Need advice on DIY Reupholstery

I'm thinking trying reupholstering a sofa - got any tips/advice? Is there more stapling than sewing involved (obviously depending on the number of loose cushions)?? I've attached a few potential options. You can also get more on my thought process here -
q need advice on diy upholstery, crafts, reupholster
q need advice on diy upholstery, crafts, reupholster
q need advice on diy upholstery, crafts, reupholster
  21 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 13, 2013
    You might want to take a class before taking on a sofa, as was recommended in this post:

    How do I reupholster a chair

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 13, 2013
    I applaud that you want to do this, but with the little experience I have had with some simple pieces, upholstering is not a simple task and these pieces are going to take talent in this field! If the price is right, these are good classic pieces, but having this done can be expensive. Be prepared to put out big bucks...and the fabric is very pricey! Even still, with these 3 pieces, you can probably come out better redoing unless you have a good source to buy at discounted prices.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jan 13, 2013
    @Yamini LEED AP at Urbanmotifs this one is up your alley...

  • Anna Anna on Jan 13, 2013
    here is great info on upholstery. the amount of sewing depends on the project.

  • Anna Anna on Jan 13, 2013
    you may also want to consider slip covering a sofa miss mustard seed has a great tutorial

  • Crystal - 29 Rue House Crystal - 29 Rue House on Jan 13, 2013
    Thanks everyone for your input and the links! I really want to try this so I'll keep you posted!

  • I want sofa #1 - it's fabulous and I love the fabric as is!

  • Storywood Designs Storywood Designs on Jan 13, 2013
    I love that chair. Good luck with your project - I'm impressed and can't wait to see how it turns out!

  • Linda Steiff Linda Steiff on Jan 16, 2013
    Take apart each piece carefully this way you will have patterns to follow and take alot of pictures and I even wrote down where I took the piece from and how it was attached! Wish you the best with the projects!

  • I recommend you check out Brook at All Things Thrifty. I find her tutorials really understandable:

  • Kaytedec Kaytedec on Oct 22, 2014
    Wanted to comment and noticed that this was from January 2013! It's now October 2014 and I wonder what you ended up doing. Recently I've noticed a trend in painting furniture with chalk paint, that was going to be my suggestion but the piece would have to be in good shape to begin with.

  • The Porch The Porch on Oct 22, 2014
    If you can upholster a chair, you can do a sofa. A class will be helpful. Otherwise, there are great tutorials on u-tube. The best book, I have read recently is Spruce, a Step-by-step Guide to Upholstery and Design by Amanda Brown. She also has a great web site. Now about you choices, the Camel back sofa is going to be an easier project if you want to minimize sewing. The other sofa has an attached back cushions which are definitely more involved and require more sewing experience. So I would go with the camel back. You can do this! Just read up and take your time!

  • Brenda Lofton Brenda Lofton on Oct 24, 2014
    Start w/ something small. Foe me it was difficult and fabric very expensive. Especially when matching fabric pattern as well as piping. Also VERY time consuming. When I was a lot younger, I tried a wingback chair........ disaster. Since, I have done dining room chair bottoms, back and bottom of antique chairs and a bench for end of bed.. My suggestion is start small.

  • Wynona Wynona on Nov 16, 2014
    You can also use chalk paint on fabric just be sure to water down the paint

  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Nov 17, 2014
    The most tedious part of recovering a sofa is pulling the staples or tacks!

  • Mary T Mary T on Sep 01, 2015
    Don't forget your fabric pieces to use as patterns. And take your time. You can do it.

  • Minky Minky on Sep 24, 2015
    The camel back sofa seems like it would be the easiest one to reupholster. Slip covers are much more sewing intensive than upholstering will be. I just made my very first slip covers (used canvas drop cloths) and it was a beast of a job, but got easier w/ each one. All turned out GREAT though, so it was totally worth it. You can do it, just take your time, watch lots of videos first, and maybe try out some drop cloths if you like that look (very inexpensive).

  • Annie Doherty Annie Doherty on Jun 18, 2016
    Great ideas here, I would make the seat covers first, then break the project down into manageable pieces. You can make pattern pieces out of brown paper or large newspaper sheets. Ensuring you include hem allowance and just take your time. The old adage measure twice and cut once definitely applies here. Minkys' idea of using drop cloths is very sound and cost effective, you could use these cloths transferred from brown/newspaper as a pattern to ensure sizes are correct before cutting your upholstery fabric, good luck.

  • Nicki Nicki on Nov 08, 2016
    Take pictures & notes of each step of stripping the old fabric so you can use them as reference when recovering. when tearing down your piece list the sequence of removing the old fabric, then recover in the reverse order. Change one long seat cushion into 2 or 3 smaller ones. This is easier & looks much nicer when done. Allow extra fabric for mistakes & can be used for toss cushions if not needed.

  • Stephen-Emmy Winters Stephen-Emmy Winters on Jan 22, 2017
    I happen to come across this page. I imagine that the project is long finished, but other people might benefit. I am a professional upholsterer since 1966. I have put together website containing hundreds of pages to answer many questions about upholstery. One of the pages of the website gives information on how to recover a sofa. You can find that website here: You can also look at the child pages of this page to find more information.
    Best Wishes,
    Stephen Winters

  • Annie Doherty Annie Doherty on Jan 30, 2017
    Thank you Stephen, I will log in to your site asap, I so envy your skills as an Upholsterer I'm certain we can all learn so much from your expertise. Upholstery is so satisfying and can change a piece of furniture totally I love trying, thanks for you assistance very much appreciated.