It seems I'm not the only one with an ugly glider in need of a little face lift. I don't have time to write a full blown tutorial on the process, but I will give you a few tips. OK?
If your behind has the impression of springs after sitting in your ugly chair (like mine did) you may need to replace the cheap thin floppy foam. I bought a piece of 3 inch foam for the seat and 2 inch foam for the back.
Remove the old foam from the cover (just rip the seam open) and trace around it on the new foam.
The best tool for cutting foam is an electric carving knife. A very sharp serrated knife should work too.
After you cut your new cushions, make a pattern for the new covers by tracing around them- either on paper or directly onto the back of your fabric. Trace about 1/2 inch away from the cushion for seam allowances. For the seat I made a gusseted cover with a zipper in the back. The back cover consists of the front piece and back piece with piping between, no gusset and instead of a zipper, I hand stitched the opening closed after the foam was inserted. Since I didn't use a gusset for the back cushion, added an inch all the way around when cutting out the fabric instead of 1/2 inch.
I covered the foam with a layer of polyester quilt batting to soften the edges before putting the covers on.
The arms had pads that snapped into place in the seat and along the side of the chair. (In the before photo, I see that I didn't have the arm pads snapped in place along the sides- they shouldn't look all loose and floppy like that) My original plan was to just cover the existing pads, with a rectangle of fabric- much like a pillow case with the end stitched closed, but how to keep them in place was the problem. My first attempt was to attach tabs with button holes to one end, sew buttons on the other end, wrap the pad around the arm of the chair and join it with the buttons. I'm sure that doesn't make a bit of sense to you. I have no idea how to describe it so that it is clear. It really doesn't matter though, because that method didn't work. I grabbed my scissors and my much used, much loved stapler and improvised.
First I stapled the pad to the bottom of the seat.
You can see in the above photo where the original pad would have snapped in place on the frame of the chair.
Bayleigh and I are very happy with our pimped-out craigslist glider.