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Fix an Old Couch or
Armchair with Slipcovers

With daily use it’s not surprising that sofas and chairs can begin to show signs of wear and tear over time. The fabric may start to look worn or faded, ripped or stained. Even if you’ve got a freshly decorated living room, tatty-looking furniture can make the place look shabby and untidy. However, there’s often no need to spend a lot of money on a new couch. By using inexpensive slipcovers you can give tired-looking furniture a makeover and smarten the overall appearance of your home.

Slipcovers for couches are made from washable fabrics such as cotton or polyester, often combined with spandex for a stretch fit, and are designed to fit over the top of existing upholstery. They can be easily put on in a matter of minutes, giving an old couch or chair an instant new look. However, because sofas, loveseats and armchairs don’t come in standard sizes or shapes, it’s worth knowing a few tricks to make sure you get a smooth, tidy fit. Here are some common issues and how to fix them:

The Slipcover
is Too Big

Slipcover for sofa

If your slipcover is slightly too large, the fabric can look baggy and wrinkled. To get a tight, snug fit, use a wooden spoon or spatula to tuck any loose fabric into the crevices around the back and sides of the seat. To make sure it doesn’t become untucked, roll up some old magazines and put rubber bands round them, then slide these into the crevices.

Narrow Arms

To get a slipcover to fit better over narrow or wooden arms, fix some foam batting (from a craft store) over the arms to add enough padding for a neater fit.

Shiny Upholstery

Slipcovers have a tendency to slide on shiny upholstery such as leather or vinyl. To combat this problem, fix a non-skid rug pad, cut to size, over the seat before fitting the slipcover over the top.

Wooden Legs

If you’ve got a couch or chair with unattractive wooden legs – maybe they are chipped or just outdated – then you can use a slipcover with a skirt to hide them and give your furniture a completely new style.

Loose Back Cushions

For furniture with loose back cushions, you may be able to get a regular slipcover to fit, by stretching it over the entire seat, including the back cushions. Alternatively, there are purpose-made 3 piece slipcovers that have a separate cover just for the back cushions.

Bold Patterned Upholstery

If the upholstery you want to cover up has a bold pattern or is a very dark color, it might show through a light colored slipcover. To get around this, fix a light colored sheet over your furniture before you put on the slipcover.

Copyright Simon Phillips         



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