Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to ReCover a Couch – Step 1

Staple gun and lots of staples
One large drop cloth (approx 10’x12’) and one long drop cloth (approx 4’x12’)
**Measure your couch before purchasing material – you might need more or less than I used
Fabric Scissors (or just good, sharp ones)
Needle Nose Pliers
Time, patience, and a sense of humor

I really liked the look of the unbleached drop cloths from the hardware store. It’s a sturdy weave, the cloths are large enough that I don’t have to piece anything together, it’s all cotton, and it goes with my decor. Well, it goes with my eventual decor. With my decor goals. I pre-washed the cloth and tumble dried so that it would be all pre-shrunk. Not that I’ll be tossing the couch through the wash, but it’s a good idea to pre-wash any fabric before using it.

First things first: Drape that fabric. I removed the cushions, then I fussed and tugged and tucked and rearranged the largest cloth across the couch so that the back edge fell on the floor by 2-3 inches (for tucking underneath) and was centered on the length, leaving about 10 inches coming up the arms.

Then I took a very deep breath and started stapling. I made sure that I knew exactly where the frame was so that I didn’t miss and try to secure fabric to fabric. I started in the center of the back cushion at the very base, almost inside the couch, making sure to smooth as I worked my way out toward the arms. When I got to the crease with the arms I tucked the fabric into the crease, put some staples in, and then turned the corner and continued stapling for the 10 or so inches that it ran onto the arms.

A tactical note: I originally had the bed part pulled out so I could reach in further… but then realized that I could reach in just fine with it folded up. I tend to put a staple every inch or so, but I wouldn’t go more than 2 inches between staples.

Then I went around to the back of the couch and flipped it over to reach the bottom (the part that touches the floor). I pulled the fabric tight and started stapling to the underside of the base of the frame. It’s important to keep a good tension on the fabric, if it’s too loose it’ll look bad and/or get really wrinkly.

Think of it as a really large present that you’re wrapping, and you don’t want the tape (staples) to show.

Once that was done I put the cushions back on and took a break. (like a two month break)

Links below to the rest of the tutorial!


Crystal said...

Omg, thank you soooo much for this tutorial. I really, really needed it.

Would you please share where you bought your drop cloth from? I have a love seat couch very similar in style (and hideousness!) that I plan on using your tutorial for.

Tha is so much in advance! And again, wowwwwww...

Jessie said...

You're very welcome! I got the drop cloths at Lowes, but most home improvement/hardware stores should carry them.

GenoaDeb said...

Your pictures make the drop cloth look much whiter than the one I saw at Lowe's. Is that just the way it photographed? I'd like to try this too.

Jessie said...

I think part of it is the way it photographed, but mostly it just looks whiter when you step back from it. When you're up close it definitely looks like natural, undyed cotton, but when you're a few feet away it looks white. If you put something that's brilliant white against it it looks off-white. I looked at a few drop cloths and chose the ones that were the closest to white.

Jessie said...

As a follow up to this post - the couch is still holding up great!