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I'm into crafting, recycling, and making things my own.  I like simplicity and hate clutter.  I work for a building envelope consulting… read more

Comments - Amateur Reupholstery: Couch

Evelyn on Aug 04, 2013:

Thank you for sharing your experience and giving us a step-by-step guide to diy couch reupholstery.  Recently became the owner of a very old, but very well-built sofabed.  A friend has offered to help me with the reholstery project.  I'll share my before and after results!

Dom on Apr 06, 2013:

Great inspiration for my ongoing project of my chez! So creative, thanks for posting!

Marti in San Diego on Jan 08, 2013:

Yes...exactly!  There is practically NOTHING out there on DIY recovering a couch...thanks so much for posting!  I am much like you and just figure out things as I go.  I'm about to recover a very large couch that belongs to my parents and your post was very helpful.  Great work!!

Paige on Jul 10, 2012:

Oh My GOD!  You did beautiful work.  I can't believe the flower part was duct tape.

Carlos on May 23, 2012:

Hi Anya! If the sofa bed is upholstery is leather you have to remove the old fabric before you can put on a new one. but if the upholstered fabric is a cloth you can sew over it.

Anya on May 23, 2012:


You did an amazing job!

I am trying to find as many articles about reupholstry as I can, it's very hard to find a step by step for couches! I have a pull out bed sofa that is nasty green... like vomit and I want to change it to a dark beige. Do you think there is a way to turn it beige without tearing the couch apart? Like, would there be a way to sew over or on top of the already existing fabric?

Thank you! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Carlos on May 11, 2012:

It's amazing how you did the reupholstery yourself without prior knowledge. It only proves that  good research coupled with determination can bring positive results. I know a bit about upholstery and I would say you've done a  decent work.

Anonymous on Feb 08, 2012:

i have been planning to reupholster our amazingly comfortable, amazinginly hideous couch for some time now (6 years!!!!) and have been terrified at the idea.  Thanks, so much for the info.  Am tackling this project asap! 

Kim on Feb 08, 2012:

That looks great! I want to re-do my sofa!  You say 20 yds was too much...How long is your sofa?  I'm quessing you did not line the cushions or frame before stapling the final fabric.  Has the corderoy started to sag?

Leilani on Feb 06, 2012:

This is your first attempt?! WOW! Thanks so much for posting!

Joan on Feb 04, 2012:

i bought way too much fabric. i think 20 yards @ $5 per yard downtown garmet district, LA = i still have a ton left, under my bed.  i don't think you need that much.

kate on Feb 04, 2012:

I have a new (old lol) couch, that has very straight lines that I'm planning on recovering. THIS gave me a little more confidence and I am totally going to use your tutorial to get me through! lol I had a question for you much fabric did you buy?? And was it upholestry fabric you actually used or was it just a cord fabric?? I'm trying to figure out how much I will probably need! thanks SO much!! 

Mom of Many on Jan 20, 2012:

I am not intimidated by DIY projects, but the recovering has always gotten me nervous. I have an awesome (and ultimately comfy) couch that needs to be recovered. I read all of your article and am very encouraged by your bravery and especially by your results. Good job and thank you for your information. I am going to attempt to do the same. Blessings- Mom of Many :-)

Kate on Jan 08, 2012:

OMG this is so pretty and I love how this couch turned out! You make it seem so simple and you did it how I thought I would re-upholster my couch. I am the same like you. I don't do a whole lot of research I just visualize and and dig in. I learn it while I work as a I go. My couch upholstery is old and wearing a part. The wood frame however, is in pretty good shape. If I find it to not be the case when I take off its original fabric, I may do something like your wooden panel pieces which I have to add are very nicely done with the paint design. I was searching the net to find out how to D.I.Y without it being too costly and I do not want to buy a whole new couch either. This is just what I needed to land upon. Thank you so much for sharing this. And by the way, your work does look like a professional did it there! Again thank you for this. I get to avoid the slip cover thought now too =) 


Cat Owner on Aug 16, 2011:

I *love* how this turned out, and personally think that the crafty touch on the duct tape, with the painting, looks great, at least in the photos. My only "negative" comment is that with the classy black look, I'm guessing you won't be getting a cat or a dog that sheds--the pets my kids own have made my furniture age SO much faster, thus my search that led to your page! Thanks for sharing, you are an inspiration!

Joan on Aug 02, 2011:

OMG> i just started this project and i agree, the websites i have found were not that helpful. it is a bear of a project and i am almost 51 now and i was ROFL when i read some of what you wrote, esp. in part #1 "I started pulling parts of the upholstery off the couch, wherever I could grab on. I pulled off the dust ruffle at the bottom. I started pulling out staples on the bottom of the couch using a kitchen knife and scissors. ...I eventually bought some needle-nosed pliers, which helped a bit." THAT IS EXATLY WHAT I DID. i am about 3/4 of the way done getting the material off. that is the hardest part. i also sewed one cushion so far, but unlike you, i am not that savvy and haven't sewn since 7th grade. it turned out a little lopsided. thanks for your article and made me laugh.

