Cheap Decorating: DIY Slipcovers

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DIY slipcovers are a great budget-friendly way to make older furniture look new again. Slipcovers work by fitting over an old sofa or loveseat and providing a new look to them. Slipcovers can be very pricey so if renovating a room in your house on a tight budget consider making your own slipcovers. Someone with basic sewing skills can make their own slipcovers and save a lot of money. All that is needed is some fabric, a tape measure, scissors, thread, pins, chalk and a sewing machine.

Measuring and Shopping

Measure the piece of furniture that will be covered with the tape measure. Add up the number of yards needed in order to cover the entire piece including the front, back, sides, seats, arms and pillows. Factor in a few extra yards to be on the safe side.

Once the measurements are completed, it is time to pick out the material. Pick something that will be durable and hide dirt well. Upholstery material is not necessary, any type of material can be used but try not to choose something so thin that it will rip easily. If considering purchasing material with a pattern, do not buy patterns too complex that will make it difficult to match pieces together when sewing. Remember to buy matching thread to go with the fabric as well. Wash and dry the fabric before cutting and sewing to ensure no shrinking will occur afterward.

Marking and Cutting the Material

Lay the new fabric over the piece of furniture so that it covers the majority of it including the front and back. Factor in an extra inch for the seam and mark a line in chalk. Seats can be covered all together with the rest of the couch or individually for a neater look. Continue laying pieces over the remainder of the piece of furniture until all parts are covered and marked. Cut out all pieces along the chalk lines as marked. If pillows are to be covered, measure and mark for those as well. Always allow for an extra inch in each measurement for the seam.

Pinning, Sewing and Finishing Touches

Now that all pieces are marked and cut, lay them back on the piece of furniture face down so the material is wrong side up. Using pins, pin the bigger pieces together to cover the main section of the sofa or loveseat. Sew the back section together with the front using the sewing machine and matching thread. From here, pin and then sew on the arm sections and any other pieces until all pieces are sewn together. Hem up the bottom of the slipcover all the way around. If pillows or cushions are being covered individually then pin and sew those together as well by sewing three sides before inserting the pillow or cushion and then sewing closed by hand.

More intermediate or advanced sewers can add on ruffles or trim along the bottom edge. Also, ribbons or cording can be added to give a more decorative look along the arms or seams.

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