How to Reupholster a Sectional Sofa

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Things You'll Need

  • Upholstery fabric

  • Sewing machine

  • Thread

  • Sewing pins

  • Upholstery pins

  • Staple gun

  • Scissors

  • Foam (optional)

  • Batting (optional)


Use coordinating pillows, drapes and area rugs to completely update your new space.

New furniture and new paint is a great way to update and give new life to an old house. However, it may not always be feasible to buy new furniture--especially if you're looking to replace a sectional sofa. Sending the sectional out to be professionally reupholstered can be quite expensive as well. You can update your existing sectional sofa by reupholstering it yourself and save a lot of money.


Step 1

Remove the old fabric from the sectional and set the pieces aside. Don't discard the pieces, because they'll be used as a pattern to cut the new pieces of fabric you will need. Check the existing foam to make sure it's not soiled or covered with mildew stains. If necessary, replace it with new foam by stapling it onto the wood frame of the sectional.

Step 2

Lay out the new fabric on a large, flat surface and pin the existing upholstery pieces onto it with the sewing pins. Cut out the new pieces with a sharp pair of scissors. An electric pair of sewing scissors works best on upholstery fabric due to the thickness of the fabric. Regular hand scissors tend to fray the fabric more than electric scissors, although either type can be used.


Step 3

Pin the pieces into place onto the sectional where the old pieces were removed. Working one piece at a time, hold the fabric taut and staple the pieces into place. Do the back and sides first, then the arms, covering any existing staples as you overlap the fabric.

Step 4

Remove the existing fabric from the seat cushions and use a seam ripper to remove the existing zippers. Measure and cut enough fabric to cover the front and back of the cushions, leaving a 4-inch overlap on all sides. This will allow room for the cushion forms to be reinserted and for sewing a 5/8-inch seam to close the sides. With right sides together, pin the pieces together with the sewing pins 5/8 inch from the fabric edge. Using the pins as your guide, sew a 5/8-inch seam along the fabric edge, removing the pins as you sew. Leave open the back of the slip cover. Now sew the zipper onto the back opening. Repeat this process until all of the sectional cushions have been covered.


Step 5

Insert the cushion forms into the slip covers and zipper them closed. If the old cushions were a little saggy, wrap the foam in batting before inserting them into the new slip covers. Replace the cushions onto the sectional sofa.



Tiffany Holley

As a freelance writer and online marketing consultant, living and working in South Florida, Tiffany Holley provides copy writing services and online marketing strategies for businesses and website owners of all types. Holley specializes in SEO content writing, product reviews, search engine marketing, and social media marketing for businesses.