Last fall I became fascinated with reupholstering. I read a million blogs, tutorial, how-tos; You name it, I read it. I was convinced that I could do it! I had 3 couches, 2 chairs and 1 toddler chair that were all given to me from my in-laws, Kevin’s grandparents and even neighbors who were moving. I mean how can you say no to free furniture? After doing the toddler chair and one of the other chairs I feel ready to do 2 of the couches. I have compiled everything that I found useful on the subject and want to share it with you. First of all, YOU CAN DO IT! It seems intimidating at first, but it really isn’t if you just take it one step at a time. Note: The cushions all need to be in good condition because replacing cushions can get very expensive.

Step 1: Begin small and simple for your first project.

After reading everything I could, I went to it beginning with the toddler chair. Here are before and after shots. I learned a lot and have to admit now, after doing other projects, I would have done some things different, but that is what learning is all about.

Reupholstering Toddler Chair

Step 2: After your first project, you are ready to tackle something bigger!

I then reupholstered a chair. I wanted all the practice I could get before tackling a couch. I have attached my before and after pictures of that as well. Doing a regular size chair made me realize how involved reupholstering can be and how easy it is to get overwhelmed if you let yourself. I’m glad that I did a chair before I did a couch!

Reupholstering Chair

 Step 3: Pick a color for your furniture before arriving at store.

It is key to have some kind of idea of what you want before going to search for upholstery fabric. Take swatches of your other fabrics in the room if you plan to match them with complimentary colors.

Here is my current living room furniture.


We have a burgundy chair that is so comfortable and we love it! The couches don’t match and I finally feel ready to rip apart 2 couches. I want the couches to be a neutral solid color. So I turned to the internet to find a color scheme that I liked that included burgundy. I found this and loved the color ideas. Note: If you need a few color scheme ideas I love this website.


Step 4: Buy the fabric.

When you reupholster furniture it is usually one of 3 reasons. One you want to save money. Buying a new couch is much more expensive that just buying new fabric. Two you love the look of the furniture, just not the fabric. There are some beautiful antique looks out there that aren’t available to buy anymore. Or three you love a good home decor challenge. I have to admit I do!

No matter which reason it is everyone loves to save a little money. I recommend buying fabric in the following places, HomeFabrics or They have the best selection for the best price. Just make sure you buy upholstery fabric, home decor fabric, or outdoor fabric. They will hold up to the wear-and-tear.

This time around I found a few fabrics at the store and a few online, but take it from me has the best selection and price! Note: If you use this link to purchase fabric, I will get credit from them to buy more fabric, therefore providing you with more free tutorials on what to do with that fabric! :))

Here are the fabrics that I chose.


Note: All home decor stores have a chart on how much fabric is needed for the specific furniture you are reupholstering. They will let you take a look if you ask them for it. Or if you are buying online here is something you can refer to. If your furniture isn’t shown below check out this website for help.

Reupholstery Guide Chart

Step 5: Gather supplies to begin taking the old fabric off.

After much trial and error, this is what I recommend to have with you when ripping out the staples of the old fabric.

  • Pliers
  • 4 1nch Tack Puller
  • Mason Jar
  • Magic Marker
  • Camera/Camera Phone
  • Band-aids

Tack Puller

Now you are ready to begin. I hope this has helped you get ready to tackle your own upholstery project. I’m excited to begin taking my couches apart!

Check back later for posts on, Reupholstery: Take It Apart and Reupholstery: Put It Together.

Reupholstery: Getting Started

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