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How To Replace the Canvas on a Director's Chair

two directors chairs with blue canvas - old vintage door background - hats on doors -

Whoa, this is going to be a super hot weekend around here. Well, I'm not complaining, I'm going to be home and probably it's not going to affect my work much, but for all of you out there, stay cool!

I've been at the neighborhood flea market in an on/off kinda way this season. I missed the one held last weekend, too tired with all the trips to DC during the week, but I did attend the previous month, it wasn't great, not many sales, not many finds.  The only thing that I brought home was this pair of director's chairs.
Directors chairs with ripped canvases.

In fact, these chairs belonged to my sister-in-law, she was also selling stuff at the flea. The chairs didn't sell and she didn't want to bring them home with her, so, when she offered them I couldn't say no. :)

how to fix directors chairs canvases
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As usual, the main problem with the director's chairs is the canvas, they damage too fast. The wooden frames were sturdy, and even the wood finish was good.

I had never paid attention to the construction of director's chairs. On this set, the arms are on hinges, and after you remove the back piece of canvas you can bring those arms low to the side of the chair to uncover the guides where the seat canvas is secure.

There must be different kinds of director's chairs, If you need to change the cloth pieces on your chair, the best way to do it is by using the old material as your guide. That's exactly what I did.

The materials you'll need:

  • Duck cloth  - ½ yard per chair - I used ¾ yard for two chairs.
  • 2 -¼" wooden round dowels - 15" long.
  • Sewing machine
  • Measuring tape, thread, and sewing necessities.

sewing instructions, iron, white and blue duck cloth


Cut your material to size, adding 1" for both front and back seams, and 2½" for side seams.
Double fold the front and back seams. Press.
Sew both, front and back seams in place.

(I made two sets, one white and one blue, it would take a lot longer for both sets to get damaged and once you're doing one is not much difficult to make two or four more at the same time. )
green and blue duck cloth for director's chairs

As I told you, I tried to follow, the best I could, what was done to the original material. I couldn't take the dowels out without removing the stitches. It looked like they were sewn in.

inexpensive diy

Each of the wooden dowels was placed inside the fold and using a piping foot on the sewing machine, they were attached to both sides of the seat.

blue duck cloth,

This is how they looked at the end.

For the back piece, the most important thing was to fold and iron those seams before heading to the sewing machine.

sombrero on director's chair

Besides a good deep cleaning, I didn't do a thing to the frames.

EEEK!I just got a new pair of chairs! :D or four?

Hexagon pillow, vintage doors, sombreros, magazines in metal buckets
Hexagon Pillow

I love the contrast of the white with the color of the wood.

beach decor, home decor, diy,

And the blue ones... Love, love, LOVE!

I know many of you had to skip this project because it involves sewing. Well, I'm not that good at sewing, but since they're all straight lines it was easy.

Now, I think the seat piece is doable without sewing. Doing the front and back seams with Stitch Witchery (Aff) and perhaps securing the dowels with staples? I might try that!

For safety reasons, the back piece might need some hand sewing beside the tape. ;)

director's chairs, old doors, hexagon pillow, sombreros

For more DIY ideas check these out:

how to give old stools a new look

beadboard wallpaper on range hood, white kitchen, white china, open cabinets

diy, table before and after

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience*

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  1. These are just the cutest. Thanks for sharing. I've seen these so many times over the years and had no idea they could be a DIY.
    Have a great weekend. Great job.

  2. I had two director's chairs but I think I just bought the replacement cloth pieces. Now I don't even remember where I found them! These turned out so nice!

  3. I love it and looks so clean with the white fabric. Lovely, Cristina

  4. Qué bonitas te quedaron esas sillas con el cambio de género , en azul se ven muy renovadas y veraniegas

  5. I wish I had this tutorial when we had some director chairs! This is great!
    Thanks for sharing this with us at TOHOT too!
    Happy Thursday,

  6. Smart!! I do love a classic director's chair.

    That torn canvas picture reminded me of the old camping chairs my dad always had. I can promise you he replaced the canvas..he's still like that. :)

    Happy Thoughts of Home.

  7. You did a wonderful job. After this tutorial, I think I can do this !

    Thank you for sharing this at Thoughts of Home!

    White Spray Paint

  8. I found a directors chair at a garage sale that looked a little shabby! I finally got around to replacing the canvas and it came out AWESOME! Thank you for the step by step tutorial. I bought my canvas on this site, it was very affordable and I was happy they had a 10% off coupon for new customers at checkout!

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