Friday, March 25, 2011

How To Sew a Removable Slip-Cover for Furniture

Sewing a slip-cover for a piece of furniture you already have can give it new life and purpose, while saving you a lot of money!

In this case, my client was working on a tight budget. The recliner she had for her nursery was in good condition, but clashed severely with the colour scheme and style of the design. A slip-cover was an ideal solution. Making the slip-cover easily removable also created the opportunity for it to be washed when it becomes soiled.

Here's the basics:

1) Start by obtaining a very large piece of fabric:

To make this as affordable as possible for my client, I used a king-sized sheet to cover her average-sized recliner. For a larger piece of furniture (ex: couch, or love seat), you will have to join multiple pieces of fabric together. Make sure you pre-wash and dry your fabric to prevent future shrinkage.

2) Drape fabric over furniture as evenly as possible:

3) Tuck fabric deeply into all of the inside edges:
Keep tucking and tugging until the fabric is covering the furniture as smoothly as possible.

4) Pull fabric around the outside edges until it looks as smooth as possible and pin in place:
In this case, I started with the chair arms in the front.

5) Cut off excess fabric, remove the slip-cover and sew along your pin line:
When you're finished, try the slip-cover back on the furniture to test it's fit.

Repeat the process with any remaining outside edges. In this case, once I had finished the outside edges in the front, I worked on the outside edges in the back.

6) Place slip-cover back into position on the furniture and trim excess/uneven fabric from the bottom:

7) Make a skirt to go around the bottom:

Measure the distance from the bottom edge of the slip-cover to the floor (plus a little extra for the bottom hem). Cut a length of fabric corresponding in width to your measurement and long enough to wrap around the bottom of your furniture, plus extra for pleats at the corners. Hem the bottom.

8) Join the skirt to the slipcover:
Remove the slip-cover and pin the bottom edge to the hemmed length of fabric, right sides to right sides. Make a 2 inch pleat on either side of each corner seam. Sew together, and cut off any excess fabric.

9) Turn the slip-cover right-side out, and position on the furniture:
You may need to make some minor adjustments in areas that are too bunchy, or uneven. Pin, and sew in place by hand.

If you are changing from a dark colour to a light colour as in this example, you may want to prep your furniture with an under-layer to prevent unsightly seams from showing through. In this case I just used a king-sized fitted sheet, proceeded with steps 2 & 3, and then placed my slip-cover over top.

Enjoy your new piece of furniture!


  1. Using a king sized sheet is an awesome idea Abby! One day (somewhere in July) when I have time I'm totally going to adapt this to my hand-me-down lazyboy.

  2. I have always wondered how to make a slip cover. It just seemed like way too hard of a project to even think about, so I never really considered it as an option for me. This actually looks doable! So great!

  3. Still contemplating doing this project myself... Does the skirt in this design allow the footrest to come out?

  4. Thank you , my recliner is so UUUUUUUUUUUUUUGLY lol.I will try this.

  5. Thanks for sharing this DIY guide. I wish to see DIY for leather recliner chairs too.

  6. I like this idea. I have a recliner with the same size and design. I want to try vinyl though since it would be a wipe down surface when needed.

  7. The recliner she had for her nursery was in good condition, but clashed severely with the colour scheme and style of the design. A slip-cover ...

  8. Correct me if I am wrong but could I use the same concept to make a removable slip cover for my sectional (with attached cushions)? A lot more tucking of course, but I think it will work.

  9. It's really appreciable message for everybody thanks for sharing this information. lazyboy

  10. I tried!It seems easy to do but I found it tough to make.I also do wanna sew best rated recliners and run my recliner business but being unable to do so.

  11. best dressing table

    A furnished room like a furnished person.we know furniture makes a room so nice and gorgeous.every single person like a room which is decorated with some chasuble furniture.I remain a best dressing table change your mind into comfort.

  12. How did you pin in between the cushion and armrest?

  13. Congo for your new recliner chair. I really like it. I am also sharing some of recliner chairs reviews. Read my article for more information about recliner chair. Hope you like it and may useful for you.

  14. Thanks for sharing this amazing hack to sww removeable slip cover. Convesio