Carolyn drove a long way to bring me her Ethan Allan couch, chair and ottoman. Though in perfect condition structurally, the fabric was showing signs of wear and needed some attention. She wanted a new casual look and definitely liked the idea of washing the covers to keep them fresh and clean.
Bull Denim is a classic favorite go-to fabric for slipcovers. But you don’t have to settle on just white or off white. It comes in an array of colors like Vermilion (red), Rattan (light gold), Creamy Ivory, Lizard (green), Harbor Mist (light blue gray), Golden Curry, Fossil (taupe/light brown), Fern, Dusk blue, Chestnut, Black Bean, Brown, White, Light Gray, Charcoal Gray. My client chose Vanilla from Big Duck Fabrics. It’s a buttery cream color in a hefty weight. At 12 ounces, this twill fabric is especially perfect for a slipcover if you need to cover a print underneath.
Most bull denims are 100% cotton and though they may say “preshrunk”, you will still need to prewash it before sewing to remove any remaining shrinkage. Just be sure to do this in 3-4 yard segments as this fabric is very heavy.
Her new slipcovers would feature cording on the back following the curves and current cording on the back of the couch, a new line of cording following the curve of the arm construction to keep it simple and avoid lots of pleating and shifting. A placket zipper back with corded Velcro bottom finishes off this transformation.
This creamy Vanilla color is a perfect base for any season. Just add your favorite seasonal colors and textures through different pillows and throws for a whole new look.
When I picked up this rocker chair from my client’s house to begin work on it, a sweet little girl was curiously laying on it in the hallway where it waited for me to pick up. She told it me it used to be hers when she was a baby (I think she is about seven now). She thought I was going to draw on it to make new fabric and thought that it should be a dog print. Hmmm. Well, I can’t draw but I can make a slipcover and it’s not quite a dog print, but it is a wild one!
My client is drawn to a neutral pallet of whites and creams, so when she decided to stretch a bit and went with an animal inspired print that had a little bit of wild influence, I was pleasantly surprised. This fabric is from Revolution Fabric, a performance fabric called Magnet in a teal color. It actually looks more like a teal tone of a gray….which you could say is a form of a neutral. It will add a fun pop of color and interest wherever she put it. It has a rub rating of 30,000 and is washable!
The lines of this wingback rocker chair remained the same, with a white piping to break up the print and show the beautiful wing arm curves. We decided to keep the bottom corded and velcro’d to the bottom of the chair. I sometimes like to use a solid color for the seat decking to make it easier to see where the placement of the slipcover goes and to break up the busy pattern. For even more versatility and when she is done rocking the newest baby, she can replace the rocker legs with regular legs that she just happens to have and the finish of the chair will not be affected. I think the cleaner simple look of a corded bottom is perfect for this fabric.
What a better way to update this solid chair that clearly still held strong emotions to this little girl. It went from a heavy linen fabric that had years of stains and most recently cat scratches and dog chews. But that is life! I think this little girl thinks the chair will go back in her room, but I think mom has plans to use it for baby #3 but with a fun updated look.
My client Jenny is in that familiar state of transition. You know, the time where your kids have all but left the nest and pursuing a life of their own but you’re too young to retire just yet. Currently in a townhome, they do envision this a temporary place until the next phase. Even then, they wanted to update and freshen it up to enjoy it themselves before any resale in the future. My sentiments exactly. Why wait until you are ready to sell before updating! Been there, done that. Do it now so you can enjoy it, keeping in mind what is timeless and sellable.
In addition to the typical repainting and kitchen updates, their furniture needed a bit of a refresh as well. They had a heavy, comfortable and still functional couch, arm chair and ottoman that fit there space just fine and they wanted to repurpose instead of buying something new at this point. The textured chenille couch was a dated gold tone and the microfiber on the arm chair and ottoman were worn smooth in spots.
The couch, arm chair and ottoman all required a bit of prep work before construction of the new slipcovers. Did you know that on attached back cushions there is a zipper on the bottom so you can remove the cushion insert? FYI, if your cushions are looking a bit flat or squishy, you can remove the inserts and refill them to give them more fluff. Check out The Slipcover Makers tutorial on how to do this yourself. With Jenny’s permission, I removed the back cushions and made templates with the old cushions to make new loose cushions. This was a first for me and I felt a little intimidated to cut off the existing cushions, but I followed some awesome instructions and all went well. The Slipcover Maker has a great tutorial on this process. I also cut off the skirt on the couch and stapled the skirts on the chair and ottoman to the bottom wood of the chair to reduce bulk so they would not interfere with the new skirts. With the newly deconstructed furniture I was ready to tackle the slipcovers.
For the armchair, Jenny chose a high performance, linen-look, washable fabric called Phoenician from Revolution Fabrics in a Toast color. It compliments the fabric she chose for her couch and the rug and other chair she has in her living room. A pair of arm covers will help extend the life of the slipcover and reduce the need to remove the entire slipcover should the arms get soiled. But lets face it, in a house without kids full time, it shouldn’t need to be cleaned often.
