Hemp Slipcover Transforms Vintage Office Chair

A simple hemp slipcover updates this old office chair and gives it an entirely new purpose. Now, it can be used as occasional seating to accent any room.

I love a simple, loose fitting slipcover. The type that is softly shaped and looks effortless.

I don’t often get a chance to design them. Most of the slipcovers I make for my customers require a tailored fit, almost upholstered-like. I love those, too! But it’s really fun to create a custom cover that has an imperfect fit and is void of welt cord, zippers and a skirt.

So, when I come across a chair for myself that I think would look great with a loose fit cover, I bring it home!

I found this 70’s conference room chair in a line up of other outdated office furniture at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

I must have walked by it several times before I realized it was slipcover worthy!

All it needed was a slipcover loosely shaped to fit the simple lines and subtle curves to update the style and give it a new purpose.

Natural color hemp slipcover for boxy chair.

Less is more when designing a loose fitting slipcover. The key is to capture the contour of the chair without pinning the fabric too tight across the body.

As you can see from the photo below I created the arm and back corner seams to follow the curves and then let the fabric fall naturally.

The inner back and outer back is one-piece. No seam needed across the top. Simple!

The overall fit is semi-controlled. This helps create a soft, loose fit without making the slipcover look oversized and sloppy.

Fabric choice makes all the difference when making a loose fitting slipcover.

I like using a washable 8 to 10 oz. fabric that is tightly woven for durability but also has a soft drape.

A 12 oz. heavy weight fabric will work but it is a little more difficult to create a loose fit — it often results in a more boxy, paper bag look.

For this project I used hemp summer cloth. This 100% hemp cloth is one of my favorites! It’s similar to a rustic linen and gets weighty and floppy after it’s washed. It has beautiful body and drape without being clingy or limp!

Notice anything different about the chair legs? I sanded off the dark stain down to the pale, unfinished wood color. Cindy at Reinvented Delaware does this to many of her furniture makeovers and they look terrific!

That little change gave my chair a big style boost and looks so much prettier with the natural color hemp cover.

This was such a fun project! I transformed an outdated office chair ($5) with an easy-to-make, casual slipcover (I made it in an afternoon!) using gorgeous natural fiber fabric.

The new slipcover makes my little chair super versatile. I can use it as extra seating, an accent chair, an office chair, and if I had a few of them, they would work great as dining chairs!


  1. You made that slipcover in an afternoon??!! Wow! It looks amazing! Love the fabric choice too – the chair looks so much better. And yay for sanding off the old stain! Great new look Karen! Thanks for the mention too 🙂

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