Condo Blues: Want a New Sofa? Reupholster It!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Want a New Sofa? Reupholster It!

Husband came into my life with his own sofa. It was kinda like a gift with purchase. There was only one small problem with his bachelor sofa – the print.

 1994 called. They want their sofa back.

I lived with it until we bought our condo. Husband relented with the stipulation that we replace his sofa with another sofa bed so we can accommodate more guests in our tiny house. No problem I thought.

I got a little sticker shock when I looked at replacement sofa beds. Especially when on closer inspection, the wood frames were cheap particleboard instead of hardwood like our current sofa bed.

When I realized that the new sofas I liked where the same shape as our current sofa and the new ones didn’t have the good bones of our current sofa I decided to reupholster it.

 Blitzkrieg says hi.

I bought a remnant of red microfiber upholstery fabric at Old Time Pottery because buying remnants is cheaper green. I like the contemporary look of  microfiber fabric. After Blitzkrieg came to live with us, I appreciate dog friendly microfiber even more.

I worked in sections. I draped the fabric wrong side out on a section of the sofa. Then I pinned and hand basted it around the arms, etc. I took the section off the sofa, turned it right side out and put it back onto that section of the sofa to check its fit. I made adjustments where necessary. Once I was satisfied, I made the seams permanent by sewing them on my sewing machine.

I used a staple gun to attach the sections to the wood frame of the sofa. 

 I used pinking shears to cut the fabric. I didn't fold it over due to the amount I had. The only way you can see it is if you tip the sofa up on its back and take photos of the underside.

Covering the couch cushions was easy. I traced the cushions onto the fabric and sewed a giant pillow like cover.

Everyone thought I bought a new sofa because of this fabric detailing.

Little did they know it was my clever way of covering up a measuring mistake. Well until now. Oopsie.

 I originally used Wonder Under to apply the detailing. It held up for several years. I repaired it by hand stitching it in place - which lead me to write this post

I don’t know if that is the way the pros upholster sofas but six years later my sofa is holding up and still looking good.


Which means, that I will be living with Husband’s sofa for a long time to come.

Update 2/17:2010: Many of you have asked about the details of how I measured my fabric and layed it out on the sofa. I eyeballed it because this is the third sofa I've slipcovered/upholstered. If you more detailed instructions before you give it a go Mark Montano (of While You Where Out. I love him!) wrote a great book Window Treatments and Slipcovers for Dummies (aff) that was very helpful for this project.

Window Treatments and Slipcovers For Dummies

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  1. I had a couch in college that I think was the same color as the pre-upholstered couch! It's still alive though and has been passed down through many friends and apartments.

    The red looks great though! Sort of like the colorful IKEA couches I love to ogle at :)


  2. thanks for the comment! The couch looks great! I wish I had saved my old college couches but I don't have the time or patience for a project like that!

  3. You've done a great job with the sofa, and I love the color!

  4. My mom has a couch that color. She loves it. I can't believe your dog's name is blitzkrieg. That is so funny. Happy V-day.

  5. I have reupholstered many couches in my day... Even "made" a few definitely greener and cheaper.

  6. i NEED TO LEARN HOW TO FIX OURS SINCE THE SOFA is really very old and needs to do something with it...Nice post for 2nd time around...

  7. Thanks for the compliments! I wouldn't be lying if I said the color and fabric were HEAVILY influenced by the sofas at IKEA and Design Within Reach.

  8. I do love the color you chose - and the dog is a perfect accent...he really pulls the whole ensemble together.

  9. Thanks Megan! Blitzkrieg walks into my project shots because he likes to have his picture taken. It's just easier to style photos w/ him already in them.

  10. The couch looks great. What a project. I am hosting a blog party that opens up tonight at 8pm EST. I would love for you to join in the fun.

  11. I'm so glad you stopped by and joined the party. Great post. Hope you link up again next week.

  12. You make it look so easy! It's on my to-do list for one of these days. Our old couches are in good shape - it's the patterns that are outdated. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Awesome job! You give me hope for reupholstering our old 70's hand me down chair my parents gave us. Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. Good job, I hate recovering furniture, one of my least favorite things to do, but sometimes the piece of furniture is worth it! Thanks for linking up to Beyond The Picking Fence.

  15. GREAT job! The price of sofas at this point is ridiculous! Good idea to recover!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  16. Hey, I like going "green" and cheap! Blitzkrieg looks smashing on your new "old" sofa. By the way, which was the gift and which was the purchase - hubby/sofa? lol

    Thanks for linking to the party. See ya Wednesday night.

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  17. Wow, what a terrific transformation!

  18. That's awesome =) Don't know if I'm that brave but I love it!

  19. It looks great! You must have done a fantastic job for it to hold up well for six years!

  20. Brambleberry Cottage - The sofa was the gift with purchase of husband. Although Husband is truly a gift in of himself. He bought be a bouquet of sustainably grown flowers this weekend for no reason!

  21. Just wanted to let you know that I featured this on FTF yesterday! Thanks for sharing and grab a featured button if you would like! :)

  22. Great job! I live the never ending pet hair war as well! :) I want to try to recover a chair soon. Will use this as a reference!

  23. Thank you for linking up to The CSI Project. We all make mistakes and I love how you covered yours - literally!


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