Skip to Content

How to Recover an IKEA Skruvsta Chair the Easy Way

Inside: A tutorial on recovering an IKEA Skurvsta chair and making a pattern cover in denim.

I love to upcycle old denim; some might even call it an obsession. So when my office chair needed a makeover, I knew this Ikea chair hack had to involve denim.

But if denim is not your thing, the reupholstery process and pattern are the same.

This isn’t my first denim chair upcycle; in the past, I’ve upcycled a dining room denim patchwork chair and a footstool with old jeans. I’m sure it won’t be my last either.

Upholstering in denim is much easier than it looks, especially with a bit of staple gun magic.

Skruvsta Denim Chair Upcycle

It was easier than you think to upholster the Ikea Skruvsta chair with denim. The old jeans I used were nice and soft from years of wear. The denim is also hard-wearing, so I think the chair will last a few more years.

The new cover is a big improvement on the old faux leather chair. And it cost me nothing as I used repurposed fabrics.

This denim chair upcycle is featured under the letter C in the A to Z of denim crafts.

Ikea hack before chair

We’re a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What You Need For

How to Upholster the Ikea Office

Step 1: Make a paper pattern of the chair. Use pattern paper to do this.

If you look at the Ikea Skruvsta chair, you can see that the cover is sewn in six different sections. I pinned the pattern paper to the chair and marked out each section on the paper.

Making a paper pattern for a denim chair  ikea hack

Step 2: Cut out the paper pattern for each cover piece on the chair.

The left and right panels of the chair were just mirrored images of each other; I only cut out one pattern for both. Just flip the paper pattern over when cutting out the opposite side.

Mark each paper pattern with where the panel is located and whether or not it is on the left or right. This will stop you from getting too confused when cutting out the denim pieces for this chair upholstery.

Ikea hack paper pattern
Ikea hack denim chair paper pattern

Step 3: Make as large pieces of denim as possible from a single pair of jeans. To do this, cut your jeans up the inside leg seam. Then, flatten them out and stitch the legs together. You should end up with one large piece of denim fabric.

Ikea Hack large piece of denim

Step 4: Pin the pattern paper on the large pieces of denim. Allowing for a seam of approximately 1cm. Cut out the denim pattern pieces. You should have six in total.

Ikea hack - cutting out the paper pattern

Step 5: Pinning the right sides together, sew the three outer back pieces together. Then repeat with the three inner panel pieces together. Finish off by sewing these two sections together.

Top tip: Make sure you have a needle suitable for sewing denim in your sewing machine.

Ikea hack denim cover back.

How to fit the cover to an IKEA office chair.

Step 1: This is where the staple gun becomes the star of the project. Staple guns let you cheat with upholstery and make it easy.

Place your newly made denim cover over the chair. Making sure the newly sewn seams in your cover match up with the seams in your chair, and pin the cover to the chair along the top.

This will hold it in place whilst you staple the cover to the chair and stop it from moving out of place when you pull it tight.

Ikea hack denim chair reupholster

Step 2: Next, pull the inside of the cover taut and staple it to the inside seat of the chair.

This may look unsightly, but don’t worry, as the chair cushion will hide it. You can never have too many staples holding it in place.

ikea hack denim office chair
ikea hack staple cover

Step 3: Then, turn the chair over and repeat with the underside of the chair. Pulling the cover taut as you merrily staple away. Don’t forget to take out the pins at the top when you have finished.

Ikea hack chair underside

Making the seat pad cover.

Draw around the seat pad onto a large piece of denim, allowing for a 1cm seam allowance and cut out.

Repeat so that you have two identical denim pieces. Pin and sew the right sides together, leaving an opening for the pad.

Turn the denim right sides out, squeeze in pad into the cover and stitch up the opening.

Ikea Hack seat pad cover
Ikea hack - upholster office chair with old jeans.  Full tutorial and easy to follow instructions
Great upcycle of old jeans and use of a staple gun.  It's a lot easier than you think with a full step by step tutorial.

This project only took me a couple of hours, and I love this Ikea hack of my office chair. This method can be used to reupholster any chair in denim.

Ikea Hack. Revamp a boring Ikea Office chair by upholstering it in denim.  It is a lot easier than you think.  Step by step tutorial.

If, however, you are going to upholster something like my tea-towel dining chair, you may want to use upholstery tacks instead of a staple gun or both.

Skruvsta IKEA Chair

If you like the “SIT DOWN” cross-stitch pillow in the picture, click here for a free pattern and tutorial.

Other Ikea hacks

This is one of my most pinned crafts, my Ikea Hack map table.
A cool upcycled waistband denim rug to go with the chair. (This is a no-sew denim project).

Or perhaps a giant world map denim floor cushion to match too!

This chair upcycles is featured under the letter C in my comprehensive A to Z of upcycling resources.

Unique and cool IKEA hacks


Friday 16th of April 2021

Fun project, I love it! I featured it in my “D=Denim” post ;) Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

Claire Armstrong

Friday 16th of April 2021

Thank you so much, I look forward to seeing it.

Linda at Mixed Kreations

Sunday 4th of August 2019

What an awesome upcycle! I love denim and this chair looks great! Love the sit down pillow as well. ❤

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 4th of August 2019

Thank you, I stitched that pillow.

Lisa // Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing & Crafting

Sunday 16th of September 2018

This is so cool, Claire! We have a couple of these chairs and they're starting to get pretty gunky looking. I've been wanting to make covers for them for a while, though I prefer being able to wash furniture covers (with kids and cats, they tend to get filthy!), so I might try this technique to make removable slip covers. Thanks! :) Lisa

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 16th of September 2018

Removable slipcovers would be cool too but extra work. I do find the denim very robust though. Thanks you.

37 IKEA Hacks That Will Transform Your Home - Ritely

Monday 27th of February 2017

[…] 10. Upcycled Denim Chair  […]


Saturday 25th of February 2017

It really looks great! And the green chair is totally awesome! That shade of green is very much Greenery, which is so trendy this year!

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 25th of February 2017

Thank you, loved your denim chair too!