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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beginner's guide to reupholstering a sectional sofa: STEP THREE

Beginner's guide to reupholstering a sectional sofa: STEP THREE - REUPHOLSTERING
This is going to more of a general tutorial because every couch is different and you kind of have to just figure out what works for you.  As you can see below, I didn't always do everything perfectly but it still turned out great.
The first thing I did (above) is pull up the cushion along the back of the couch and stapled the fabric down (right side down) under where that cushion went.  I laid the fabric so when it wrapped around the back of the cushion and I pulled it over the seat and down to the front the right side out would be out.  You can see it after that one side had been stapled better in the video below.
After I did that one side of the fabric, I stapled the batting on.  I started with the same side I had stapled the fabric and then pulled it over the seat cushion and down the front.  Once I had it where I wanted I spray glued it in place.  This batting went directly over the foam.  Once the batting was spray glued in place I could pull the fabric over the seat cushion, showed in the video below.
Here's where it got tricky.  AFTER I had stapled the back edge of the fabric down AND stapled and spray glued the batting on, I decided that in order to make the curve around the arm cushion look good I was going to have to sew a small seam just around the cushion.  This is what happens when you figure it out as you go.  It turned out well in the end but IF I DID IT AGAIN I WOUL DEFINATELY SEW ANY SEAMS BEFORE I STARTED STAPLING.
After I managed to sew that one seam it looked great.  As a rule of thumb, any inside corners will need a seam to fit well and outside corners can either have a seam or just be folded and stapled in place (what I chose to do because it was easier).

See how I left extra fabric both along the front and sides?  That way I had plenty to use once I started stapling and folding the sides in place.  It's so much easier to have a little extra to drape and make it just right.
Next I did the arm (above).  I was lucky with this sofa because the arm was square and I didn't have to do any big curves.  I started by stapling the side under the cushion and then draped it over, pulled it tight over the fake leather and stapled it to the bottom.
At first I would unpick the bottom and staple the fabric down and then staple the bottom back over the top so it looked nice and professional (above) but by the end I realized you can't tell anyway and ended up stapling a folded edge right over the top of the bottom layer because it was a lot faster and easier.
Then I spray glued the fabric on the seat cushion in place onto the batting, pulled it tight and down along the front and stapled into place.  I folded along the corners of both the front seat cushion and the side and stapled everything where I wanted it to sit, making sure the staples were out of sight, either in between cushions or below where I was going to piece the other fabric (shown below).
I stapled the fabric over the fake leather in the back.
You can see in the movie that I folded along the back edge.  I could have sewn it into place using an upholstery needle but I decided that no one was going to see that edge along the back anyway.  If I was putting it in a high-traffic area with nothing along the back I would have sewn that fold into place by hand or used a tack strip.
After I had done the seat, arm rest, back and both sides it looked like this...
The last part was that front bottom part.  I don't know how I didn't get any pictures of this part but basically I took the salvage edge of the fabric and placed it along the top line of where I wanted the bottom piece to be.  I placed it upside down - right side against the couch.  So the fabric was draped up and over the seat and back and only about an inch of fabric was hanging down along where I wanted the piece to be.  Then I stapled this cardboard strip along where I wanted the seam.
Once that edge was stapled, I folded the fabric down over the cardboard I had stapled and stapled in place along the bottom (shown above).  That's what creates that seam along the front - since I couldn't pry the couch apart and actually get in there.
I followed all these steps for both couches and I was done with the couch part!  It's not perfect, but it's good enough and I get compliments all the time.  Totally worth the $250 or so I spent on supplies and fabric and hours I put into it instead of buying a new couch, but then again I'm pretty cheap.  If you have the money I guess it may not be worth your time.
Go HERE to learn how to make those cushions.

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