How to Re-Upholster a Sofa With Fixed Cushions

A sofa with fixed cushions offers an extra challenge for the would-be re-upholsterer. Yet the attached cushion setup allows for a more convenient stapling of the fabric behind the cushions and into the couch frame. While attached cushions offer more stability and decrease the likelihood of the cushion material sliding around within the couch, the process for removing the fabric is more involved. Yet with adequate fabric and basic tools, it is possible for anyone to change the fabric on their sofa and add stuffing, if necessary, to create a couch that is comfortable and attractive once more.

Woman reading book on sofa
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Fixed sofa cushions can be re-upholstered cleanly and easily.

Step 1

Turn the sofa upside down and remove all the visible staples on the underside using the staple puller. Rip the seams on the bottom using the seam ripper if no staples are visible. Cutting the fabric off the bottom of the couch with the scissors is a much quicker option if you have no reason to keep the fabric intact. Continue to remove the fabric in whatever method produces the best results until all the fabric has been removed.

Step 2

Spread out the removed fabric and determine how many yards of new fabric it will take based on the old fabric size. Add at least one yard to the removed fabric amount to account for any differences that may occur due to non-professional installation of the fabric.

Step 3

Cut out the required amount of fabric and drape it over the couch. Begin with the cushions and tuck the fabric in tightly all around the cushion and into the crack between cushion and back. Stretch the fabric tightly across the cushion and staple it to the wood frame of the couch as deeply as possible in the cracks.

Step 4

Continue to stretch the fabric across the back, arms and front of the couch, stapling the fabric to the wooden frame whenever possible to make the tightest attachment of the fabric. Finish the attachment of the fabric by stapling it to the base of the couch every four inches around the base of the couch. Cut off any excess fabric with the scissors.