pieces together following my pattern and slipped them on the foam.  That was easy.

The arm rests were a bit complicated, but using the old fabric as my guide, I pinned it to my new fabric and cut out my patterns.  I marked each fold, as shown below, and sewed them in place so the fabric would hug the curves of the arm rest.


The arm rests are also held in place with snaps that attach to the chair, so I purchased a little snap kit from Joann’s and made a flap that I sewed onto the underside of the arm cushion following the design of the original cover.


Finally, here is my finished glider!


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Recovering a Glider — 3 Comments

  1. I have one of those gliders, too! It served a great purpose when my kids were babies but now that they’re older the glider is sitting in my office. It doesn’t really fit in with the look of the office so maybe I should recover it!
    Thanks for the great tutorial–this will be one of the Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop features at our next party Sunday night!

  2. Pingback: Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 106 - Carrie This Home

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