Vintage Industrial Office Chair Reupholstered

It’s that time again where my Trash to Treasure buddies and I put together a whole slew of inspiration for you the first Tuesday of each month . I’m excited! Not only do I get to share with you again, but this time it’s something for ME. It’s not often I get to work on a project for myself, so pardon me for being a little giddy. tee hee. Today, my goal is to give my vintage industrial office chair a makeover like none other.

Industrial Desk Chair Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

First, let me tell you the back story behind this chair. I wrote about it back in one of my very early blog posts HERE. (boy have I learned so much since those first years!). Picture me elated as I found the chair on the curb. To say the least, I was in heaven over a damaged chair with a missing caster. I was so STOKED!!

Larissa of Prodigal Pieces in her Vintage Industrial Desk Chair |

As you scratch you head why I would be elated, first take a close look at it.

Vintage Industrial Office Chair Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Now, mind you, the vinyl was torn when I got it. However, my kids saw fit to increase said damage over the last few years. When I brought it home, all the arm rest vinyl had come unstitched at one point. Bummer. I took the time to stitch them back up. That held strong for a few years until recently the front of the seat gave and I didn’t repair it in time (hence the cracks).

Vintage Desk Chair Damage |

Vintage Office Chair Back Before |

Isn’t that green paint with chrome accents fantastic? I didn’t find the desk until a few years later, but it serves as my sewing desk. It matches the chair perfectly. I love it!

Also, I mentioned the missing caster. Easy fix. I just popped a cheapie one in and I was good to go for a few years.

Old Chair Casters |

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

However, the problem is now I have brand new hardwood floors and those casters would require a chair mat. Nope, nada. The last thing I wanted to add was one of those ugly things to my room. So, I came up with a better fix. They make the most awesome casters now that won’t damage hardwood floors. They’re the same wheels used on scooters and work wonderfully.

I’ve created a step-by-step video down below of my work, but will also explain it here. Some instances seeing the process in action really helps.

Most places recommend removing old casters and pins with a large screwdriver. Not for me! I pop off the old caster and then attach the chuck of my drill. Next, I put the drill in reverse and POP!! Easiest fix you ever did see. (see video for demo)

How to EASILY replace old casters on an office chair | Video tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #vintage #homedecor

Now that my casters are fixed, I can work on the top of the chair. yahoo!

Removing Old Vinyl Upholstery from Vintage Office Chair |

Getting the chair apart is not a hard ordeal. Though, if you’ve ever done upholstery, you know that taking it all apart is a lengthy task as well as a messy one. The key to getting this is keeping track of the steps you take, and keeping all the pieces removed to use as stencils. In addition, taking pictures or videos of your process really helps in the reversal of adding new later.

Back a couple of years ago, my husband (JC) and I, built a beautiful leather bench. You can read that fun post HERE. I’ve hoarded the leftover leather saving it for sewing myself a new purse. My older feed sack purse I created in this post, is in need of a break.

Uncut Leather for Vintage Office Chair Upholstery by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Well, it’s going to have to hold on a little longer because I chose to use my leather for my chair instead. {{happy dance}}

Here is the old vinyl roughly laid out on the leather so I can visualize my cuts.

Leather Upholstery Layout |

There just may be enough left I can use some of the leather for a bag for me. Here’s hoping!

Once I got all of my leather pieces cut, it was time to sew. And, oh do I love to sew!

Leather Armrests Assembled and Ready to be Sewn |

Since leather is bulky and you adding holes with pins is not a good idea, I just love these little sewing clips. They work awesome with my PUL and other slippery fabrics, keeping it all in place.

No special sewing machine needed for this smaller project. My Singer Futura can handle the job with a sharp leather needle. Working slow is key to make it all come out as planned.

Sewing Leather Upholstery on Singer Futura |

Next, before I could add the upholstery, I needed to cut a new piece of upholstery foam. I simply trace the old cushion with a marker.

Tracing & Cutting New Upholstery Foam |

A quick handy tool to get this done is an electric carving knife (ya know, for turkey & roasts?)

