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.