Sunday, December 02, 2007

Frugal Couch Makeover: Easy Slip Cover

One of our couches is at least twelve years old. It is a Klausner which is good quality, so it's held up well. The couch is now in the children's den, and the cat likes to scratch it. Our slip cover was ten years old, and had to go. The elastic was shot and the fabric thin and stained. It never quite fit the couch even though it was the largest size that I could find. The cat managed to take advantage of this and scratch the heck out of the back and sides.

We solved the problem this week by staple-gunning a huge drop cloth over it. We did not cover the seat cushions. My husband stapled the front first by turning the couch up on it's back. He stapled under about five inches of fabric to the wood frame, and then brought it up and over the back. We folded fabric artistically around the arms and stapled the sides and back into the wood frame. The staples on the sides are hidden under folds of fabric.

We'll purchase a smaller drop cloth to cover the two big seat cushions. I'll be tucking these under for easy removal and washing.

It looks like duck cloth, and it stays in place. We tested the couch cover by having the children jump all over it, and it's staying in place. The drop cloth cost under $25.00. It's strong and durable fabric which should wear well. I also think the cat will be less likely to scratch it. He never scratched the slip cover, but he loves nubby couch fabric.

Note: We don't have big stains on the carpet. Not sure why but the camera made it look as if we have black mold in the corner.

See more ideas at Make It From Scratch #42

Update: Finished couch here.


Lily said...

What a great idea to use a drop cloth. I would never have thought of that.

Do you sew at all? It would be pretty easy to sew cushion covers that would envelop the cushion (so they wouldn't shift around, as they may if you just tuck them under. At about dot com there is a page about this:

Then click on the title 'slip covers' which shows you, with pictures, how to do a cover with velcro. There is also a link about sewing a boxed and welted cushion which includes a zipper.

I also think you could do one with elastic if you wanted (much like a bed sheet). Sheets are pretty easy to make. Or, maybe you could sew a pillowcase type cushion cover, put a flap on it to fasten underneath with buttons, snaps or velcro.

Mrs. Brigham said...

This is a great idea, and one that I might be trying in the *very* near future. A tiny person managed to escape from the dining room with some messy food...enough said. ;o)

Stephanie said...

That is a great idea!

deb said...

I have an old couch and I can't afford a new one. I might just try your drop cloth slip covers. What a neat idea.

Alexandra said...

Thanks for your comments. :)

Nice to meet you deb.

Lily, great ideas! I do have a sewing machine, so I may eventually do this. I've tried sheets before and they tear, which is weird. They are okay if I just cover the couch with them...I do this in the formal living room, but if I attach them in any way they tear. The heavy fabric seems to withstand a lot of pulling.

I like your idea for a pillowcase type cover...I do this with the throw pillows. Thanks for the ideas. :)

Roxanne said...

I see you did this in December? How is it holding up? We are in the same boat--two sturdy couches but in need of slipcovers. I have looked at the stretchy Sure Fit ones, but would love a $50 solution rather than a $200 solution. Let me know how it's going.

Alexandra said...


Thanks for dropping by. The cover is still holding up well. It has not slipped at all. The staples hold everything in place securely. I may have to remove the staples next year in order to clean it, but that's not so bad. I did some spot cleaning with our wet vac. because of my daughter's two year old grubby hands. ;)

Roxanne said...

Thanks for the update. I am considering using this idea.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought of dyeing the fabric? Fabric dye is very inexpensive and it would hide the dirt better.

Alexandra said...

Yes, great idea! Rit Dye is very inexpensive, and a denim blue would hid much of the dirt. You could also spray Scotch Guard on it.

Check out Rit Dye's color charts and dye information:

Daughter of the King said...

I just Googled "easy couch cover," and I found your blog! Yay! Now, this is a cover I can do!! (I think.)


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