This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure here.
Discover the hassle-free method of reupholstering a couch without sewing! Don’t rush to discard that worn-out and unattractive couch just yet. My DIY couch underwent and amazing transformation, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. All you need are basic supplies like a couch cover (or fabric), a staple gun, and a pair of scissors. No complicated sewing machine required for this remarkable process!
When I searched google for diy couches or diy sofa, I came up with several ways on how to reupholster a couch and many articles related to how much does it cost to reupholster a couch.
This project took no time at all, and I love the results. Couch reupholstery is so much easier than I expected, and it even works for different types of couches, including sectionals!
Table of contents
If you have been following the blog for a while, you know that I sawzalled an existing couch in half and removed two feet, and then assembled it back together finishing it off with new upholstery. Don’t believe me, click through this post DIY Couch to see just how I did it! The couch has seen many modern looks over the years, but I decided to reupholster it again with an old Pottery Barn slipcover that was in the bottom of my closet.
Embrace the satisfaction of turning an outdated couch into a stunning masterpiece on a budget, proving that with creativity and determination, can lead to amazing feelings of accomplishment!
How to reupholster a couch without sewing
If you don’t feel like tearing the old fabric off your old couch, learn how to reupholster a sofa without removing old fabric! It’s a simple way to update your sofa with a little less work.
In case you are new to our blog, this is what the couch looked like after I sawzalled it in half. A family friend gave me this couch several years ago when I bought my first house. Over the years, my taste in fabric changed, but I couldn’t afford to buy a new couch.
The couch was also too big for my current home, so I decided to remove 2 feet from the middle to make it smaller, turning this into the best reupholstered DIY couch ever.
Kind of crazy, right? Well, this little old sofa is getting a new look, again.
Do you love the look of slipcovers but hate all the wrinkles and mess? The one piece slipcovers that you buy as-is are beautiful as long as you don’t sit on the furniture.
Do you know what I am talking about?
They come in one size, and usually, you have excessive amounts of fabric tucked everywhere. Drives me crazy! So my solution was to reuse the existing large one-piece slip cover and cut it to size, and staple/nail it to the couch. Easy peasy!
Tools & Materials
You will need:
- Slipcover or upholstery fabric
- Small air compressor
- Heavy-duty staple gun
- Fabric scissors
How to reupholster a couch with a staple gun
First step, drape your fabric slip cover over your piece of furniture.
Next step, cut the excess fabric (on the floor) off, but be sure not to cut the pleated part. You will want to save the pleated part to re-staple to the couch along the bottom edge.
Now it’s time to cut out the middle piece of your fabric. I decided to cut straight across, being sure to leave enough fabric to cover the back and sides of the couch.
Don’t worry; this works!
How to reupholster a couch without removing the fabric
This is such a great way to reupholster a couch without removing the fabric first. There is no need to remove the old fabric. This guide will save you so much time!
Now, simply tuck your fabric and staple it with your hand-powered staple gun. I used a compressor and heavy-duty staple gun with 1/4″ staples. Be sure to staple it to the wood part/frame of the sofa.
You just need your fabric, staple gun, staples, and an air compressor – that’s it!
Try to staple as close to the bottom and up underneath in order to hide the staple itself.
Using the slip cover excess, I cut a piece of fabric to cover the front and stapled.
I chose to leave the arms of the couch “loose” simply because I wanted a casual look. You can always staple the fabric around the arms to give it a more tailored look. It just depends on what look you want.
If you make a mistake or don’t like it, just get a hammer and screwdriver and pry out the staple. That is the beauty of a DIY sofa upholstery project; you can change things as you go if you do not like it.
Don’t worry about getting the fabric perfect. You will be able to cover the edges and trim with the existing pleated skirt that you cut off earlier.
You can always make DIY piping for the edges if you have extra time.
Once you’ve finished this part, move on to adding a skirt to the bottom of the couch to give it a finished look. Carefully position the pleated section from the slipcover. Line it up neatly around the base of your couch. Attach it using your staple gun.
I tried to staple where the staples wouldn’t be seen, but a couple do show. You can purchase roping or ribbon in the fabric store and use stitch witchery to adhere to the slipcover if you want to hide the staples. For me, they are hardly noticeable.
How much does it cost to reupholster a couch?
Many of you may be asking how much does it cost to reupholster a couch? I already had the slip cover, so for me, the cost was minimal: just the cost of staples and my time. That’s it!
Of course, if you want it perfect, you will need to invest hundreds of dollars, maybe even thousands, and pay to have it professionally upholstered. For me, that wasn’t an option.
At one point, I had a professional upholsterer near me give an estimate, and it was going to cost almost $1200 to have it reupholstered. Yikes!
I think the couch recovered in a camel-covered slip cover fits right in with our newly renovated modern cottage pool house.
How to reupholster cushions on a couch
For the couch cushions, I used the remaining fabric that I had cut off in the beginning and sewed the ends together, and used velcro to close the seam of the cushion. I ran out of zippers but had plenty of Velcro, so that’s what I used. I may sew a zipper on the cushion cover at some point.
Be sure also to check out my how to reupholster a chair tutorial too. It’s a no sew tutorial, and if I can do it, anyone can do it.
How many yards of fabric to reupholster a couch?
This was a full couch cover so I don’t have the exact yards I used, but if you are buying fabric, keep in mind that 1 yard = 36 inches. So you will need to measure the length, width, and height of your couch and then add extra for excess and divide that number by 36. I would definitely buy extra just to be safe.
By reusing a slipcover that cost over $300, I was able to save money on the cost of buying fabric. Since I attached the slipcover with staples, the slipcover no longer slips around, and I was able to finish this project with very minimal expenses.
A fresh new look for a sofa that used to be two feet longer for zero money!
Related: See the really cool wingback chair I reupholstered without sewing.
How long does it take to reupholster a couch?
This reupholstered couch project only took me two hours. Be patient and take your time; the cost savings is worth it.
Get yourself a small compressor and heavy-duty staple gun (that works with a compressor), some fabric, and get busy!
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of this project! Do you have a couch you would like to reupholster?
FAQs about reupholstering furniture
How to Reupholster a Couch (No Sewing)
- 1 heavy duty staple gun
- 1 air compressor for staple gun
- 1 pair of fabric shears or heavy duty scissors
- 1 slipcover
- 1/4 inch staples
Instructions : Step by Step
- Lay your slipcover or upholstery fabric over your sofa.
- Cut away any excess fabric (except for any pleats).
- Cut along the middle of the fabric, covering the tops of the armrests and all of the back.
- Tuck the fabric into the couch behind where the cushions go. Attach it to the wooden frame using your staples.
- Staple the fabric covering the arms of the couch. Be sure to pull the fabric taut and staple to the wooden frame. Continue working along the whole couch.
- Trim the pleated section off the bottom of the slipcover. Reattach it to the couch using the staple gun. Go from inside the pleat to hide the staple.
Tips for reupholstering a cough without sewing
- Use your staple gun to attach the fabric to the frame of the couch. It’s best to pull the fabric slightly taut and try to add staples as far down as possible, ideally below the edge of the couch or inside it. Then angle the staple gun upwards to hide the staple as much as possible.
- If your slipcover has a pleated detail at the bottom, save that to reattach to the couch later. If you don’t have a pleated section or prefer a different look, try adding your own rope or piping.
- Use either a premade slipcover or durable upholstery fabric to make sure it can stand up to ongoing wear and tear.
- To avoid issues with your slipcover slipping and moving around as you work, consider using safety pins or fabric pins to secure it in place while you work.
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.