Even when taking extra care of your sofa, it can become a little tatty around the edges after a few years.
Depending on how long you’ve had it, the cushions could be bobbling, the colour fading, and those stains from that time you thought it would be fine to rest your nail polish on the sofa are getting harder to ignore.
Or, perhaps your sofa looks in perfect condition, but your decor and colour scheme have changed.
Rather than investing in a brand new piece, there are several ways you can spruce up the old with a little DIY or a store bought slipcover.
That said, if you’ve had your sofa for a while, you might be due an upgrade. Check out our ‘how long should a sofa last?’ guide, or read on to find out how you can cover your sofa on a budget.
How to cover cushion covers without sewing
Not everyone is blessed with neat sewing skills, which is why this no-sew option is ideal for any beginners. The trick is to use safety pins and folds to create a smooth finish that won’t move everytime you sit down.
It is great for anyone who likes to switch up their look on the regular. With no cutting or stitching, you can quickly transform your living space with a new colour, pattern or texture within minutes.
Plush couch slipcovers
For a sophisticated style without the expensive price tag, plush velvet slipcovers are a great way to turn your cold leather sofa into a cosy nest for the Winter months. Then, once the Spring has sprung, you can remove it and enjoy the cooling surface of the leather again.
There are several different types of slipcover you can choose, so you’ll need to do your research before purchasing one. Some will cover the entire sofa, while others will require multiple covers for each seat cushion and the upholstery.
How to get slipcovers to stay in place
Store-bought slipcovers are a great way to hide any wear and tear from the sofa. But as they’re not designed for your specific soft model, they do have a tendency to slip around - especially if you choose a lighter material like nylon or spandex.
Thankfully, there is a little trick to keep covers in place, so you’re free to sit, lounge and shuffle around on the sofa without them coming loose.
You can either buy a few narrow, cardboard tubes from your local craft shop or use the insides of a roll of cling wrap or foil. Once you’ve added the slipcover to your sofa, stuff the card rolls into where the back cushions meet the seat cushions. The rolls should push far enough in so they can’t be seen, and keep the cover in place.
Cover the sofa with a drop cloth
Drop cloths are a common way to cover your sofa. These typically lay over both the sofa framework, and the cushions with a more relaxed, loose style.
You can buy drop cloths from textile stores, DIY shops and craft markets in a variety of colours. Some people choose to simply lay the drop cloth over the sofa and leave it to droop down and collect on the floor at each side. Other people prefer to use folds to tighten up the arms for a neater finish.
If you think you’ll keep your drop cloth covered sofa, you could go one step further and use a staple gun to attach the bottoms under the couch - to create a more tidy style.
If you like the colour, pattern and texture of your sofa, but feel the material is sagging a little, tufting is a great little project that will make your sofa look and feel brand new. Tufting essentially refers to using buttons to create a Chesterfield-style effect along the cushions or upholstery. You can also choose to add more stuffing into each cushion so that when the buttons are added, your sofa feels plush and comfy.
You can either sew the buttons into place at regular intervals on the cushions, or use twist pins with decorative ends for the same effect.
This blog has four different tufting designs to inspire you to revamp your couch.
How to dye a sofa
Not every sofa cover idea has to involve actually covering the sofa in a different material. There are now plenty of people who are taking advantage of easy-to-apply fabric dyes to totally transform their old furniture.
This technique can only really work if you’re looking to dye your sofa a darker shade, but this is perfect for the colder months where you want the house to look and feel cozy.
Deep purples, emerald greens or a simple black dye can create a strong new look for your living space. Cushions and removables can be dyed in the traditional way, while framework and upholstery can be dyed through blotting the fabric with the dye. Alternatively, there are some dyes that can be applied with a paintbrush, or that come with their own tool.
Once you’ve dyed the sofa and left it to dry, use this ‘How to dress a sofa’ guide and invest in some new soft furnishings to match your new colour scheme.
Reupholstering a sofa
For those looking for a real challenge, you could also choose to reupholster your sofa entirely.
Whether you’re wanting a little more padding or to change the shape and pattern of the frame, reupholstering isn’t actually as hard as it looks. You’d be surprised what a little foam and a staple gun can do.
If you fancy adding a classic style to your sofa, you could even have a go at adding your own piping.
Protective couch slipcovers for pets
If the reason you’re looking for sofa cover ideas is because of new furry friends, there are protective slipcovers available online. These covers have an additional layer that’ll stop claws and paws damaging your seating space. They’re mainly for the seat cushions, however you may also be able to find a cover for the arms to prevent damage when the cat ‘mistakes’ it for a scratching post.
These are just 7 sofa cover ideas for inspiration. Whether you’re looking for a crafting challenge, or hope to find a quick and easy fix, you’ll be surprised how quickly your living space can look completely different by switching up your couch.If you’re not fully set on the idea of DIY sofa covering, perhaps it’s time to invest in a new piece entirely. Check out the Swyft sofa range to find the perfect style for your home, without the extra work required.