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Easy, DIY sewing rocker-glider recovering tutorial – no zippers or velcro

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?




    Great job–but don’t let zippers scare you.


  2. Katie

    Looks great! Thanks for the encouragement. I’m wondering what type of fabric you chose? Did you stick with an upholstery type of material? (novice question:))

    • Sierra Shea

      Hi Katie – I did use upholstery fabric 🙂 Not a novice question at all! Lol. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby.

  3. Lisa

    I used duck fabric on mine. It’s kind of like canvas & comes in a large selection of prints @ Hobby Lobby. Be sure to wash, dry in dryer & iron before sewing.

  4. Wendy Fix

    Great photos and tutorial! Can’t wait to give this a try as we’re changing the color scheme of our home.
    Thanks for posting. 🙂
    Your Neighbor to the North (North Dakota)

  5. Jessica Lapresi

    Thanks so much for the Great photos and tutorial. Did you do the “seat” the same way? I’m so new at sewing but really want to recover my glider for my second child……so I’m giving it a chance!:)

    • Sierra Shea

      Yes, I did do the seat the same way! Best of luck to you with the second child and the project 🙂

  6. Lise Boisvert

    I also need to buy the cushion. What is best ? Foam, ……

    • Sierra Shea

      Hum, I am not so sure. I was just recovering an old one, so I don’t have a recommendation for that!


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!