How to Cover a Sofa? Easy Ways to Transform an Old Sofa
How to Cover a Sofa

How to Cover a Sofa? Easy Ways to Transform an Old Sofa

In case you’re wondering, you don’t necessarily need to throw away worn out sofa especially if it is still functional and comfortable to sit on. While you can get it re-upholstered, it is quite complicated and expensive. For this reason, many wonder how to cover a sofa to make it look brand new.

There are three ways to cover a sofa depending on your skills, time, and resources. Many homeowners use sofa covers to protect their furniture from wear and tear. On the other hand, there are others who choose to use sofa covers to match the interior décor of their home.

Using a sofa cover, also called slipcover, means having a fabric tucked into or draped over the sofa to give it a decorative look or added protection.

How to Cover a Sofa with a Store-bought Slipcover

Slipcovers are readily available in stores. They come in a wide variety of patterns, designs, colors, and sizes that can best match your interior home décor and fit into your sofa. One important tip when purchasing a slipcover is first to take the measurements of your sofa.

Here are the ways of covering a sofa with store-bought slipcover:

1. Determine the size and type of your sofa

In order to know which kind of sofa cover to buy, identify the measurements as well as the type of sofa that you have. Is your sofa a reclining chair, loveseat, or extra-large sofa?

Then, measure all the distances throughout the sofa. These include the length and width from side to side and front to back. Also included in the measurement is the depth of the sofa as well as its height from the ground.

Use a tape measure to take accurate measurements. Write the numbers down on a piece of paper, which you can then take with you when you go and purchase your sofa cover.

2. Buy a slipcover that is the right size for your sofa

The most important factor to consider when buying a sofa cover is the fit. You can choose from a wide variety of patterns and colors, but make sure that it fits your sofa. A sofa cover that is too large is prone to developing creases and slipping off, while sofa covers that are too small won’t fit and might ruin the sofa in the long run.

3. Slip the cover into your sofa

Place the cover over the sofa, making sure that the edges uniformly fall to the ground. Smooth out any creases and tuck them into the cushions. Some sofa covers come with special instructions, which you should thoroughly follow to keep it in good condition for a long time.

Sewing Your Own Cover on the Sofa

If you have the sewing skills needed, you can also choose to make your own sofa cover. How is this done? We’ve got that covered too.

1. Buy good-quality fabric

First and foremost, choose the fabric that will match the interior décor of your home as well as your style. High-quality fabric that is extremely durable, decorative, and comfortable to the touch is usually expensive. Choose something that won’t break the bank.

2. Measure the sofa

Take the exact measurements of the sofa including its arms, the back, the chair, and the space between its bottom and the ground. Write these measurements down to serve as a reference for cutting and sewing.

3. Start cutting and installing

Cut the fabric for the seat. Lay it over on the seat, and drape and tuck it under the sofa cushions. Do the same for the rest of the parts of the sofa such as the arms and back. Pull back the fabric to remove any wrinkle.

4. Finish it all off

When you have secured each piece of the fabric to its corresponding place, set the pieces together. You can do this with a machine or by hand. Finally, tuck the remaining fabric into the sofa cushions to keep the cover in place and prevent wrinkles that could give the sofa a messy look.

Covering the Sofa with a Loose Sheet of Fabric

If you have loose, unsewn sheets of fabric, then you can actually use them to cover the sofa. How is it done? Simply follow the steps below.

1. Check the fabric sheet. It should be at least full size, flat, and fitted.

2. Take off the cushions of the couch. Cover each cushion with smaller sheets of the fabric.

3. Lay the sheets onto the sofa, creating a skirt on the front and a drape at the back.

4. Then, put the cushions back on the sofa. Maintain the neat look of the sheets as you cover the sofa.

5. Put the fitted sheets all over the rest of the cushions. Tuck them tightly to keep them in place and to create a uniform look.

6. Then, cover the arms of the sofa. Drape the pillowcases lengthwise over the arms, making sure that the front parts are covered. Tuck the fabric tightly until it looks presentable.

The sides of the arms will be a little exposed. Cover them with folded blankets or place a table on the side to keep them out of sight.

7. Now that the sofa is entirely covered with new fabric, add some small pillows to make it look more standard and homey. You can use pillowcases in the same color or pattern as the sheet.

Keeping the Sofa Cover in Place

One challenging thing when it comes to using sofa covers is keeping them in place. Most sofa covers tend to have excess fabric or slip off the sofa when someone sits or stands up. Aside from knowing how to cover a sofa, learning how to keep the cover tucked in place is also important.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • When you spot wrinkles on the sofa, smoothen out the fabric. Push the excess fabric towards the arms and along the back of the sofa.
  • You can do this method with the help of a wooden spoon or rolled-up magazines. Press the magazine roll or wooden spoon into the creases over the wrinkles on the fabric. Tuck the excess fabric tightly into the creases to secure them in place.
  • You may also want to add Velcro strips at the back of the slipcover to secure the back of the sofa.


It is easy to cover a sofa when the cover perfectly fits. It also prevents wrinkles that could give the sofa a messy appearance. Some covers come with special instruction on how to set it up.

Generally, a sofa cover can be installed by draping it over the sofa while smoothing the fabric evenly. Tuck any excess fabric in the creases of the cushion, and you’re done!

Depending on your abilities and resources, you can also sew your own sofa cover or use a loose sheet of fabric to give your sofa a new look and added protection. Doing these are absolutely less expensive compared to buying a new sofa or having it re-upholstered.

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