Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reupholstering the Couch

This project has been a long time coming, and it's technically not even finished yet.  But so much has changed in our living room that I feel like I need to at lease share how far we've gotten on this project.  I bought this couch originally when I moved into a house with some friends in college for $45 at Goodwill.  It's a pretty solid piece of wood furniture, and it has a great shape to it.  The only problem was when we moved to our current apartment, it got damaged in the move, i.e., giant gouges in the backrest portion. 

I needed to do something to fix it, and I also had envisioned a dark blue couch for our new apartment, so why not kill two birds with one stone?  I didn't have a whole lot of money to sink into this project, so I may have cut a few corners that I wouldn't recommend, but just bear with me. 

First of all, when you're looking to reupholster a piece of furniture, be sure to check into how many yards of fabric you'll actually need.  I found a cheat sheet at my local fabric store, but you can also
look online for something similar. I was able to match my couch with one from the sheet and determined that I would need 10 yards of fabric for my couch.  Investing in 10 yards of fabric at an upholstery weight was a bit daunting to me, but if you're willing to put up the money for your couch, you should definitely do it.  Upholstery weight fabric is what you should typically use to reupholster furniture.  I cut corners and spent about $40 to get 10 yards of dark blue corduroy fabric.  I love the new look of our couch, but I know that this fabric is not going to hold up to the test of time.  However, you should be able to use the same guide if you were to use heavier weighted fabric, so stay tuned!

The way I see it, each piece of furniture is a new adventure.  Since I had never reupholstered a serious piece of furniture before, I took this as a learning experience.  I got the couch and the fabric super cheap, so it was something where if it turned out horrible, it wouldn't be the end of the world.  But it turned out great, so I'm very excited about it!

The first thing I did was turn the couch upside down and start prying off the upholstery tacks underneath.  Basically, the fabric from the couch is rooted underneath with tacks.  Each piece of furniture will be different, but I'd say that the underside of the piece of furniture is probably the best place to start in any case.  I began by working pieces off of the couch piece by piece, and kept it organized as I went along.  I won't give you a step-by-step of how my couch worked because I'm sure each couch and chair is different, but basically I had four main sections to pry apart and rework.  There was the seating section, the two arms, and then the back portion.  I didn't need to completely take the arms off the couch, rather I was able to keep the couch together and push the fabric through the creases in padding. 

So with these four sections, I took the original fabric off and used it as a guide and template to cut and sew together the pieces of new fabric.  I then fit pieces back onto the couch and staple-gunned them taught into place on the couch, underneath.  This is a really simplified explanation of the whole process,  but it's probably the best one I can give to be the most universal about what your project may entail.

I have yet to reupholster the cushions, because I'm actually going to be creating new ones with new stuffing, and I haven't quite wrapped my head around the logistics of that one.  Otherwise though, we are loving our new blue couch!

- The Lovely Red Fox

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