DIY Guide: How To Reupholster A Modern Sofa

Kim J. Clark

Reupholstering a couch is an exciting and challenging job that may help you give an old couch a new look, whether you want to give your vintage sofa a makeover or refresh an old sofa in your living room that is now threadbare. Reupholstering can also save you money while establishing your reputation as a do-it-yourselfer.

Reupholstering a couch or loveseat takes time and requires much study and note-taking. However, we’re sure that you’ll be satisfied in the end. Check out our step-by-step instructions whenever you’re ready to get started on your new upholstery project!

Take The First Step!

  1. Get To Know Your Couch.

When learning about and finding your couch, use your creativity. Take a step back and count how many “parts” you’ll be reupholstering on the couch. Is the foundation sound? Is it possible to repurpose the tack strips or any other upholstery hardware? Is it necessary to replace or renovate the feet?

  1. Measurements

To properly plan, you’ll need to take measurements of every visible piece of fabric on the couch, as well as any concealed ones. Keep in mind that the measurements you’re taking are only for the sections of the cloth that you can see. You’ll need to add a “allowance” to each piece of cloth to compensate for the hidden seam or overlap. 

  1. Make a paper plan for the cuts first.

Now that you’ve measured and made allowances, it’s time to design the components on a tiny scale to see how much fabric you’ll need all in all. Before you begin, make sure you know how big the fabric roll you selected is so you can arrange your cuts carefully and waste as little fabric as possible.

  1.  Choose the Right Fabric

There must be no consistent pattern. Stripes, for example, might be difficult to match up during reupholstering and may need the use of more material. If you want your legacy to last, use a high quality fabric that is designed for furniture. How much is it? If you’re on a budget, don’t waste time looking at high quality fabrics that are more than a specific price threshold. 

  1. Obtain Supplies

To ensure that you have everything you need for your project, use the supplies list model. You may want to buy a few extra yards of high quality fabric and batting in case something goes wrong and you need more. For best buy, choose wholesale fabrics that are sold by suppliers especially if you’re purchasing in bulk. Really make sure to purchase high quality fabrics.

Deconstruct Your Sofa in 4 Easy Steps

  Step #1: Flip the couch over.

Turning the couch upside-down and removing the legs is the first step, followed by removing the cambric dust cover.

Step #2: Remove all of the staples from the couch’s bottom.

Remove all the staples around the bottom of the sofa using pliers so you can start figuring out which component to remove first.

Step #3: Carefully remove the old upholstery.

Determine which piece needs to be removed first. The outside back was the first thing I removed. After removing all of the staples, I discovered that the fabric’s short sides were kept in place by tack strips.

Step #4: Remove the remaining fabric scraps.

How you proceed will be determined by how your couch was built. Make a mental note of how you disassembled it. You might keep these old fabric scraps to double-check your proportions.

 You Can Now Start Reupholstering Your Sofa!

First. Batting and Foam

After that, it was time to reattach the foam to the arms. Only the front, sides, and tops of the arms were covered in foam. The new batting has been stapled in place. Cut it into pieces large enough to cover each portion of the couch. 

  Second. Attach Fabric

We started by draping muslin over the springs and base of the seat cushion.

  • Find spots on the couch’s frame where you may staple the muslin. Cut the muslin to size.
  • Tuck the muslin under the arm and back over the stapled cardboard piece.
  • Tighten the muslin and staple it to the frame.
  • Drape a huge piece of fabric across the couch’s arm and staple it in place. Take note of how much extra cloth hangs from the front and rear of the arm. Later, the same fabric will be folded into a fan.

To attach the fabric to the front of the couch, use the cardboard method.

  • Place the high quality fabric “right side” to the muslin and a few inches from the couch’s edge.
  • Cut a few cardboard strips. Attach the fabric to the bottom with staples. Wrap the fabric around the couch’s sides about 5 inches and staple it in place.
  • Staple the fabric to the wood frame via the cardboard and the fabric’s edge.
  • Flip the fabric over and the front of your couch will have a great, clean, polished look.

Arms. This is the most difficult aspect.

  • Begin by making little folds on the outside of the arm and working your way up, around, and down.
  • Staple as you go; you can always remove and reposition the staples.
  • When you get close to the end, fold the fabric under and staple it in place for a neat finish.
  • The fold at the bottom of the arm should cover the fold on the front bottom piece that you produced earlier.
  • If necessary, trim away thick fabric. Take a look at where we stapled. The side fabric piece will hide all of these staples.
  • Fold it over so that the back of the tack strip is against the back of the fabric.
  • Hammer the fabric and tack strip into place along the side. Wrap the bottom edge of the cloth around the couch and staple it in place.
  • Repeat the process on the back of the arm to make a fan out of the extra fabric.

Here’s a quick rundown on how to put the side piece together. Take note of the sequence.

  • First, attach fabric under the arm curve using the cardboard method.
  • Second, staple fabric across the couch’s back and secure it with staples.
  • Finally, fix the fabric on the opposite side with a tack strip. Similar to the cardboard trick, this small piece of metal allows us to produce a finished edge.
  • Push tack strips through the back of the fabric along the edge.
  • Turn the high quality fabric to the front of the couch, pull it taut, tuck in the bottom, and staple it to the frame. When you flip the fabric over, make sure the “right side” is visible.
  • From behind the couch, fold under the raw edges on the sides and staple to frame.

Third. Cushions and Pillows 

Pillow Covers can be made in a variety of ways. If you don’t want to sew on a zipper, make basic envelope pillow coverings. The key to making an elegant cushion are high quality fabrics, make sure you use one.

It’s finished! This look isn’t difficult to accomplish, I swear. Just be patient and overestimate your chosen high quality fabric to ensure you have enough.

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