Upholstery Repair – Easy $3 Update for Leatherette or Vinyl

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Easy upholstery repair

We received this high chair free from someone who was finished with it. It was in perfect condition… besides for the seat cushion. It is made of a vinyl leatherette finish which was totally peeling and in terrible shape as you can see. We needed easy upholstery repair solution – and we needed it fast!

upholstery repair

It was absorbing all the foods dropped there, and was becoming quite disgusting. I tried to find a replacement, but that was very pricey. A relative of mine suggested that I use duct tape to cover the peeling parts and, as you can see, I took it to the next level.

I tried this on a high chair, you can try it on anything leatherette of vinyl for a similar effect. I think it would work great on a vinyl chair pad or even possibly on a leatherette handbag.

Choose a print that will look good even if it’s not matched up evenly. For me, camouflage was perfect. I did not want to cover the entire pad so I needed something that matched the original color well. I also wanted it to match my kitchen – as the original did very well. The print I chose also picks up the colors on the buckle very nicely.

upholstery repair

I recommend choosing a high quality brand of duct tape such as Duck brand. You are looking for durability to replace something that has not been durable, and in this case a few more dollars is a worthwhile investment.

Highchair Upholstery Repair Instructions

*Duct Tape 
(Isn’t it lovely when a tutorial calls for only one item???)


Make sure your surface is clean. You do not want to trap dirt in what should be long term solution.

upholstery repair

STEP 2. 

Dry your surface. Again you don’t want to trap in moisture.

STEP 3. 

When covering a surface with a complicated shape, start with the intricate areas. In my case this was the area around the buckle notches. This way, you can cover up the necessary patchwork when you cover your larger areas later. Go around curves by cutting notches and allowing the duct tape to overlap. Keep things smooth so that dirt doesn’t get trapped inside.

upholstery repair


Cover the large areas. Make sure that as many open ends as possible are on the back. Save small pieces/ trimmings. Make sure you keep in mind necessary movement. For example, don’t pull the duct tape taut over an area that folds – make sure to tuck the duct tape into the folds. Tip: when you choose a busy enough print, a little bit of patchwork won’t ruin it. Once you take a step back, it all disappears.

STEP 5. 

Go to the back and reinforce the ends of the duct tape using your trimmings.

When doing  this project, make sure to keep in mind what will be showing and what won’t! When I did the top portion, I had to mind the back of it, as a large portion does show.

And finally, here area  few photos of the final product from different angles.

Notice how the duct tape sits comfortably in the holes surrounding the leg bar and strap holes.

Most importantly, the King approves of his new throne…

I’ve had this on for a week now and it cleans beautifully. So far it’s holding out beautifully even with all the abuse it gets!

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.

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    1. It’s neat, isn’t it? The areas I left exposed are now falling apart – I gotta get some more tape…

  1. How awesome! I knew you could use duct tape on all kinds of things but I would of never thought about a highchair!! Your diffidently one creative momma!! Thanks for the neat idea, I love it!

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