Things You'll Need
Canvas slipcover with accents:
Fabric for bow
Self-adhesive hook-and-loop tape
Slipcover with sheets or drapes:
Queen sheet set
Self-adhesive hook-and-loop tape
Upholstery pins and other supplies can be found at most sewing or upholstery retailers.
Ensure upholstery pins are securely fastened to furniture surfaces, to avoid injury.
Create cheap and easy slipcovers to cover an old sofa or chair, without sewing a single thread. You can craft fashionable slipcovers using interesting, low-cost fabric such as canvas, or repurpose sheets or drapes. Refresh an entire room or individual furniture pieces using inexpensive fabrics or remnants and save on the high costs of professional upholstery work. It's a quick way to change out the look of a room for the season or for a holiday.
Design a canvas slipcover for an upholstered chair. Measure the chair's length front to back from floor to seat, seat to seat back, up the seat back, and down the back to the floor. To get the width, measure from the floor on one side up the back of the chair at the highest point, across and down to the floor on the other side. Multiply the length times the width to figure the total amount of fabric required. Purchase a canvas dropcloth or two to equal that total. Position the canvas over the chair, with an equal distribution of fabric all the way around, and begin tucking it into all crevices, smoothing the surfaces as you go. Secure the fabric to the chair with upholstery pins or self-adhesive hook-and-loop tape as needed. Pleat the fabric to create a sleek look at the back, and hold the pleats with a few hidden upholstery pins -- or wrap a length of contrasting fabric around the chair in a wide band and tie a simple bow in the back; this style works best for chairs with no arms. Add a tassel for interest if desired.
Make a quick slipcover with sheets. Cover a loveseat with a queen-size sheet in colors or a pattern that coordinates with the room. Remove the seat cushions, and drape the fabric over the seat and back, tucking the sheet tightly into the crevices with enough length leftover to reach the floor in the back. Replace the seat cushions and cover them with the fitted sheet, tucking it all the way around and underneath. Add pleating to draw the fabric in and smooth out the surfaces. Use upholstery pins and self-adhesive hook-and-loop tape as needed to secure the sheets under the surfaces.
Fashion a slipcover for a sofa with drapes that you are no longer using. Remove the seat and back cushions and position as many drapery panels as needed over the sofa frame, ensuring that the fabric is equally distributed all the way around. Tuck the fabric tightly into crevices at the sides and back. Add pleats where necessary at the front to create a faux kick pleat. Replace the seat and back cushions and cover them with more drapery panels. Consider using contrasting or coordinating panels for a different look. Tuck extra fabric around and beneath the cushions smoothly to avoid lumps. Secure the fabric to the sofa with upholstery pins or self-adhesive hook-and-loop tape as needed.
Marsha Jones began her creative and technical writing career in 1991, with published works in the fields of technology, antiques, home design and regional Idaho. Marsha holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English-technical communication from Boise State University. She has a passion for writing, hiking to ancient Native American dwellings, jazz, and the great outdoors, and she is working on a series of short stories about mysterious hiking adventures in the desert southwest.