Electric Knife to Cut Upholstery Foam |

After the foam was cut, I stuck it inside the seat cover I created. Thankfully, JC was kind enough to help me put the old clips back on. Let me tell ya, doing upholstery on a wiggly, twisty, mobile chair is worse than trying to dress a toddler! Here are the clips we used to attach the seat.

Vintage Upholstery Clip for Industrial Office Chair |

JC used a set of pliers set against the edge we were placing the clips on. He would get it set by squeezing the clip on and then lightly hammering them tight. Notice my awesome self holding down the fort. I had to get placement right and tug it nice and taught so he could do his part. My injured shoulder said no-no to that process.

Awesome Hubby Helping Attach Leather Upholstery |

Then, I put the armrests back together. That was a bit tricky, but pretty simple in idea – just putting it back the way I found it.

Assembling Vintage Industrial Office Chair Arm with Leather Upholstery |

Last, was the chair back. Again, pretty straightforward in reversal of how I took it apart. I use my cordless hot glue gun to help tack it in place so I could attach it to the back frame.

Ryobi Glue Gun for Applying Leather Upholstery |

Now it’s time to have a big ol’ happy dance because my beloved vintage industrial office chair is stylin’!

Upholstered Leather Office Chair for Vintage Industrial Style Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #retro #homedecor #vintage

Vintage Industrial Leather Desk Chair with Video Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #vintage #home #retro #homedecor

Subscribe to Prodigal Pieces on YouTube for DIY video tutorials and a whole lotta fun |

Is it perfect? Yes, for me anyway, but there was a learning curve here. Plus, it still squeaks and creaks a bit because the bottom metal base seat is cracked. I don’t care though because it give it character. I’m so glad it’s mine!

The fun upgrade were the casters. Now I can fly around the room like a kid on these smooth things! And they matched the retro style I was after perfectly.

New Chair Caster for Hardwood Floors | Upholstery Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #tutorial #home #furniture #vintage #homedecor #retro

DIY Tutorial on How to Cover a Vintage Industrial Office Chair with Leather by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Video Tutorial at #prodigalpieces #furniture #home #retro #homedecor #vintage #videos

Finally, my sewing desk set is complete and no more pinching my rear on those cracks or scuffing my elbows on the worn vinyl. Hooray!!

Vintage Industrial Office Desk Set with Leather Chair | All Found on the Curb or in a Thrift Store by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #trashure #diy #home #furniture #homedecor #vintage #retro

Top View of Vintage Industrial Office Desk Set with Leather Chair by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #trashure #diy #home #furniture #homedecor #vintage #retro

Let the sewing begin! Can you tell I’m a smidgen excited?

Open Drawer of Spools of Thread in Vintage Office Desk | Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #retro #home #furniture #sewing #vintage

My goal in sharing this vintage industrial office chair makeover is to inspire YOU to give DIY projects a try. It’s fun and you’ll come out knowing more than when you started. Do pin and share my project to inspire others too!

How to Upholster a Vintage Industrial Office Chair with Leather | Video Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Head to #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #handmade #retro #home #vintage #homedecor

Up next, this thrifted bookcase headboard is about to get the transformation of a lifetime. See my past bookcase headboard upcycle in this post. Then, head HERE to see this one made new.

Vintage Bookcase Headboard Before Upcycling |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

blog signature


Time to see what my Trash to Treasure ladies have created to inspire you!

Trash to Treasure Tuesdays - Thrifted Makeover Fun | Prodigal Pieces |

Trash To Treasure Tuesday March 2019 |

  1. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  2. Artsy Chicks Rule
  3. Girl in the Garage
  4. Bless’er House

More upholstery projects like my vintage industrial office chair:

Knock-Off Pottery Barn Bench | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comGrab those curbside finds and give them a new look with your HomeRight Super Finish Max Paint Sprayer. This dining set makeover is one to see by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |


Previous Post Next Post


  • Debbie Richards

    The leather is so much nicer than the vinyl! A good seat at your desk is important.

    March 12, 2019 at 6:30 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! It feels soooo much better.

      March 12, 2019 at 10:57 am Reply
  • Christina in SW FL

    This is a complete WOW makeover!! Love the chair and the casters are amazing. Pinned just in case… lol.

    March 12, 2019 at 7:27 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yahoo!! Thank you so much.

