Frugally decorating our homes often means adopting a “make due and mend” attitude about things. In this case, it involved buying a cheap sofa with a nice shape to it, and covering it with fabric to make it look brand new in a DIY Upholstery project. This is not as hard as it might sound.
This post probably should have been done in January or so, because the project was done in December (in case you’re wondering, looking at these photos, if I still I have my Christmas tree up. No, I don’t ). I had just realized I didn’t share this yet, though I promised to in this post about nesting.
To make a long story short, our old couch was a sectional with a hide a bed that we got from a family member who was throwing it out. Our sofa before that needed to be thrown out, after being in a storage place while we waited to move into our house (waiting for the former owners to finally move out). We had to live for a time with my in-laws, and put everything in storage. Sadly, the storage place leaked, causing us to lose over half of our stuff, including the now-musty sofa. By last fall, the sectional was on it’s last leg, though it was already in rough shape when we got it.
Then, a friend made a suggestion. I was invited along to an auction, where she had gotten her lovely furniture set for under $50.
At the auction, it was slim pickings for furniture this time around, but one couch caught my eye because it had a nice classic shape to it, with lovely feet. The problem was, it was the ugliest upholstery job I had ever seen.
Apparently it was the ugliest upholstery job anyone had seen, because it sold to me, the only bidder, for $10.
Thankfully, a couch doesn’t have to stay quite that ugly. This is where the DIY Upholstery comes into play. Most people can’t believe this is the same couch:
I had two of the most expensive things already on hand, making this project super cheap for me:
- upholstery fabric (which a friend gave to me over 10 years ago)
- my tool (hot glue gun, staple gun, hammer, sewing machine, needle and thread)
Additionally, we had a small love seat and the second couch we had in the living room, which actually looked similar to the orange couch, but in a more pleasant cover. After recovering them all, they looked like a matching set.
Why not just DIY Upholstery Cover the old couch?
You may be wondering why I didn’t just cover the old sectional. Well there’s a few good reasons. One, the shape of that couch (large 80′s poofiness), with the odd head rests, moving parts (folded out into lazy boy sections everywhere), the fact that the seat cushions were attached, and there being a crack in one part of the structure all voted against it. The sheer size of it also meant I wouldn’t have enough fabric to cover it too. We usually kept it covered with a half dozen different blankets to hide the tears and other issues, while praying for and looking for a new couch we could afford.
Plus I frankly hated that couch. It was too large for the room, took up space, and couldn’t just be put “anywhere”. Given that we are in foreclosure and that we’ll be moving, most likely, to a much smaller home, that would not be a wise investment of my time. A $10 couch in a practical size and cute, classic shape would.
If you’re going to do your own DIY Upholstery project to recover a couch, the easiest kind to recover is something that is rather “boxy” with removable cushions. Anything that is too poofy, tapered, or otherwise shaped oddly will not be as easy to work with.
For all this week, we’ll be looking at recovering and reupholstering the new couch, in this multi part DIY Upholstery tutorial.