This is an overview of the slipcover process. Here you’ll find a summary of the process, answers to some important questions, what supplies are needed for a slipcover, and links to my 7 tutorials.
Before starting this giant project, I had been thinking and planning for months. I definitely don’t recommend starting this project on a whim. It’s a big, daunting project, and you need to be fully committed before you dive in.
That being said, it was a really fun project. I learned a lot of new skills and ended up with a completely custom couch that I love!
So, my overall process was to break the slipcover down into manageable chunks (hence the seven tutorials instead of one giant one). It helped me wrap my head around each step and it kept up my morale when I finished small pieces, which fueled me to move on to the next step.
Here are links to all seven parts of the couch slipcover tutorial.
Part 1 – How to Make Piping
Part 2 – How to Make a Zipper Panel
Part 3 – How to Make Box Cushions
Part 4 – How to Make the Couch Body
Part 5 – How to Make the Skirt
Part 6 – How to Finish Up the Body
Part 7 – How to Recover Pillows
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE STARTING
What kind of fabric should you choose for a slipcover?
There are a few things to consider when choosing a fabric. You definitely want something that you’ll love for a long time, because once you make the slipcover, you won’t want to change it for a while. I went for a solid color because it’s easiest to decorate with, and I can always get colorful and creative with blankets, throw pillows, and artwork – all things that are much easier to change! Also, if you use a patterned fabric you’ll end up ripping your hair out trying to make sure that you get all the different pieces facing the right way.
I also suggest using a heavy-duty fabric like cotton duck canvas. It will hold up for a long time and withstand kids, pets, and pillow fights better than anything else. Duck canvas is also machine-washable, which is a big plus.
It’s best to get the fabric locally and not online. There’s nothing more frustrating than finally having time to work on the slipcover but running out of fabric & having to wait for it to come in the mail.
How much fabric do you need?
I’m not positive how much fabric I used, but I think I started with 18 yards and had to go back for 2 more. I do have a pretty large couch, so I would guess that most couches would take 15-18 yards to cover.
What kind of thread do you need to use for your slipcover?
Other than making sure you get the right color, be sure to get heavy-duty upholstery thread. I used Dual-Duty, and it worked really well for me. I’m not sure how many spools of thread I ended up using, but it was probably around six.
What kind of needle do you need to use for your slipcover?
Since you’re probably sewing through a thick canvas, and usually several layers of it at a time, you’ll need heavy duty upholstery needles. The Singer brand needles are the best choice, and it’s not a bad idea to pick up a package of them when you get the rest of your materials. I went through 4-5 needles while making my slipcover.
FULL LIST OF SUPPLIES NEEDED:
– sewing machine (obviously)
– sturdy, machine washable fabric (15-18 yards, though it depends a lot on your couch)
– heavy duty upholstery needles (it’s good to have several on hand)
– upholstery thread (around 6 spools)
– piping cord (choose whatever thickness you like, I probably used 25-30 yards)
– zippers (2 for box cushions, plus any for other cushions/pillows that you want)
– velcro (about 2.5 yards)
– masking tape
– measuring tape
– seam ripper (for those inevitable mistakes)
– prayer & perseverance!
If you have any questions about my slipcover process, ask me in the comments!