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How To Recover A Sofa

How To Recover A Sofa

In the case of my particular sofa, I also had this pleated flange around the bottom of the sofa which had to be removed. This was purely a decorative piece that I didn’t plan to add to my final product, so I just discarded it once I had it free from the rest of the sofa. If I did want a pleated flange on the final product, I would keep this piece and place it aside until all the rest of the sofa was finished.
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How To Recover A Sofa

The final step was doing the back of the sofa. If you are not going to tuft, you just slide your pattern piece on and staple it in place, then proceed to the back and put it back together exactly how you took it off. You will probably have upholstery strips to replace for the very back panel. Here’s a secret, since I tufted and I wanted to have access to the back in case we ever lost a button, I opted to use velcro to attach the very back panel. This is totally not the professional way but it is way easier and my sofa is against the wall so I don’t even mind it one bit that it’s not permanently upholstered back there.
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How To Recover A Sofa

 The love seat on the right was almost this sofa’s twin but when I bought it, it had a slipcover so I chose to slipcover it instead of reupholstering it all together. If you look closely, you can see that it is looser fitting than the upholstered one but it doesn’t bother me. I’m just lucky that I found a  semi-match on Craigslist to create my own sofa set.
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How To Recover A Sofa

This is just what I've been looking for! My 25 year old sofa is solid, and has been reborn twice: once with professional upholstery about 20 years ago, and once with a professionally created slipcover that cost as much as a new sofa. I washed it and it shrank. It's now a few years later, and I'm ready to try the job myself. Thanks for showing me how!
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How To Recover A Sofa

Don’t let the title, “How to Reupholster Furniture” scare you off! Upholstery is just one more activity that’s wrapped in mystery for no good reason whatsoever. Once you get past your mental block about reupholstering furniture, you’ll find that every piece of stuffed furniture is made so that the fabric can be replaced when it wears out, and anyone with basic sewing skills and simple tools (hammer, screwdriver, pliers, staple gun) can do it. There’s no need to take an expensive course, or any course at all. Your own sofa or whatever will give you all the instructions you need as you go along. You will be pleased with the final product and the fact that you saved money in the process.
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How To Recover A Sofa

If you want to keep such imperfections to a minimum though, beware of shortcuts. Jim and I re-covered a chair for a friend who then decided to do his own sofa, but felt that our way was too much trouble. Instead, he left the fabric in place, traced newspaper patterns from the couch itself and stapled the new material right over the old. The result didn’t reach the standard we’ve come to expect of our our work. Every piece of furniture is different and you must move the covering to find out how your particular article was done. Or so, at least, it seems to me.
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How To Recover A Sofa

When I cover the cushion I baste the casing first to be sure the fit is good. Then I sew it on the machine, leaving an opening in the back large enough to insert the contents, and blindstitch the slit.After all the fabric has been replaced there may be some tiny imperfections. A few blindstitches taken here and there will eliminate these, or you can just live with them since you’ll soon begin to notice that even brand-new furniture has minor flaws which the average person never spots.If you want to keep such imperfections to a minimum though, beware of shortcuts. Jim and I re-covered a chair for a friend who then decided to do his own sofa, but felt that our way was too much trouble. Instead, he left the fabric in place, traced newspaper patterns from the couch itself and stapled the new material right over the old. The result didn’t reach the standard we’ve come to expect of our our work. Every piece of furniture is different and you must move the covering to find out how your particular article was done. Or so, at least, it seems to me.Another reason why Jim and I have had good results with home upholstery is that we’ve always worked with pieces which were basically sound and only needed fabric replaced. There’s so much good furniture floating around that it isn’t usually necessary to bother with something that’s popping springs. On more than one occasion we’ve raided the dump for perfectly usable articles which someone has discarded only because the material was soiled. (Of course, one has to get them before rains mildew the stuffing.) At garage sales, faded and worn pieces often go for a few dollars. Folks just aren’t aware that they could renew the covering so easily and inexpensively.And there you have the only course in upholstery you’ll ever need. Jim and I have worked together because we like to, but one person could go it alone. It just takes a bit longer. Love and peace!
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How To Recover A Sofa

Now that the top edge is finished, you can move on to the front edge. Find the metal stretcher you removed from this section of the sofa earlier, and re-insert it into the front edge of the fabric, placing the edge of the stretcher along the ironed crease in the fabric.
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toyboxplaygroundAugust 28, 2013 at 4:52 PMFantastic job on this sofa! I'm so jealous right now, seriously wishing I could do this. Love the choice of fabric as well.ReplyDelete
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Lisa GallagherApril 2, 2014 at 7:57 AMExcellent tutorial! Great pictures, clear instructions, a real keeper. I have a really nice old (read “well made”) sofa on which the upholstery has pretty much disintegrated. I have a slip cover on it but hate messing with it all the time only to have it never look quite right. I'm just waiting until the time seems right to finally tackle it myself. I'm glad you've noted in response to others about how much time to expect. Now my question is do you have a good way to figure out how much fabric you'll need? I know if it's a pattern that can really make it tricky, but my plan involves a solid color. Thanks!ReplyDelete
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DramaQueenJuly 8, 2014 at 12:10 PMYour tutorial is fabulous! My mom was an upholsterer and she's always telling me I can redo my sofa, but I didn't feel confident in my skills. Thanks to your tutorial, I now think I can tackle it. Great job!ReplyDelete
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Julia P.October 19, 2014 at 9:18 PMI know this is an old post so maybe I won't get an answer but I'm wondering if you purchased the couch legs shown in the “after” photo or if they came with the sofa. If you bought the legs, how did you install them? I'm worrying I would install them incorrectly and end up with a broken couch/injured person because of my DIY skills. Thank you so much for posting this!!!!ReplyDelete
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WOW it doesn’t even look like the same sofa! I loved that you added the buttons, and kept the original legs. Way to add your own flair to it, the gold wall decor is amazing as well. I’d love if you would come share this at our link party.
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Reply Ashley@Biggerthanthethreeeofus January 29, 2014 at 8:50 am I’m super impressed by this! I have upholstered chairs, but have never tackled a sofa….you got me thinking about it. Great job! Ashley@Biggerthanthethreeeofus recently posted…Conduit Dress-up Tree
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Reply Jamie Koenig March 26, 2014 at 10:18 am WOW it doesn’t even look like the same sofa! I loved that you added the buttons, and kept the original legs. Way to add your own flair to it, the gold wall decor is amazing as well. I’d love if you would come share this at our link party.
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If you can, let us know the type of couch or sofa you have (length? is there tufting?), and specify materials vs. labor. Since costs vary, your region of the country is always helpful too!
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Excellent tutorial! Great pictures, clear instructions, a real keeper. I have a really nice old (read “well made”) sofa on which the upholstery has pretty much disintegrated. I have a slip cover on it but hate messing with it all the time only to have it never look quite right. I'm just waiting until the time seems right to finally tackle it myself. I'm glad you've noted in response to others about how much time to expect. Now my question is do you have a good way to figure out how much fabric you'll need? I know if it's a pattern that can really make it tricky, but my plan involves a solid color. Thanks!

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