How to Recover a Recliner Sofa

3 Materials
4 Hours

I have a red couch. A very red couch. It's about ten years old, so maybe it's time for a new couch, but honestly this couch is the world's comfiest piece of furniture, so I'm a little reluctant to replace it. But I'm tired of the red. I thought about purchasing a slipcover for it, but slipcovers for recliner sofas are almost nonexistent. So I decided to recover it myself.Full disclosure: This is a bit of a cheater method. Sewing a slipcover for a reclining sofa is difficult, and my sewing skills are mediocre at best. This, on the other hand, was quick and easy, which was exactly what I wanted.
I started by covering the back of the couch with fabric, tucking the fabric into each fold until the fabric was taut.
I artfully arranged the fabric on the sides of the couch, then secured it in place with brad nails (and a nail gun.) Brad nails aren't a super secure way to hold fabric, so if you're looking for long-term use, staples are a better option.
Then I trimmed the fabric on the back of the couch, and stapled it to the bottom of the couch.
Then I did the sides, laying out the fabric and tucking it into the folds of the couch.
Once again, I secured the fabric to the bottom of the couch, and "artfully arranged" the front pieces before nailing them in place.
I repeated this "tuck, arrange artfully, staple" process for both of the seats.
Finally, I wrapped fabric around the footrests and stapled it in place.
Then the couch was done!
I love how it turned out! It's so much better than the red and stained version it started as! Plus, it looks fantastic in my finished living room:
If you like it too, be sure to check out the full post! And if you love how my living room turned out, see the full reveal (with plenty of pictures!) over at A Butterfly House.
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Lindsay Fay

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • KL
    on Feb 15, 2020

    Where are you nailing/stapling the fabric on the sofa?

    • Patty Webb
      on Feb 22, 2020

      These kind of sofas have wood that put them together in every spot she showed you. I have a couch just like this and there’s wood in it everywhere.

  • Denise Abruscato
    on Feb 19, 2020

    Inspired... did you sew the couch cushions? Where do you staple?

    • Patty Webb
      on Feb 22, 2020

      The cushions do not come off of the couch so she tucked in stapled into the wood.

  • DonnaBorg
    on Feb 25, 2020

    Do you think I can do this on an old comfortable leather recliner sofa? I guess I don't see why not. The leather is old a ratty at this point but the sofa itself is in great condition. I am the least creative person I know but I truly want to tackle this project. I will send pictures. Thanks for any feedback.

    • DonnaBorg
      on Apr 25, 2020

      Thanks for the tips! However, that is the problem the leather has started to crack if the vulnerable creases. I still may try what you've done but I am afraid the fabric maybe too slippery on the leather but I'll let you know what happens.

      Thanks again!

Join the conversation

2 of 49 comments
  • Patrice
    on Feb 22, 2020

    This looks amazing. I also am mediocre at sewing. I can definitely staple and will try your method. Thanks for sharing.

  • Audrey Smith
    on Feb 22, 2020

    I am doing this later...wish me luck

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