We’ve had our Ercol dining room table and chairs for over 50 years and thought it needed a ‘service’.

I left school at 15 ( yep I’m that old!) and went straight into work at Ercol Furniture in the accounts department. Six years later I was still working there when I got married. It was a tradition for the company to give you a wedding present, and they gifted me the table. We saved up and bought the four chairs soon after. We added another Carver chair as our family grew.

So, it now needed a little bit of TLC. Hubby would do the wood bit and I would make new chair cushions. He duly took just one of the chairs outside and spent most of the day sanding, filling, oiling.

Lots of ‘elbow grease’

When he bought it back in it looked so much better, but I wasn’t too sure about the gold/orangey colour…dare I say…after he’s spent so much time on it?

After over 50 years of marriage we’ve both always agreed that honesty is the best policy, so I tactfully mentioned it was a little too tanned and not sure I could live with it!..He took it well!

Before and after 

So, while he started again, I made a start on the cushions. I searched online for some furnishing fabric, and then realised I was given a fabric swatch book some while ago. I wondered what they would look like in different colours of the same design. I put the plan in action and got the nod from the man.

I needed to buy some more foam for the interiors, it worked out a bit pricey to get them pre cut, so found a long piece online 2” x 80”with next day delivery. I planned to cut my own with my electric carving knife.

I made a paper template from the chair seat. Pinned it on the foam and cut it out, it worked well.

I sorted through the fabric swatches and found 5 of each for the fronts and five for the backs (a decision was made to make them reversible for when messy granddaughter came to eat ;). More 3”strips were cut from the other similar fabrics to be patched.


I elasticated the toggle strips, an unbelievable total of 160″!

I made one up for testing and placed it on the chair and made a few adjustments for the rest of the cushions. A sizable gap was left open at the rear for foam insertion, this was a bit tricky, like giving birth in reverse 😉


Push & Pant!

 I reused the toggles for fastening. I hand stitched with a ladder stitch to close the opening.



One side…..
t’other side.

Feeling quite chuffed with the first cushion, I took it to show hubby.

“ Hmmmm….not sure I can live with that!” he teased…he was joking…I think!

I ploughed on and made the rest of the cushions and was delighted with the result.

Just waiting for the chairs to be finished, and hopefully they’ll last another 50 years!