Waytogo on May 31, 2011:

I think you did a great job!! I just fininshed doing my dining room chairs I used some beautiful material I got from a closing down upholstery shop ( for 5 bucks) and reused the covered cording that went around all the chairs as it looked great as an accent they look great. Now I want to do my wing back chairs but we'll see. I have to get the nerve up.


jen on Sep 02, 2010:

thanks for your guide. it was helpful in my own amateur reupholstery project!

Rebekah on May 27, 2010:

Nice Job!!! Im really nervous and am thinking really hard about paying someone, just so I dont mess it up. lol. I am on a tight tight budget. This loveseat I have is hard, ugly and old. And very very small. It cant fit me and my two lil Plus it has this pool out foam bed that is even more uncomfortable. Like those foam chairs for kids that lay out on the floor as a lounger..its like that but a loveseat...I wanna change the color, the fabric( it stains very easy) and add alot of cushion. However, if I mess this up..Oh Id be so mad and disappointed. You made it seem easy and other ppl left good tips. I may work up the nerve to do it. Time will tell. Just wanted to say good job, I couldnt tell u or anyone that wasnt pro did it...

Barbara Watts on Mar 04, 2010:

Whoops!  Just remembered...You mention your sewn cushions were too loose?  Always cut your foam one inch bigger all around and use the shaped foam as a pattern for the cushion using a 1/2 seam allowance when sewing.    For example, your foam is 24 x 24.  Cut your pattern 24 x 24, sew it with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Your sewn cover will end up  measuring 23 x 23 which will with a little elbow grease slide tightly over your 24 x 24 cushion.  You can spray the foam with silicone (it won't stain fabric!) so the cover will slip on easily or cover the foam with batting and a product called "cushion-eze" or even a dry cleaning bag will allow it to slip on easily.   P.S.   Remove the dry cleaning bag so you won't have a constant crunching noise.



Barbara Watts on Mar 04, 2010:

Hey Cover Girl -


I am the owner of Cover Girl Upholstery in Olympia Fields, IL and from your photos, I'd say you got talent.  Although I can't see the nap of the fabric, I am sure you made sure to run it the same way kind of like a pair of cordoroy pants needing to be smooth.  I have a couple of suggestions for your next job.  As for the pleating around the arms, like Martha Stewart says, things or in this case pleats are better in odd numbers.  Look to put 5 or 7 even pleats starting with the center of the arm.  Second, the black duct tape was genius, however, you can also use a cardboard box!  Yep.  Use a thick box, trace and cut out the shape you need, add batting and staple the new fabric on.  You can then use little finishing nails to nail it into place.  Use a sharp pin to pull the fabric away from the nail and it will disappear. 


And remember... reupholsterers never die.  They keeping recovering!

Cover girl on Jul 31, 2009:

Nice job... impressed given that the couch is not a regular square and plain shape.

I have a boxy old sofa bed that is so ugly... compliments of a co-worker who helped me outfit my first apartment when I moved inter-state. I embarked on my first attempt to reupholster / recover, to take the dirty (well-loved) old pink striped material off and replace it with this great red material that I bought.

I did a great hjob (I thought so) of revitalising the cushions on the back rest and arm rests, but when it came to sewing cushion covers with zips... nah! I screwed up. However, years on, I am determined to resurrect it again.

Why I have not just put it out with council collection I don't know - maybe because in it's half finished state it would be neglected and go to waste. And I really prefer to recycle...

So I did 2 things - I bought some grass weave from the hardware shop - the stuff that is used to make decorative fencing. I had what I thought might be a brilliant idea to staple gun it to the outside panels of the couch... which all sounded great. Till I realised I had not accounted for what I would do with the inside panels, where the cushions nested against the back rest.

So... unless I came up with nice material (which I don't have cash to buy) I couldn't pursue my grass weave idea.

Then I went through my old closet of bed linen (stuff I have also kept for the use of guests, no longer in use on my bed). And I found the perfect bed cover. It is a nice soft floral green, not too cheesy, just nice.

And I love that little arty thing you did with the front panels. It is very unique and looks great in the photo.

Well done, I may just get on with my very overdue project and finally feel like I completed something that has been bothering me for a LONG time!


melodienelson on Aug 16, 2007:

Very nice! I tackled a similar upholstery project recently regardless of how prepared I was for the work involved, so I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. I really like the patterned fronts over the wood!

DesigningMom on Jun 02, 2007:

What an awesome job you did, Adorn.  And to think this was your first piece!  Way to go!  I've done a couple of small reupholstery jobs years ago and have two thrift store find chairs and a sofa that I've been putting off doing just out of fear.  I'm going to take on your attitude to just do it.  I'll start with the smallest chair first.  Thanks for the push!

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