Published on June 17th, 2009 | by Jules Yap


Hand embroidered Svenning chair

Helga gets crafty with her Svenning chair. The fabric is simply gorgeous.

She says, “I embroidered some fabric I got from the offcuts bin in John Lewis (a big chain of department stores in the UK, who sell good stuff, including lovely fabrics). Then I used it to recover my Svenning Desk Chair, which was getting worn and very, very uncomfortable. I also added some new foam, because the old stuff was so thin.”

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

15 Responses to Hand embroidered Svenning chair

  1. Helga says:

    cog, the back of the backrest pops off on the svenning; just slide a screwdriver in the gap and lever it off. It takes a bit more force than you think it will stand, but it won’t break. I just popped it back on again.

  2. cog says:

    What did you do for the back of the chair’s backrest?

    There are no pictures of that here or on the linked-to fickr slideshow…

    Your embroidery is impressive – it’s very, very nice looking :)

  3. dott says:

    i am so impressed! you have definitely inspired me!! absolutely beautiful!

  4. Helga says:

    Oh, and I did put some imore information about how I did it on my Flickr set:

  5. Helga says:

    Hello, Helga here. Thank you all for the nice comments!

    I don’t expect the embroidery to last that long either. Also, white really isn’t a practical colour for a chair you use everyday… It matches my room now, but I expect I’ll change it in the future.

    It actually wasn’t that much work, the embroidery is mostly big, quick stitches. The hardest bit was the actual recovering but that was because I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing. A spare pair of hands would have helped. Yes, it was lots and lots of staples. I didn’t go into too much detail on how to recover the chair, as I’m no expert (and my corners are a mess to prove it), I had my mum, if you can’t get hold of her, I suggest you try a book or the internet.

    Anonymous, I got my foam from Pentonville Rubber on the Pentonville Road, up the hill from Kings Cross to Angel, it’s about 5 minutes walk, and they will shape it for you.

    And yes, it is comfortable to sit on, why wouldn’t it be? The embroidery is wool, not wire!

  6. amberbaka says:

    How is the new fabric attached to the seat? It kind of looks like staples but I can’t really tell…

    I have a plain black desk chair that could use some more foam and some saucing up.

  7. Jude says:

    That looks lovely. I have a crappy old office chair I want to do that with.

    I’d love to read a few instructions to go along with it. I get lost when it comes to covering the seat.

    Definitely my favourite chair revamp!

  8. molly says:


  9. Shriya says:

    Wow..It looks beautiful, though I am not too sure if the embroidery will last..especially on the seat..

  10. Anonymous says:

    looks lovely!
    Do you mind me asking where you picked up the foam from? John Lewis as well? I’ve got to reupholster this old ottoman I’ve got and am not too sure where to get the replacement foam from in London.


  11. Serendipite says:

    That seat looks very uncomfortable. I would have left the fabric alone.

  12. Ruthie says:

    Now I know what I’m going to do to my two office chairs. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  13. tiffany says:

    Wow! That is gorgeous!

  14. Anonymous says:

    It looks great, but I wonder about the raised embroidery on the seat of a chair…


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