How to Reupholster a Leather Sofa

If you have a leather sofa that has seen better days, with worn or torn seat cushions and arms, you may wish that you could afford a new one; but reupholstering the sofa yourself is likely easier than you imagine. Whether you are upholstering leather or some other fabric, the procedure is the same.

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A reupholstered leather sofa

Step 1

Remove the old leather from the sofa. Flip the sofa upside down and use a flat-head screwdriver or some other flat tool to get under the existing staples and lift them out. Use a seam ripper to separate each piece of leather to use as templates.

Step 2

Lay the new leather fabric face down on a flat surface. Place the old leather pieces face down on top of the new piece. Pin them into place along the edges of each piece with the sewing pins.

Step 3

Use the electric scissors to cut out the new pieces. Remove the pins after each piece is cut out.

Step 4

Place the back piece on and staple it into place along the back top edge of the sofa. Position the front piece into place by flipping the leather over face down, letting it drape down the back. Staple it right on top of the back piece, across the top edge of the sofa. Flip the leather over on the front, which prevents the staples from being seen.

Step 5

Pull the leather tightly down, and place a staple on the inside of each corner to hold it into place. Pull and staple the leather into place at the sides and on the inside bottom of the back piece.

Step 6

Place each arm piece onto the sofa and staple it in place on the inside and outside back.

Step 7

Place the bottom front of the sofa piece onto the front and staple it into place by flipping the leather over on the top and stapling it along the front edge. Flip it back over and staple it underneath the front bottom of the sofa.

Step 8

Attach the remaining open sides of the back piece into place, covering the back of the arms. Staple it into place on the underside of the sofa.

Step 9

Cut pieces of leather for the seat cushions and pin them together with right sides facing in. Sew a 5/8-inch seam along the front and sides, leaving the back side open.

Step 10

Sew hook and loop tape strips on both sides of the back opening. Turn the cushion covers right side out and place the foam inside, then close them with the hook and loop tape strips.

Step 11

Finish the new upholstery by hammering the tacks in line along the bottom front edge and arms to give the sofa a sophisticated look.