      March 12, 2019 at 10:57 am Reply
  • Mary

    Girl, that is some serious set of skills you have on you! The chair looks awesome sauce!!

    March 12, 2019 at 8:29 am Reply
    • Larissa

      aww…thanks! I’ve been aching to get it done and waiting until more was finished in our room. So many projects around here! 😀

      March 12, 2019 at 10:57 am Reply
  • Rebecca - Knoxville, TN

    Very nice!

    March 12, 2019 at 8:43 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Rebecca! 😀

      March 12, 2019 at 10:57 am Reply
  • Jaye

    It’s beautiful and better than any new chairs out there. Thanks for the tip on the wheels. I’m getting some. This is an excellent tutorial. Enjoy your chair.

    March 12, 2019 at 9:09 am Reply
    • Larissa

      What a wonderful compliment. Thank you. I totally prefer vintage as it’s better made and they are built to last. yay!

      March 12, 2019 at 10:58 am Reply
  • Nancy Lambert

    Awsome, awesome job…. I love the chair….

    March 12, 2019 at 9:59 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Nancy. I’m so happy with it.

      March 12, 2019 at 10:58 am Reply
  • Kimberly

    Great job!! I love how it is new but still old (if that makes any sense).

    March 12, 2019 at 10:00 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes! You got exactly what I was after. Thank you!

      March 12, 2019 at 10:59 am Reply
  • Christy

    Oh wow…so much better! And I love that you were able to get another project out of that pretty leather! Did you have enough left for a purse? Inquiring minds want to know lol. XOXO

    March 12, 2019 at 10:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Woot! I’m so glad I chose to use up my leather. Only a bit left for maybe a leather-bottomed bag…we’ll see. Thanks!

      March 12, 2019 at 10:59 am Reply
  • Kaycee

    Larissa, look what you have done! Girl you are sooooo talented, and so is JC!!!! I am so happy that all this hard work went into a chair that you love and that you will enjoy for years to come!

    March 12, 2019 at 10:46 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay! I’m delighted it’s done for me to enjoy. One more thing done in our room. happy dance!

      March 12, 2019 at 11:00 am Reply
  • Suzanne

    My father built a camp on the river when we were growing up, and he bought those industrial chairs – 10 od them (and metal beds) from an army surplus store. I loved those as they are made to last.

    March 12, 2019 at 1:45 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s awesome! They sure were. I love vintage over new any day.

      March 18, 2019 at 10:39 am Reply
  • Carol Prygo

    What a great job you did. It looks fantastic. About your desk……if it takes four strong Amish men to move it, I have the exact same desk in my basement. It got moved in before the Amish men finished digging the basement under our old farmhouse. It will stay with the house because there is no way to remove it through the doorways!

    March 12, 2019 at 4:14 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! hahaha! It is a beast for sure. It take four of us to move it, but it can fit through doors. We remove the drawers and have at it. 😀

      March 18, 2019 at 10:40 am Reply
  • Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule

    No way!!! You did an amazing job on that, Larissa! wow! xo

    March 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much, Nancy!

      March 18, 2019 at 10:40 am Reply
  • Jen @ Girl in the Garage

    The new leather looks amazing on your chair! What an awesome project to keep and be proud of.

    March 12, 2019 at 11:05 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much, Jen. It sure felt good to yank off the old.

      March 18, 2019 at 10:45 am Reply
  • Marie

    Kudos to you for taking this upholstery project on with leather, which can be unforgiving if you make an oops when stitching. It looks amazing! I NEED those casters 🙂

    March 13, 2019 at 11:32 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It can be scary for sure. I’m amazed I had no issue with it since I was truly anticipating it. You will love them, Marie.

      March 18, 2019 at 10:45 am Reply
  • Andy White

    Looks awesome! Really like the leather. Is the new foam soft and comfortable to start? Sometimes it’s like shoes, get more comfortable with use.

    August 16, 2019 at 5:39 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! I do too. Yes, the foam is soft, and the leather will improve with time…like those shoes.

      August 16, 2019 at 10:03 pm Reply

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    You may also like

    This site utilizes cookies to offer you the best experience possible. more information

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.