The Secret Underneath the Slipcover

There's a dark and ugly secret I've been hiding on this blog for quite some time. 
No, it's nothing scandalous (I'm a pastor's wife for goodness sake!), but it's about time I let the cat out of the bag.

My secret lives in my living room.
It's big, comfy, and squishy.  Oh yeah, and it weighs a ton and takes up a lot of room. 
 No, it's not me!  I know what you were thinking, LOL!

Okay, okay, I'll stop being crazy...it's my couch.

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I made slipcovers for my couch and chair.  But I have NEVER showed you what it's like under that slipcover.  No-siree.  Why?
Because it's uuuugly.  Super ugly.

The other day a friend stopped by and all my slipcovers were off and in the process of being washed and she looked at my naked couch and said, "Wow, I've never seen what's under the slipcover!  And, well....now I can see why you covered them!"  

Cracked me up. She was being all polite instead of saying, "Boy is your couch hideous!!"

Only people who've known us for a while have seen these couches, and the rest of you?  You get to live in the happy bliss of never knowing what's underneath.  Well, until now that is.

So here goes...my couch in all of it's glory.....

This couch is actually around 45 years old.  Can you believe that?  Just goes to show that they made stuff WAY better back then!  It was given to us six years ago and has been highly abused by a few children.  The back is falling down (notice the screws to hold it in place) and one of the side things is a little wobbly.  

But that's not the worst part.  

I wish you could see it in all of it's peach and seafoam glory.
Peach and seafoam?  Oh yeah.  It may not seem like it in the picture, but I promise you that's what it is.  It is quite special. {cough:cough}

Didn't notice until this picture that the cushion was on sideways, haha!

 The armchair is in better shape, but still, it's still ugly.

For years I just tried to decorate around the couch and chair and just try to pretend they weren't there.  But paint colors didn't work.  Cute fabrics on pillows didn't help.  Apart from getting rid of them, I just didn't know what to do!  I learned that when something in your room takes up as much space as a couch does, well, you just can't escape or disguise the ugliness!

Then two years ago I saw how Nester slipcovered her couch and I was SO inspired!  (Why hadn't I thought of that?!) There was no way we could afford to buy a new couch, but this I could do!

I started hunting around for fabric and I was pretty discouraged by the prices.  It was $7/yd. for the cheap canvas!  Then I thought about dropcloths and I began a hunt for them.  The best I could find were the painter's drop cloths from Home Depot.  They were super heavy, slightly textured and the price was perfect...the yardage came out to be less than $2 a yard!!  Woo-hoo!!  (Just a side note...when I was hunting for dropcloths two years ago, the ones from Lowe's had a seam down the center, that's why I went with the ones from Home Depot.)

I don't have a picture of this part, but I bought a few dropcloths, bleached them a little since the dropcloths are cream, and set to work.

But then it hit me...how in the world was I going to make a slipcover for this beastly couch?!!!!

Enter the vintage book given to me by a lady at church.  It tells you how to make pretty much everything.  Even foam color-blok furniture, HA!  (I got some good laughs reading through this book!!)

It had an entire section on how to make slipcovers for many different types of furniture. This book was seriously awesome...not sure I could have sewn the slipcovers without it!

I also gleaned wisdom from other people around the internet like Pink and Polka Dot who is the queen of all things slipcovered.  (She even has a book on her website that could help you!)  But mostly I learned from the book pictured above.

I will not lie to you and say, "Oh this is the easiest project EVER!  Go make one this afternoon!!!"  That is SO not the truth.  Granted at the time I was doing this my children were ages 6, 5, and 11 months, but still, I think for anyone this would be a time consuming project.  

Overall I think I spent a month working on and off making the slipcovers.  The total cost?  Around $60.  It is a lot, but the results were SO worth it.  And much, MUCH cheaper than buying a new couch. (Which if I could buy one, it would be this...yes, I would still go with white!) 

