Spruce Up Your Old Sofa

by Christine DemosJuly 8, 2011

If you’re longing for a new look for your sofa or dining room chairs, but know these pieces of furniture still have plenty of life in them, consider reupholstering instead of buying all new furniture. Reupholstering furniture is a fun DIY project that can be done by anyone with sewing skills and some basic tools.

While reupholstering is not a difficult project, it’s probably best to start with something small, like a cushion, before tackling Aunt Muriel’s turn of the century chaise lounge. Here is a quick tutorial.

Materials Needed:

  • Screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Fabric
  • Foam
  • Scissors
  • Spray adhesive
  • Hammer
  • Staple gun


    1. Turn the chair upside down and unscrew the cushion using the screwdriver. Retain the screws for later use.
    2. Using needle nose pliers, remove the staples from the bottom of the chair cushion holding the upholstery fabric in place. Peel back the fabric from the cushion.
    3. Remove any remaining foam on the chair, leaving only the bottom board. Using the board as a guide, trace the outline of the board on a piece of foam then cut along the outline. Spray adhesive spray on the foam and place the foam on the board, lining it up evenly. Press down on the foam to ensure it sticks to the board and allow to dry.
    4. Lay the board and foam on top of your new fabric, taking care that the printed side of the fabric is facing down and the foam side is on the fabric. Cut around the piece of wood with your scissors, leaving at least four inches overhang on each side.
    5. Bring the fabric up the side of the board. Fold the new fabric over the board, making sure it is tight, and staple at the center of the fold to hold the fabric in place about one inch from the edge of the board. Continue stapling, about two inches apart, until you reach the corners. Staple the back of the cushion the same way and then the two remaining sides.
    6. Pull the fabric at the corner on to the board. Make pleats and then staple on the pleats. This will give the cushion a neat finished look. After all stapling is complete, trim the excess fabric away, leaving about one inch of fabric from the staples.
    7. Replace the seat cushion on the chair frame and screw it back in.

There you have it! Once you get the dining room chairs done, you’ll be ready to move on to more involved projects, like the loveseat in your sitting room that’s starting to look a little ragged. Pick a fabric you love and don’t worry about the price—think of the money you are saving by doing the project yourself, and $14 per yard won’t seem like so much.

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About The Author
Christine Demos
Christine is the Content Marketing Specialist for Homes.com. She's a small town girl at heart, who currently lives in Norfolk, VA with her husband and their fur baby. When she's not working, she enjoys cooking, decorating, traveling, and binge watching Netflix. As a proud Virginia Tech alum, she also loves cheering on the Hokies!