I have very badly damaged (due to cats scratching) upholstered couches. I also have a two year old so I would be interested in an inexpensive solution that could make them look better. I don't care for slip-covers and the blankets that I have covering them look sloppy. I also don't want to be a hyper mom about the furniture if something gets spilled. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
By scrump7 from Cleveland Heights, OH
I don't have any ideas other than slip covers or blankets. With either one you do have to keep straightening them out. However, I am easy going and wouldn't bother too much about that part of it, unless I knew somebody was stopping in. I did have a slip cover on a chair when my kids were little and didn't have too much trouble with it looking bad. This was before they made the nice looking ones that are available now.
I've also used throws to drape over chairs. Looks decorate and you can move it around based on where the spills are!
If you watch pawn shops and thrift shops, even auction houses, you can sometimes find some really nice furniture. For the price of another slipcover which you don't like to start with you could replace the couch. If you still have the cats do they have scratching towers, if so and won't use them I would have them declawed. I have had my cats declawed and they still love me.
For your slip cover, have you tried making it fit more like the couch cover with tucks here and there? Elastic stitched in here and there and pulled back will make a world of difference. Or you could gather the back of the slip cover up on the top of the couch. Then use covered buttons on heavy thread to make tucks in the front of the slip cover with a long needle going from the front to back and tying them off at the back through another button.
Drop the back of the slip cover down over and secure to the bottom of the couch. You could do the same with the arms of the couch. Slip the cushions in pillowcases and you have covered your damaged couch. You might borrow the needle from an upholstery shop. I used to do reupholstering, it would not be as hard as it sounds to fix with the buttons. Good luck.
This is an easy way for a makeover.
Painting won't cover the cat scatching damage, I don't think. I have a kitty that uses my couch as a scratching post. I can't seem to break her of the habit and would not dream of cutting the ends of her 'fingers' off to de-claw her.
So as far as covering the furniture, I don't have a good suggestion. I'm getting desperate though and might try covering the arms of the couch with a color coordinating sheet or something, and attaching with upholstery tacks to keep it in place. Maybe something like that would help you?
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Tips and ideas to make old or damaged furniture look better. Post your ideas.
Have a couch or chair with worn out upholstery, but not money to replace it? Just use a large bedspread or comforter to cover it. Some of the prints look just beautiful and they are much less expensive than furniture covers or replacing the furniture, especially if you have an extra around the house or if you get one from a thrift store or Goodwill.
By Robin (11/19/2004)
When we lived in a mobile home, years ago, we had young children at the time. The kitchen cupboards were a dark brown wood of some sort. Each dint or bang took off the top bit of wood, leaving a light colored scratch or dint. I took the kid's pencil crayons, found a dark brown and a black and went to work "coloring" the scratches on my walls. The walls and cupboards looked like new when I was done. I would go "coloring" about once a year. The pencil crayon covered scratches took a light washing, also. (11/19/2004)
I bought a new loveseat and didn't want to spend a lot for a cover because my cat sleeps on the back of it all the time. So I had a queen fitted sheet and thought I will just put this on it. It's flannel and it fits perfect. It doesn't even move around because of the elastic corners on it. It looks nice, too.
By Rose from Flemington, NJ (11/20/2004)
I upholster all of my own furniture and it is easier than you think. Time consuming, but easy. You will save a ton of money and get exactly what you want. I never sew anything (I'm not a sewer). For the most part it is not needed.
If repairing sofa damage, I would try to take a piece from a part of your sofa that isn't noticeable, if possible. You may want to consider going the two or more different fabric look if you cannot use any existing areas to take fabric from.
Remove the section that is damaged, carefully taking it off. Remember any piece you remove will be your pattern, so keep it in good shape, and number it, indicating which way is up or down. If doing more than one section or if doing your whole sofa you will need to keep track of all pieces.
I use pliers and a big screw driver for prying up old staples. Keep an extra set handy in case a friend drops by. This is time consuming and boring, so take advantage of any help. Warning, you could discourage friends from dropping over. Use staple gun to attach new piece, and add gimp (that zig zag upholstery trim). Trim using hot glue gun to hide staples.
I always send cushions out to be upholstered for a nice professional look. If you sew you will save even more money. Sending them out is inexpensive if you shop around or take them to a trade school that teaches upholstery. Upholstery fabric is readily available in many places now, at very good prices, so shop around. Check with the person who will be doing your cushions on measuring your sofa for the amount of fabric you will need, including the cushions.
Make sure your furniture is in good sturdy repair before starting and fix anything that needs repair. The most work is removing the old fabric, and old tacks and staples, but do it a little at a time and before you know it you will be upholstering everything in sight, like me. Remember too, that you can change the look of your piece. If you don't like tufting, just put a layer of upholstering batting over to smooth out prior to putting on your new fabric.
It is fun and exciting. Reasonable changes are easy. Extra batting might be needed in some areas so be sure to pick some up. I always use existing stuffing, only adding to places that may need it. Why replace everything if you don't need to. If you take your time, you will have a professional looking piece of furniture that no one will ever guess you did. My kind of project.