You see it at the thrift store, the garage sale, and even at IKEA. It’s the perfect sofa.
Its lines are beautiful, its price is even better, and it would look fabulous—fabulous!—in your living room. It’s gorgeous, it’s stylish, and it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Except for one thing: That color. That pattern. That torn piece right on the arm. Who in the world thought Hawaiian-print vinyl was a good idea, ever? Why in the world would you let a cat climb all over your Madmen-worthy midcentury chaise?
Frustrated, you leave the perfect sofa behind. It wasn’t meant to be, you whisper to yourself. Sure, furniture can be reupholstered. But upholstery isn’t the stuff of DIY. It’s just too hard.
Or is it?
Upholstery is intimidating. But it’s actually much easier than it seems. Learn it well, and you’ll never miss out on the perfect couch again.
To help you become the master decorator we know you have the power to be, we’ve rounded up twelve detailed DIY upholstery projects, from easiest to hardest. Tackle these twelve, and you’ll be restoring antique loungers from Chairloom without a care in the world. Happy decorating!
1. Chair cushion
Start small with a drop-in chair cushion. We promise, this project is as easy as wrapping a present (maybe even easier).
2. Recovered chair back
Once you’ve mastered chair cushions, move on to upholstered backs. Don’t give up: all you’ll need to learn here is how to make and add trim.
3. Upholstered headboard
Upholstered headboards are beautiful, but they can run upwards of $1,000. Cut your teeth on upholstering with foam in addition to fabric by making one from scratch. Once you master this DIY, you’ll be aghast that headboards cost as much as they do.
4. Tufted winged headboard
Gotten great at making an unembellished headboard? Use this detailed guide to master the art of tufting, and add a classic design element to all of your future upholstery projects.
5. Dining chair seat slipcover
In homes with kids or pets, slipcovering can trump reupholstery because you retain the ability to wash and replace covers easily. These covers’ forgiving fabric and drawstring tiebacks make them an easy place to start.
6. Dining chair and bench slipcovers
When you’re ready for a more complex pattern with tighter tailoring, try these full-seat slipcovers, complete with a matching cover for a dining bench.
7. Comfy DIY pouf
This pouf looks professional, but it’s unbelievably easy to make—even for beginner sewers.
8. IKEA hacked pouf
If you already have a pouf, but you’re not crazy about the color or fabric, check out this simple tutorial for making it a cover.
9. Recovered round ottoman
Recovering a round ottoman takes a bit more skill, as does this project’s piping. But the results are gorgeous and totally customizable to your home style.
10. Tufted velvet ottoman
Feel like getting super ambitious? This tutorial will teach you how to build a chic tufted ottoman from scratch!
11. Reupholstered wingback chair
You’ve mastered chair seats, chair backs, upholstering with foam, and tough sewing techniques such as piping and tailoring. Now you’re ready to get a super-stylish wingback chair in a fabric that isn’t from a rest home in 1972.
12. Reupholstered sofa
Congrats, grasshopper: You’re ready to rescue your perfect sofa from the garage sale, the thrift store, or even the curb. Use your newfound power responsibly. And happy decorating!
Top Image Credit: Classy Clutter
What are your best upholstery tips and tricks? Show us your reupholstered masterpieces in the comments!