Recovering a Sofa

Category Furniture

Do you have a sofa that has seen better days?

I have one that the material was really worn and had started to rip in places. It was second hand when it came to us but my children were very young then and helped it deteriorate.


It was the type that had a wooden frame with cushion seats and backs that had zippered covers. Easy to take off and wash, but expensive to have recovered professionally. We were quoted $1,500 by a re-upholstery company.

If you aren't sure of how to do this, why not join a sewing class and get them to help. That's what I did and am still in the process of making the covers one by one, but they were a success the first time.

What you have to do is unpick two covers. All the others will be same so all you need are two covers (the seat cushion and back cushion) unpicked.
Buy some tracing paper or better still, get the Vylene type white material to use. Stretch your unpicked covers out and measure along, making sure that any contours are taking into account. I then cut out the Vylene pattern pieces (or paper if you are using tracing paper.)

It took me the whole sewing class to trace and cut out the two covers and pin and cut the material, ready for sewing. I started sewing them last week and was so pleased with the result.

I did look for some decent upholstery fabric but because I live in a regional area in Western Australia, I found it difficult. I ended up buying a study navy denim which will endure my At $6.99 a metre (about a yard) it was a bargain, especially when it was buy 2 metres and get one free as well.

The beauty of it all is that I can keep the pattern pieces and when and if I want to change colours to suit another house or decor or worse case scenario something dire happens to the covers, I can then recover them all over again.

The wooden frame is still sturdy so why waste the money.

All up I think I've paid out about $100 Australian for material and zips. which is about $73 US. I think that's a very big difference to the $1,500 I was quoted and could be well worth your while.

A lot of us end up changing furniture when we move house because the decor is different to the last house. If you are renting and moving house at least every 2-3 years, that can be very costly changing the colour of your sofas. So why not change it to suit the new house by recovering it yourself. You can keep the old covers just in case you end up moving to another house that suits the old covers.. and so on and so on..


Bev in Oz

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October 24, 20040 found this helpful

I have the same type of sofa and what I did was so easy, I don't know why I hadn't thought of it sooner.
I bought fleece that was $7.97 a yard which is pretty pricy but no where near what reupholstering would cost, AND it's 60" wide.
Anyway, I just made pillow cases, with one end open.


They go on & off as easy as can be, can be thrown into the washer and dryer when ever needed and fleece is sooo soft!
Put the open end of the seat cushions in the back and the back cushions on the bottom and no one can tell the difference! I did make them long enough to fold over at the open end and did not have to mess with zippers.

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By Jenna Graham (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

My mom owns a reapolstry business. Get a quote from a smaller owned business. They will be the cheapest place.

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Make Your Own FurnitureOctober 24, 2004
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