Parsons Chair Slipcover Tutorial | Part 1

by | Apr 30, 2020 | All Things Home, Kitchen, My House, Sewing, Tutorials, upholstery | 23 comments

The chairs that end at the end of our kitchen table are “the favorite chairs” for everyone.  They are comfy and therefore, often occupied.  Instead of sitting in rockers in the basement or snuggled on the sofa, I’ll often find my boys sitting at either end of the table, watching a movie, or playing a game.  This is where they are sitting for school work these days and, of course, for snacks, meals, and games.  These chairs have gotten a workout!

And they look great in photos if you don’t zoom in or look too carefully…

The seats are a total disaster.  Most of the mess is due to adhesive from my T1D son’s pod/pump changes.  We used an adhesive remover wipe to remove one pod before putting on another and that has left a sticky residue on the seats.  And that sticky residue then attracts any dirt or fuzz it comes in contact with.  Plus…the boys aren’t concerned about spills on upholstery.  We have had the talk now that they are old enough to take better care of these chairs.

Anyway, the staining is done and it was time to make a slipcover for these chairs, so they can be washed when spills happen and to cover up the stains on the existing upholstery.

One of my readers sent me a sample of inexpensive linen she thought I would like for slipcovers and she was right!  I had ordered from the same fabric store before (for the linen shades in my studio), but I hadn’t ordered this specific linen.  It’s called 4c22 natural from and it really is an economical and vintage-feeling fabric that’s perfect for slipcovers.  I was even able to get it on sale for $6.80/yard!

I prewashed the linen and then worked on the slipcovers over a few days.  Of course, I made a tutorial for those who have similar chairs they would like to slipcover.  This is a bit different than my wing chair slipcover series, although my method and tips will all be familiar.  This tutorial will work for any chair with this general shape, but it doesn’t have to be exactly like mine.  Once you understand the method, it’s pretty easy to make adjustments.

For two chairs (with custom piping, ties, and a skirt), I used five yards of fabric with just a few little scraps leftover!

Here is part one of the tutorial, showing how to construct the main part of the slipcover…

In part two, I will show how to make the ties, sew them on, and make the skirt…


  1. Shannon

    I just love that linen. I purchased 2 yards of the same 4C22 linen a few months ago and made linen bath towels, hand towels with knotted fringe, and wash cloths. I also purchased some of the gauze linen and made a scarf that is soft and flowing and just the right warmth for the Southern climate I live in. Next I want to make some linen pillowcases in a green color they have. Your chair covers will look wonderful with your sewing skills and work well with your decor style.

    • Tara

      shannon, can you please link to directions for how to make knottted fringe/towels and how you made washcloths? I’m SO interested in actually all of the items you mentioned sewing. also would love to know if the thread matters?

  2. Lisa L Proctor

    Thank you for another great tutorial. I’ve got my sewing machine out to make masks—and I’m enjoying it so much I’ve been looking around for another project. I think slip covers for a pair of dining room chairs will be next….So enjoy all you show us. Stay safe ?

  3. Vickie Hutchins

    When I click through your link for the linen 4c22, it appears to be much darker than what yours is. It does say natural. Can you confirm that the darker color they show is actually much lighter, like yours? Thanks!

    • MaeBelleMary

      Vickie, I’ve used this linen before. It’s looks like it might be the 4c22 mixed natural.

      • MaeBelleMary

        Or it could be the lighting. I upholstered chairs in the 4c22 natural and the 4c22 mixed natural. And sometimes with the light, the 4c22 natural does look lighter 🙂

        • Marian Parsons

          No, it is the 4c22 natural. I have the mixed for a project, too, and that is lighter, but I used the natural for this project. It does look lighter in person and after it’s washed.

  4. mary m

    As ever I love your videos. they have opened up a whole new world for me especially the tie openings in the back. Per your instructions I covered a chair in a half style. My question is that the video was cut off towards the end. I would love to see how you finished off the bottom of the chair. Thank you.

    • Marian Parsons

      yep! That’s coming in part two! It was just a looong video, so I cut it into two parts to make it easier to digest.

    • mary m

      Thank you very much, Marian.

  5. Jamie

    Thank you Marian! I’ve missed your home decor sewing tutorials! I also appreciated your transparency in showing us the real life messes!
    I’m an empty nester and miss those sweet messes! God bless!!

  6. Tracy

    Hi Marian. Thanks for this tutorial! Do you wash and dry this linen? If so , how much do you allow for shrinkage?

  7. Marylisa

    I will have to check out the on line fabric store. I’ve always hesitated because feeling the material helps my choice. Looks amazing!

  8. Jan Cohen

    Did you ever post anything about the bird cage you have? I saw you mentioned somewhere…I have one on a stand and would love some decor ideas.

    thanks, been a long time blog reader..

  9. Kaye Sandeman

    Beautiful. Love your blog

  10. Rita

    I already subscribe and have been following you for a while. Happy mail from you would make anyone’s day. Thanks for your inspiration.

  11. Pam

    I’ve enjoyed the live painting classes. I usually work with acrylic paints but I’m interested in working with oils after your classes. Thank you for your time and instructions.

  12. Julie N

    Great video with detailed instructions. Planning to slipcover two parsons chairs while we are working from home. Thank you so much for these videos. P.S. Love the kitties!! xoxo

  13. Jean

    Is this the same linen that you paint your color charts on?

  14. Grace

    Marian, would you ever advocate using strips of Velcro to hold key areas of the slipcover in place, or might this show up as lumps beneath the fabric?

    Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  15. susan

    Sorry. DUH, I found the video. Thanks so much!

  16. Mary

    Love the linen and the chairs. When I checked the fabric resource, I note the price is different. 3$+ / yd more. Is there a code for the sale or is it just too late??

  17. Lisa

    Where did you purchase the actual parsons chair? We’re looking for 2.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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