How to Measure Furniture to Reupholster

If you can't afford to replace your outdated couch or no longer like the fabric on a favorite chair, don't despair:--reupholster! An affordable way to reupholster any piece of furniture is to measure the piece and buy the material you need.

Measuring Furniture for Reupholstering

This way, you have numerous options and can take advantage of sales at a local fabric store instead of relying on an upholsterer, who will mark up fabric prices. Just be sure to measure correctly to avoid buying too much or too little fabric for the job.

Draw a large, rough sketch of the front and back views of the piece of furniture you want to reupholster.

Measure from the top center of the piece down to the bottom center, then measure the full width. Note these measurements on the sketch of the back view.

Take out any cushions and measure from the top center down to the seat. Note this measurement on the drawing of the front view.

Measure the width of the back of the piece and mark this on your drawing. Then measure any cushions and note these on your drawing separately. For example, three cushions at 2 feet by 2 feet by 8 inches tall.

Measure the length and width of the seat, and both inside and outside arms. Fill in these measurements on your drawing.

Take your drawing to a local fabric store and ask for assistance in choosing an upholstery fabric suitable to your needs. Based on your measurements, ask the sales person to help you determine the proper yardage needed. Ask for her advice on securing the fabric to the frame of the furniture piece.

Things You Will Need

  • Flexible measuring tape
  • Paper and pencil

Tip

  • Because of durability, it is best to choose upholstery fabric, not clothing fabric. You might need extra fabric, depending on fabric pattern repeats. In general, solid colors for the piece of furniture and contrasting patterned pillows will create a custom new look at a lower price.

About the Author

Tonya Goodspeed has written professionally since 2003 and specializes in articles on travel, weddings, invitations and home and garden topics. She also ghostwrites Web and blog content. She earned an English degree with a minor in French from the University of Virginia.