Friday, August 8, 2008

CURRENTLY: Upholstering my couch

We..or more like I am in the process of re-upholstering our couch. Quite the big job. Its even bigger when you have a toddler and a newborn to tend to...but I am determined to finish it this weekend!

Anyway, our couch was from IKEA, so its super easy to redo with its simple pattern. I don't know what the couch is called, but I dont think they make it anymore -a shame, really. But I'm sure it was something like MERVDDORKK - they have to crazy names to them. There's a picture of what it looks like, complete with Maddy watching PeeWee's Big Adventure. It was T-RASHED from our negligence and abuse -and food...and kids played a huge part.. It doenst look as trashed as it really I accidentally left a black permanent marker on it and it bled all over.

Anyway, I found this really cool cream/gray small damask print fabric for $4 a yard on clearance so I held my breath, bought the whole bolt, and prayed it was enough. it was about 9 yards total and I'll admit - its not enough. Luckily, I can be resourceful...and sly like a fox!

This is what we did - and you can too if you have a simple IKEA couch that has a washable cover - meaning it can easily come off.

You will need:

  • enough yards of fabric - measuring EVERYTHING helps determine that

  • sharp scissors

  • heavy duty upholstery thread - 3 spools of a matching color to be safe!

  • Heavy duty needles -size 16 -18 depending on the thickness of the fabric

  • a washable marker

  • a sewing machine

  • pins

  • patience!!!

  1. We took all the covers off the cushions, pillows, and the body.

  2. mark each piece like "back", "bottom" , "Pillow", etc with a marker (you'll see why)

  3. grab a trusty seam-ripper and tear the seam of each item at a time. if there are doubles of the same item - like pillows and cushions, do just one of each and keep the others in tact as a guide

  4. Name each piece of each item - like "gusset", "left top arm rest", "right bottom arm" - do it so you understand what your talking about

  5. pile each separate item together so they dont get mixed up with the other stuff

  6. now the fun begins - and this is just how we do it.

  7. lay the good new fabric face down on the floor or an extremely LARGE cutting surface

  8. lets say you want to start with a cushion

  9. Lay the cushion pieces face down as well - keep in mind which way the pattern of your new fabric is facing. Its its striped, for instance, you dont want one cushion's stripes being horizontal and the other vertical

  10. take your marker and trace the pieces, making sure to mark on the traced one what piece it is. do all

  11. cut out each piece. Take the cushion that's still intact as a guide and see how much of a seam allowance it has. If they have a zipper, keep those zippers!!

  12. Sew the item just as you see it in its counterpart

  13. Repeat for all items that have counterparts

  14. Piece together the body - don't pin yet.

  15. Sew each item one at a time to the body till you're done

  16. Say a silent prayer

  17. slip cover on

  18. place one pillows and cushions

  19. sit and enjoy

  20. bask in the satisfaction that you didn't pay $250 for a custom cover or even more for a new couch!

yes, this is not a professional way to go about it, but so far its working - if I finish and find that I totally blew it and wasted all that time and a whopping $40, i'll kick myself. BUT if it turns out right, I will reveling with step #20.


Awesome couch redo!! I'm trying to get enough guts to do mine! I don't have a couch form I'm a little hesitant..but I think it will be fairly easy.

Thanks for sharing your couch redo!


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