The first purchase I made for the nursery was a $40 rocker. (You can read about making room in the office-studio here and here.)

Then, I started reading tutorials about how to recover the cushions.

I discovered that most bloggers start their posts by saying, “I bought this glider and wanted to recover the cushions, but I thought it would be impossible. Then, I tried anyway and it wasn’t so hard. I did it! I am so glad I tried.”

About the fifth time I read that, I decided I could give this project a shot.

So, dear friend, go for it! We are all in the same boat here. It looks scary…but it is not too terrible.

My $40 Thrifted Rocker



  • 4 yards of fabric (3 would be plenty, but I got extra for mistakes)
  • safety pins
  • sewing machine
  • coordinating thread


  • Study the design of your cushions, then simply duplicate what the original cover looked like. Use the original layout of fabric and the same placement for your puckers.
  • Practice with an old bed sheet
  • Measure your cushions. I added 1.5 inches to allow for mistakes and seam allowances. I trimmed down from 1.5 slowly, to the right size.
  • Pay attention to the pattern on your fabric. I accidentally cut my fabric so the white lines were going horizontal and I wanted them to be vertical. That’s why I bought extra!
  • Start with the smaller cushion. I only photographed the larger one, process is the same.
  • This post is very photo-heavy with limited directions. I thought you’d benefit more from extra pics than my rambling.


  • I did this project in three small sessions. First, I tested with a sheet. Then, one for each cushion. I tend to start rushing after an hour or so. 2 hours browsing Pinterest. 3-4 hours sewing time.

Getting Started

IMG_0165 IMG_0166

Sew the front and back panels together.IMG_0168


Slowly trim off excess.IMG_0167 Remember you’ll still need to leave a seam allowance. Pin your tucks, sew. IMG_0172


Put back on to test that if looks snug.IMG_0174

Side Pieces

Mimic the pattern of your cushion. Make two that match.IMG_0169IMG_0170

Attach Side Pieces

Start at the top. Now is the hardest part. Just go slowly. Be prepared to rip. And, friend, be patient with yourself. Right sides together.IMG_0176


Start at the center seam where you sewed the front and back pieces together.



I want to make sure I had the right snugness. So, I only sewed about six inches. Then, I put it on the cushion for a test drive.IMG_0175

I was happy with the tightness. Then, I sewed about 12 more inches down both sides and then repeated my test. This is what I meant by go slowly.

Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to wizzzz down the whole seam in one shot.

On one test, I discovered I had missed a little spot. Then, I went back and fixed that hole.IMG_0180 IMG_0179

When I was all finished, it looked like this. The last time I put it on, I felt like I was wrestling an elephant into a pair of skinny jeans. Definitely not easy.



Now, here is where I differed with some of the other tutorials I read. They did zippers and velcro. Both, are bit out of my skill & patience level. I decided to go for safety pins. This might make some folks uncomfortable, but I trust my safety pins…so I’m not too worried about it. Also, I’ll still be able to wash the cushions if need be.

First, I pretend I was wrapping a Christmas package. I made pretty corners and used straight pins.

One by one, I replaced the straight pens with safety pins.IMG_0182 IMG_0183

And, what’s any good tutorial with out a before and after shot?


Total Cost: 

  • 4 Yards home dec fabric – Hobby Lobby ~ $30 with coupon
  • Thrifted Chair $40
  • Total: $70 + 1 yard leftover fabric

Have you ever been scared of a DIY project until you read several blog posts from other anxious makers?

Have you ever recovered a rocker?

Do you have any tips?