25 July 2012

My Next Big DIY....

 The next big project that I'm planning to attempt is to make white slip covers for my couch cushions and pillows. 

The fabric that's on it now is microfiber which I'm soooo over. 

We bought it because supposedly microfiber is great for kids because it doesn't stain easily, and I have to admit that while we've had microfiber couches for almost the whole time we've been married (9 years) and have had zero permanent stains despite 3 kids and 2 dogs (which, yes, is impressive)
this fabric is far from low maintenance. 

I am sick of spots like this all over the couch:

Any kind of liquid at all, even water, leaves an ugly ring that I have to scrub with a special cleaner to get out. But guess what?? The cleaner also leaves a ring if I don't scrub at it hard and long enough, so then I have to spray on more cleaner and scrub at that ring....there have been so many times where I'll end up soaking and scrubbing an entire seat cushion just to get out a spot the size of a quarter. It's so frustrating. 

And with two toddlers climbing all over the couch and shoving their faces into the cushions while they drool, the couch gets spots on it constantly. It's driving me nuts. 

I want normal fabric that I can use a regular spot cleaner on when stains happen. And better yet, that I can take off and throw in the wash whenever I want so that the couch is always clean. 

I've been reading up on lots of different opinions on this, and I've decided that I want white fabric because then I can wash it as harshly as I need to and pour straight bleach over any stains. I buy white towels for that same reason, so I figure it also makes sense for slipcovers. 

When it comes to slip covers I definitely like ones that fit tightly like this-

as opposed to looser, drapey ones like this:

My plan is not to cover the entire couch though- just the seat cushions and back pillows. 
I'm leaving the leather parts alone. 

I won't be getting started till sometime after we get back from Florida. We leave in a little over a week. 

I also can't get started until I find affordable, durable, and washable white upholstery fabric. That's been a little bit challenging! But I'm on the hunt because I'm anxious to get this project started!


  1. Yes, I understand the dangers that children present to furniture! A slipcover is a great idea and I just read Katie Bower's instructions for how to wash one so that it stays clean and doesn't shrink.


    1. I'll have to read that too!

  2. I can't wait to see your tutorial for this. I have had white couches since I moved 4 years ago--kind of a mistake with 2 naughty cats but you're right, it does bleach well and when I have to I pull them off and wash them (kind of difficult as they are very fitted to the cushions) . Mine are a very soft thick white duck and it's very durable. White denim is good too but a bit more stiff.

    xo Mary Jo

    1. Oh thanks, I'm going to check out those types of fabrics!

  3. I can't wait to see how this turns out. I have a sofa that I would like to slipcover, but like you, I don't want a loose sloppy one.

  4. I can't wait to see it! We are in desperate need of a completely new couch and I would LOVE to have a nice crispy white one but hubby is always welding/plasma cutting, crawling under a car, and changing out dirty parts. He's usually covered in junk by the time he decides to plop down on the couch. So I'll have to live out my white couch dreams through other peoples' blogs like yours!

  5. You are a rock star Brooke! What a challenge. You'll do great I know! Can't wait to see it!!

  6. I have total confidence in you, my friend. You will knock it out and make your couch fabulous. Have you considered buying good quality sheets and use them for fabric? Might save you some $ and I'm sure the sheets would wash well.

    1. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks Brandi! And I hope you're right about me doing a fabulous job! This is one of those things that could either go awesomely, or unspeakably wrong and end up in my "oops" category...since I can't afford to buy a new couch if I screw up I REALLY hope it turns out fabulous!! Haha

  7. That sounds like it will be quite the task, but oh so worth it! Can't wait to see the results.

  8. We have white slipcovered sofa in our family room and I love it! I also have 3 kids and have to warn you that it gets dirty easily! White shows everything. It does look brand new after every wash though. I also used white cotton duck fabric. Good luck!

  9. That's huge... You have to be very exact on your measurements... Good luck!

  10. My old sofa is microfiber, too and like yours, it shows stains and it's driving me nuts. The sofa is still in great condition but it's totally ruined. I am glad you know how to sew and make it work! Looking forward to see this project. I know this project will turned out wonderful!


  11. This is so great! I have that exact same couch and have made it my mission to recover the seats and back cusions...and here you are!! With amazing tips and things to look out for....what a god send! Thank you for sharing your story -- this will be so much help!

    1. I'm so glad!! Here are the posts with the details on how I ended up recovering the couch- I'm so glad I did it! I like it so much better now!
      How I recovered the seat cushions:
      How I made new back cushions:
      And this one's more recent- I ended up tufting the back cushions so here's how and why I did that:

      Best of luck with your couch!! :)