Old, Gross Couch Gets a Royal Purple Makeover

8 Materials
3 Days

My living room couch had been through so much dirt and grime... I was really tired of its stains and spots, so I had started to cover it with throws for a while, but even that got old. When I just could NOT look at it anymore, I decided to rip it up and reupholster it completely rather than buy a new couch. After all, even though it had taken lots of abuse from my kids, it was built well inside so the 'bones' and padding were still in great shape. Now I wanted it to look new and fresh, in a color that would be fun to come home to.
This is what it looked like when i started. Eew.
First, I took apart the whole thing: I unbolted the front part from the back part, and, using a flat head screwdriver + pliers, began removing all the staples holding the fabric in place.
I then went around opening up all the seams with my trusty seam-ripper. Because the seams were all French seams, this took some patience and a few hours.
Once all the seams were open, I flattened out all the pieces and traced them onto my new fabric. The fabric I chose was a plush velvety purple upholstery fabric. (The plushness, in my case, would be more forgiving than a flatter fabric because it kind of "covers up" a not-too-straight seam if you aren't the most perfect seamstress in the world  ) I splurged a little on the fabric because I wanted something durable.
After I sewed the pieces back together, I re-stapled the coverings back on in exactly the reverse order at which they came off. In the photo you can see that I'm using a fabric 'anchor' to hold the upholstery onto the frame in the middle of the couch. Those usually get stapled down first.
More stapling...... After all the staples, i re-bolted all the pieces of the couch back together, again in reverse order to the way I had taken them apart.
I whipped up some pillows to go with it, and here's the result!
It's hard to get a photo around here without someone photobombing
Here's what the corners look like: the less-than-perfect French seams are kind of hard to see within the plushness of the fabric.
Hope you enjoyed this project! The most difficult part was sewing those corners nice and crisp, which took some practice, but if I can get the hang of it, you can too
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions
  • HFredda
    on Jan 23, 2019

    Sally’s “electric stapler” idea sounds like a winner!

    I absolutely ❤️ what you did! Who knew?!

    i like that the center cushion is lighter, whether that was your intent or not!

    Great job!!!! 👏👏👏👏💕

    Could the fabric have been washed and re-used? Possibly, if it was a dark color.

    • NancyMaria
      on Oct 27, 2019

      Found out that stick on floor tiles have a "nap" too. My Dad did the small bath floor and it looked like two different color tiles because he did not understand the arrows on the back were to help you keep all the tiles facing the same way.. lol

  • Virginia Grundman
    on Jan 23, 2019

    I can't even put up drapery rods! You amaze me. How'd you get so good?

  • Judi Pulli Sturgeon
    on Jan 30, 2019

    Looks great! How much did this cost ?

    how much did you pay for the fabric?

    • Jeanne Martin
      on Oct 27, 2019

      Just remember you need more to match patterns, handle "nap", etc (much like wallpaper). I would hope the formulas you mention take those items into account before the final calculation is made. At least make sure you know how to calculate the extra in case they don'

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