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Trimming a Side Chair

Try re-covering a side chair with taffeta fabric, and use a trim called gimp to edge the frame of the chair (and conceal the staples). Gimp is an ornamental flat braid or round cord used for trimming that you can find at fabric stores. Even if you don't re-cover the chair yourself, you can easily add an elegant finish with some decorative trim.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2005


  • Kraft paper

  • Muslin

  • Scissors

  • Gimp

  • Hot-glue gun or vinyl adhesive

  • Fray check


  1. Protect the chair by covering the seat and back first with kraft paper, then with a piece of muslin. You can also use a towel.

  2. Cut a piece of gimp a little longer than the length you are covering. Use a hot-glue gun to apply glue to gimp. (If you're working with leather or vinyl, use vinyl adhesive.) Apply the glue sparingly so that it doesn't spread out and ruin the fabric. Practice on a swatch of your fabric before applying it to the actual chair. Don't stretch the gimp as you apply it. Glue about 2 inches at a time, holding it in place for a couple of seconds before moving to the next spot.

  3. To create a flat corner, fold gimp at a 45-degree angle, and glue under edge. Then glue to the chair.

  4. To finish, fold under at a 45-degree angle, and use a dab of fray check where you trim the end to prevent the gimp from unraveling. Then glue as you did the other corners.

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