DIY Furniture Coverings

From on July 15, 2009 in Tools and Tips

sofa.jpgPhoto credit: keko

If you’re anything like me, you love to love your furniture—even long after its era of trendiness has passed. The great thing is that you don’t have to kick your couch to the curb. No ousting the ottoman. Don’t even think about stashing the stools. There are several ways in which you can spruce up old furniture to give it a new reputation in your home.

Slip covers are very handy, but many of them come in only drab colors and styles and only if you were born under a lucky star can you find one that actually fits your piece of furniture properly, unless you’re willing to shell out lots of shiny pennies for a custom-made cover. An afternoon of craftiness can alter any slip cover to fit your misfit and make it look like the two were made for each other.

Try to find the slip cover that best fits your couch, love seat, or chair, and go ahead and slip it on. Match up the seams in the cover with the corners and folds in the furniture. If there are places where the fabric sags, gather it up into a swag or pleat and sew or glue an embellishment to the area. You can apply bows, tassels, beads, or buttons.

To make the slip cover pop and give it some character, you could add piping to the seams, sew on colorful buttons, add a lacy or beaded trim to the bottom edges, or even dye the fabric a bold new color.

If you’re crafty enough, you can even use a bed sheet or thin blanket to cover your furniture with; just be sure it’s large enough to go around everything. You can bunch, pleat and gather these up cleverly, too, and make a very stylish one-of-a-kind piece.

Typically when recovering a piece of furniture it’s not the cushions that are so difficult to envelop, it’s the rest of the piece, so why not just go with what’s easiest? Recovering just the cushions with a fabric that complements the rest of your piece can be a great way to add whimsy or shabby chic to your furniture. Mixing and matching can be lots of fun and give your room more of an arts and crafts feel.

If recovering your pieces just isn’t something you’re into, you can always go with accent pieces like throw pillows or blankets to draw the eye to new and exciting bits of color and texture.

One of my favorite ways to reclaim a chair (not surprisingly, also one of the easiest methods) is with pleather and thumb tacks. This is especially great to do with stools. All you have to do is get a piece of plastic/vinyl leather (or it could really be any other type of upholstery fabric) and some old fashioned thumb tacks. Make sure the tacks are the type that are rounded across the top - nothing with sharp edges, corners, or shapes that really protrude. Cover the seat with the fabric (it helps if you have an extra pair of helping hands) and as you pull it taut push the thumb tacks into the wooden frame. Be sure to keep the tacks right up against one another or they won’t look right. It’s ok if you have a small gap in the end, just be sure to plan ahead so that the gap will be facing the rear of the piece.