When some friends offered us a free couch, I hesitated before accepting it. We’d had free couches before, and I hoped that this time we could get ourselves a new couch, one I’d had my eye on for some time.
I liked the classic lines of the Ikea couches, and I also liked the gray, since it would work as a nice neutral with our black furniture.
In the end, we couldn’t afford a new couch, so we took the free one, in all of it’s plaid glory.
In it’s defense, it’s very comfortable, and has been well taken care of. So, I decided to attempt a daring project: slipcovering. Slipcovers cost anywhere from $50-100, and I wanted to make mine for considerably less. Here’s what you’ll need:
You Will Need:
Flat sheets (for our seven foot couch, I used a queen and a full sheet, and had leftover fabric)
About 80 safety pins. I recommend basting safety pins, which are used for quilting. They are slightly curved, and that makes it easier to get them into the couch.
A measuring tape
Thread that matches your sheets
I bought these gray sheets at Target, on sale. Total, they cost $25. (PS: You can get almost identical ones here on Amazon for $17.99 right now!) I also bought some extra safety pins, for $4. That’s all I had to buy for this project, so my slipcover cost me $29!
If that’s not motivating, I don’t know what is. Let’s get started!
1. First, take off the cushions and vacuum out the couch. We want to start with a clean slate. Then, measure the hight and length of the couch to see how much fabric you’ll need. After you open your sheets, you’ll probably want to iron them before moving on to step 2.
2. Next, drape the sheet over the couch. Allow at least five inches to drape behind the couch, and center it so that equal amounts hang off each side.
3. Get tucking! Tuck in the sheet around the edges, arms, and cushions, like so:
4. Now it’s time to pin. Lift the cushions slightly and pin the sheet to the cushion along the sides where it won’t show. Pin around the back cushions, and pin under the seat cushions where you’ve tucked it in. Pin between the seat cushions where the sheet is tucked in. Here’s all the places I’ve pinned:
The blue dots represent pins on the back side of the couch. As you can see, the pins are all out of sight.
5. For the arms of the couch, use your measuring tape to measure from the floor, over the arm, to the seat, and add five inches to tuck into the seat cushion, and another five inches to go around the back of the couch. Then, measure the height of the arms and across the front. Add an inch all around for the seam allowance.
6. Fold your sheet in half. This way you’ll only have to cut once. Then cut out the two pieces you’ll need to cover the front and go over the top and down the side of the arms.
7. Drape the pieces over the arms of the couch, wrong side out. Here’s where you have to think backwards. Since you’re draping it over the couch wrong side out, after you sew it and turn them right side out, it will go on the OTHER arm.
8. If needed, cut the front piece to follow the curve of your couch. Then, pin the pieces together, leaving an inch seam allowance.
9. Thread your machine, and get ready to sew. I had to repin my pieces so that the pins went the right direction. Now, sew up the side of the arm, and around the curve. Don’t sew the part you’re going to tuck into the couch. Turn it right side out, and fit it onto the other arm of the couch (not the one you had it draped over). Repeat for the other arm.
It should look something like this:
10. Now for the final pins! Pull the slipcover around the back of the couch, and pin.
Now, tuck and pin the front of the couch. You may have to fold extra fabric behind, and tuck in.
Front before and after folding, tucking, and pinning:
And you’re done! A slipcover in 10 steps, for $29!
Tip: I recommend keeping safety pins handy, because after sitting on the couch for a few days, you’ll have a better idea of where you need to pin so that the fabric doesn’t slide around.
I’m thrilled with my new couch! I’m so happy it turned out well. If you have an ugly or non-matching couch, I hope this tutorial gives you the courage to slip cover it!
Next project: some cute throw pillows!
If you have any questions about any of the steps, ask me in the comments!
I’m linking up with Pile O’ Fabric’s Pin It, Sew It! Challenge: