For the last few weeks, I have been elbows deep (literally) is one of my biggest and maybe most challenging projects yet, couch re-upholstery. I have a monster of a couch, it’s over 80 inches long with a queen size pull out bed. I know the couch is worth a alot which inspired me to fix it instead of trash it. I hate the fabric so much. It’s a really well worn corduroy fabric but thinner in a very muddy brown color. It never fit into our space or my design dreams but like I mentioned in my last post, when you first move into a house, you take whatever you can get, when you don’t have a lot of money, just to make the house functional.
The good news is that somehow over the last few years of staring at and hating on this couch, I worked up the courage to start this project. The scariest thing about it to me was that every article I read online said that you absolutely need to remove the fabric that is currently on the couch to add the new fabric. This scared me because once I rip a piece off, I know I am committed! I decided to listen to the online advice and remove the current fabric and it’s the best decision I ever made! And once I ripped off a few panels, I had my game face on and I was ready to go!
The removal process was one of the most challenging parts. I kid you not, this couch probably had 2500 staples in it. It really was a well made piece and ripping it apart showed me that. I used a staple removal tool to dig each staple out and then removed each panel of fabric in the order it was built. I laid each piece out on the floor and used masking tape and a marker to indicate which panel was which.
So, the reason I was so happy I removed the fabric is because I am not a math person. I don’t do well with measuring and adding, I am a visual learner so I laid out my bolt of new fabric and cut it right on top of the old fabric panels so I knew the measurements would be perfect. I chose to use a utility fabric called duck canvas in a creamy off-white color. I loved the soft but really durable texture, it seemed easy to clean and I felt like it would last for years (I’m not trying to do this again anytime soon). After the cutting the fabric into the properly sized pieces, the reattaching only took about 2 days. Just lots of stapling and tightening and checking and re-checking. This was the easiest part of the process!
The last part of the puzzle was the sewing of the pillows and cushions (this part scared me the most). I know my way (somewhat) around a sewing machine and I can sew by hand but this project just seemed way to unforgiving for my skills, so I called in some help. My Mother in Law and Grandma in Law are both excellent seamstresses so they helped me with the dreaded measuring, cutting and sewing part. We decided to use a pillow case concept for the cushions using velcro to attach in the back. The sewing portion also took about 2 days.
Even though this project was big and challenging and halfway through I questioned what I had started, it is super rewarding to see everything completed in a color that matches my style and to know everything is put back together with a lot of time and special attention to detail (a gift I don’t always have in everyday life). Let me know what you think and if you have any fun re-upholstery stories! Any horror stories? Comment below and share your thoughts!