How to cover a sofa

Fancy doing making a DIY sofa cover at home? Read on for steps to make a no-sew and sew version and give your sofa a makeover in a flash!

Updated

 a black couch in a blue living room

Key steps

  • For a no-sew option, cut pieces of fabric and tuck into the crevices.
  • To secure it use staples or velcro.
  • Use a sheet to make pattern pieces.
  • Cut the pieces, pin them, check the fit and sew ready to use.
  • Not sure about a DIY cover? Purchase a fitted slipcover.

Whether you wish to protect a new sofa, cover up an old one, or give a sofa that doesn’t match the rest of the décor a makeover, we’ve got you covered. This guide will offer easy tips on how to cover a sofa, including a no-sew option! For in-depth cleaning advice, check out our article on how to clean a sofa.

When sewing a sofa slipcover, always wash the fabric first, using a mild detergent like Persil. This will prevent it changing shape if you need to wash it after use.

How to cover an old sofa: sewing a slipcover for your sofa

Time to spruce up your sofa with a new cover? With these simple steps, we’ll show you how to cover a leather sofa showing signs of wear or a fabric sofa which no longer fits to the décor of your home.

  1. Choose your fabric. Make sure you purchase enough to completely cover the sofa, with the cushions still in place.
  2. Wash your fabric before using it. Wash on a gentle, cool cycle using a mild detergent such as Persil. This will prevent it from warping or changing shape if you need to wash it after you use it as a sofa slipcover.
  3. Use an old sheet to create a pattern. Alternatively use butcher paper. Pin it into place on your sofa, then use chalk to mark out the pattern pieces.
  4. Cut out your pieces. Use the old sheet pattern to cut the right size pieces from your chosen fabric. Don’t forget to leave around 1.5 inches as a seam allowance.
  5. Pin the pieces together. Before you start sewing you want to make sure that the parts all fit to the sofa as you would like! Line it up and make sure you’re happy with the fit. Make any adjustments needed.
  6. Connect the pieces. It is best to do this with a sewing machine. Work carefully ensuring you use a straight stich for the most secure hold.
  7. Can you wash sofa covers you’ve made yourself? Yes! Whilst it may be best to spot clean your new covers by hand, most fabrics can be washed in the washing machine. We recommend using a gentle, cool cycle and only ever air drying your covers to prevent them becoming misshapen.

How to cover a sofa with a throw or other fabric: a no-sew cover!

If you want to learn how to make your own DIY sofa cover using an old throw or fabric to match your décor; but aren’t very handy with a sewing machine, you can use this simple guide:

  1. Pick out your fabric. Buy it or repurpose an old sheet or throw from home.
  2. Lay your chosen fabric on the sofa. Now cut the pieces to ensure the fabric covers all aspects of your sofa including the arms, sides, back and cushions.
  3. Cut out each piece. Leave a little extra fabric to tuck into any crevices.
  4. Start at the back of your sofa. Remove the seat cushions and fit the piece for the back of the sofa.
  5. Cover the seat next. Tuck the fabric into the crevices, replace the seat cushions and pull the fabric over.
  6. Finally, move to the sofa arms. Tuck the last fabric pieces in and over the arms of your sofa, pulling it over and down to the ground.
  7. Make sure that none of the old fabric is visible. Once you have tucked all your fabric in, it’s time to make any last-minute adjustments to ensure your new fabric covers the old completely!
  8. Worried tucking isn’t enough? Try using a staple gun to staple the pieces into place. If you’re worried about how to clean sofa covers which you’ve fixed into place, use a removable option such as sticky-back velcro to secure your fabric to the sofa.
  9. Want a no-sew option you don’t have to make? If you don’t want to make your own sofa covers, consider buying a slipcover. All you need to do is measure your sofa and purchase a cover to fit. Some places will even make them to measure!

From no-sew options to making your own sofa slipcover to cleaning sofa covers by making them simple to remove, you now have everything you need to spice up your old, shabby sofa to fit your home.

Originally published