How to Cover Furniture With Sheets and T-Pins

Karen Waggoner

Slipcovering upholstered furniture with sheets is an easy way to hide ugly or worn upholstery, protect a fragile fabric, brighten a room, or lighten a room's furnishings in summertime. Because casual slipcovers or drapes made from sheets are less formal than tightly fitted covers, they can relieve a room of its dressy atmosphere and create a style sometimes called "shabby chic."

New and used sheets are widely available at a variety of prices, so almost anyone can afford this kind of casual slipcover.

You can easily make casual slipcovers from sheets.
  1. Drape the king-size sheet over the center of the sofa or chair back. Pull one end forward across the seat cushions, and down nearly to the floor. Keep the sheet straight on the furniture, smoothing it over the upholstery as you proceed.

  2. Tuck several inches of length behind the cushions. This allows the hemmed end of the sheet to cover the front of the furniture completely. Use a yardstick or a sturdy wooden dowel to anchor the sheet after you've tucked it tightly into the old upholstery.

  3. Drape the remaining width of the sheet over the arms.

    If the sheet is not wide enough to cover both arms, split a second sheet lengthwise and drape the halves over the arms. Arrange each half so that the hemmed side is toward the front of the arm.

    Turn the unhemmed side under about an inch, and tuck the folded edge into the old upholstery. Use T-pins to secure it to the upholstery behind or under a fold. Tuck a generous allowance of fabric beside the seat cushion, as in Step 2, and anchor it with a ruler or a dowel.

  4. Arrange the folds of sheet at the front end of each arm. There may be enough fabric to fall all the way to the floor. In this case, no further finish is necessary. If the sheet falls short of the floor, arrange the folds neatly and pin the excess fabric to the old upholstery at the bottom or side of the arm.

  5. Secure the hanging portion of the sheet at the back of the couch with T-pins. Secure any loose corners with T-pins. The slipcover will not remain tightly fitted, but it should remain in place through reasonable wear.