How to Reupholster a Kids' Couch

Samantha Kemp

Don't throw out your kids' old couch and waste money on a new one. Even if your kids have stained the cushions, outgrown the character fabric or beg you for a new couch, you can probably salvage the old couch and breathe new life into it by reupholstering it. Whether you are working with a large couch that has been reclaimed by the kids or a foam couch with cartoon characters, reupholstering your couch requires careful removal of the old fabric, the selection of appropriate new fabric and a little tedious work.

Reupholster a kids' couch to give it a new look.
  1. Remove the fabric from the couch one piece of fabric at a time. Use needle nose pliers to remove any staples. Don't tear the fabric because you will later use it for the pattern for the new upholstery.

  2. Mark each section of fabric as you remove it. Label each piece with the part of the couch the fabric covers, like "Left arm chair cover" and the order in which you removed it.

  3. Lay all of the pieces together to form a pattern. Measure the width and length of all of the pieces, including the cushions. These measurements represent the amount of fabric that you need to reupholster the couch with a new fabric.

  4. Use the old pieces of fabric as a pattern for your new upholstery. Pin the old pieces of fabric to the new fabric. Trim around the pattern leaving about 1/2 inch of excess on all sides.

  5. Attach the new pieces to the sofa frame one at a time. Use a staple gun to staple the piece of fabric onto the frame, placing staples every 1/2 inch. The fabric should be taut with very little give. If your kids' couch does not have a wooden frame or other durable surface, you will need to hand sew each piece of fabric to the base of the couch.

  6. Continue stapling or sewing the fabric pieces to the couch's frame. Tuck the fabric in the corners and under the bottom of the couch. Staple in place.

  7. Make a cover for the couch cushions. This is similar to making a pillow. Sew three sides of fabric equal to the size of the cushion. Place the cushion inside the cover and hand sew the fourth side.

  8. Add braiding to the couch if preferred. The braiding should blend in with the dominant color of the upholstery fabric. Use a hot glue gun to glue braiding to the bottom of the couch, to the cushions or to the arms of the couch.