But the blessing of not having peach and seafoam stripes assault my eyeballs every.single.day?? PRICELESS. =D  

For those who haven't seen it...here's the finished product.  Although these were freshly washed and a bit wrinkled from hanging on the clothes line.  Yes, I was lazy and didn't iron it.  The wrinkles do fall out and I have more important things to waste spend my time ironing! Plus, it's easiest to put it on very slightly damp since it'll go on easier and stretch in all right places! =)

It's so imperfect, but I still love it!  (Remember...it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!)

This has nothing to do with this post, but I used to put a plethora of cute pillows all across the middle of my couch in a cool arrangement but they constantly ended up in the floor.  Gah!  So, I've come to the conclusion that I'd better just stick them in the corners and have a boring looking couch rather than pillows decorating my floor.  =D

 The armchair was made first and was pretty much my "practice" piece so it has some rough spots. But still, it's better than what's underneath!!

Here's one last look for you....



Aaahhh...so much better!

So if you have a hideous couch that you wish to hide from the world, just GO FOR IT and slipcover that beast.  You'll thank me.

Today I won't begin to spout off all the wonderful reasons why I adore having a white slipcover for my couch, I'll save that for another time.  Just know that I really do have four kids that actually sit on this couch, wallow all over it, throw up on it...you get the picture.  But after two years, it still looks pretty good!

So do you have a couch that needs a slipcover?  Or have you sewn one before?  I'd love to hear about it!

P.S...Just curious, did any of you catch on and notice anything different about the living room?? =)


  1. My husband says I never miss a thing. I do, of course! I have only been to your house once, but I do believe your walls were a tan/camel/brownish color. Did Pepper help you paint? Looks great.

  2. Slipcovers are miracle workers sometimes! Beautiful living room! :)

  3. well, I have to say I have seen worse couches - yours almost just looked tan in the far away shot :) But the slipcover is awesome! Had no idea that you made it :)

    so you would totally go with a white couch from Ikea?? I am thinking we will need to replace ours in the near future and am seriously debating white! :) I know everyone will think I am crazy but I LOVE white - all white things (like milkglass :) and it is so easy to decorate around white - everything goes! :)

    How does your slipcover hold up to dirt? Like if you get a stain on it or it just looks dingy all around the edges (like Nester posted about hers) - that ALL comes out??

    I am leaning towards this one from Ikea - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S19902778/#/S89910440

  4. and do I see a new wall color??? do you like it? :)

  5. I have a few things you can come over and help me slipcover... ;) great job, Laine!!! that's awesome!

  6. I've been planning on making a slip cover for a couple of chairs I have. Gonna get some drop cloths sometime soon!! I've been checking out tutorials on the web...nervous but need to cover my uglies too!!

    And you painted the walls! Nice! We are getting a shade of gray as well. Can't remember the name right now but found it on pinterest.

    Your place looks great!!

  7. Wow! You did a great job! I could never do that as I am a total non sew-er. But I love seeing someone else's creations. (BTW, I found you through imparting grace's link up. )

  8. Hi Laine! I've only ever read this one post, but you seem like a friend already! I'm amazed that you would tackle a slipcover and both pieces do look much better because of it. I also love the wall color and from the other comments I gather that's a new thing. What color is it? Do you love it? I'm know what you mean about the pillows on the floor--I can't even keep them on the ends of the couch! I found you blog through Serenity Now and I'm here to stay!

  9. The slipcover looks amazing - you did a great job!!!
    Best wishes from Australia,

  10. LOVE the after!! Fabulous job!

    Thanks so much for sharing at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  11. Your slipcover is AWESOME!

    ~Have a lovely day!

  12. Great JOB!!! I make slipcovers professionally, so I know how much work they are. All my furniture looks about the same as yours underneath. My front room couch is peach velvet. I love being able to make them cute. Anyhow.... Feel free to check out my site....http://customslipcoversbyshelley.blogspot.com

  13. Love, love, love this. I sew so I have got to try this after I am finished getting my
    sewing room furniture painted and my fabric put up.


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