In addition to stapling the skirt to the wood base of the ottoman, I converted the pillow top ottoman to a solid ottoman by add a layer of batting and a muslin slip slipstitched to the piping. The end result is a clean and simple ottoman with a slipcover that can be easily removed and laundered.
Jenny chose an oatmeal colored cotton/rayon blend from Big Duck Canvas . This fabric definitely required prewashing in order to preshrink it for any future washing. It did wrinkle a bit but nothing an iron and a little spray starch or steam can work out. The back featured two zipper panels that line up with the bottom pleats to make it easier to take on and off yet still allow for a tight fit. The final result is a more casual updated sofa to give them a few more years.
I always try to learn something new from my projects. After tackling the removal of the attached back pillows, I am inspired to try this on my own gray microfiber couch and loveseat for a fresh update sometime in the near future.
My client had what looked like two very different chairs. Obviously they had different fabric. But one had a skirt and one had a corded bottom. They also had different top pillows so they really looked like different chairs.
But once I took measurements it became clear that these were inherently the same chair. What a perfect opportunity to take two different chairs and make a new set of chairs to place in the same room. In order to do this we would use the same fabric, put a skirt on both chairs, and change the pillows to the same style.
June wanted something that looked like a linen but was reasonably priced. We found this 12 oz cotton/rayon blend from Big Duck Canvas in an oatmeal color. I see more slipcovers in my future with this fabric.
Typically I recommend you prewash your natural fibers fabric to take out any shrinkage in case you want to wash your slipcover in the future. This fabric shrinks about an 1″ on a yard (10-12%). Washed, this fabric has a more textured look rather than the polished sheen of the prewashed fabric and irons beautifully. However, June opted for the more polished look and did not want it washed. Dry cleaning is recommended in this case to prevent shrinkage.
What a remarkable difference and perfect update a slipcover made on these two chairs and ottoman. These chairs just jumped decades into 2019.
It’s been a crazy busy couple of months and May is looking about the same. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love working with fabric, repurposing and transforming your (and my) pieces. Thank you everyone for being environmentally conscious and not just throwing away your still good furniture. I’m a little behind on blogging on all my projects but hope to catch up soon.
Your baby is all grown up or at least out of the cuddling and rocking phase. You’ve had the sweet pink (or blue) upholstered swivel rocker that gently glided your little one to sleep for a few years. It screams baby’s room but maybe it is now whispering “guest room”.
This rocker is a solid, well-built piece of furniture with probably a lot of sweet memories attached to it. Wouldn’t it be nice to save that piece of furniture to keep and pass down for someone you love someday? By repurposing it to another room and with a new slipcover you can completely reinvent the rocker into a functional yet comfortable side chair for a guest room. Jen moved her pink chair to a basement guest room with modern gray and navy theme.
We chose a denim-like 100% cotton geometric printed fabric from Hobby Lobby in the Property Brother’s line and outlined it in a gray linen piping. I prewashed it to remove any shrink, just in case it ever needed to be washed.
A while back I recovered another glider similar to this for my daughter in a white bull denim cotton to put in the nursery for their newest arrival. Here it is in the new room, new house, with my new granddaughter, Charlotte Anne. Happy gliding!
Squirrels. They can be fun to watch with their jerky little movements and bushy tails, nibbling on acorns that have fallen from the trees. We almost even resolve to the fact that they will eat the bird food from our bird feeders, though not without a fight and attempt at so-called squirrel-proof feeders. But who would ever expect them to start nibbling and tearing up our cushions? That’s exactly what happened to Dawn. Beside the squirrel damage her cushions weren’t in bad shape considering how long she has had them. The original Sunbrella fabric in a darker golden brown color held up well in the elements under her gorgeous covered outdoor patio. The metal frames of the furniture were still in excellent shape so it made perfect sense to replace the cushions.
Before loveseat and ottoman
Dawn found the perfect fabric, Sunbrella Posh Oats, a lighter golden herringbone design. Staying in the same color family, the fabric has the right combination of texture, design, and color that will be comfortable, timeless, compliment her outdoor stone and hold up well in the elements.
I like a good challenge and the ottomans in this job gave me just that! They had a unique structure that allowed them to snuggle into the ottoman frame to hold them securely in place with feet movement. I simply deconstructed the original, made a pattern and recreated the same design. The biggest challenge I found was wrestling the foam insert back into the new cushion covers. What a workout! Challenge accepted and complete.
Nestled in her beautifully landscaped backyard with a natural wooded backdrop, the outdoor fireplace and babbling water fountain invite you to sit a bit to enjoy the birds and breeze.
With these new cushions you might just not want to go inside.
Have you ever inherited a piece of furniture that you felt obligated to keep but doesn’t fit your decor or color scheme? Or maybe you found a chair for a steal of a deal (or free) that would be perfect if only it had a different fabric. I have! I admit I have a slight compulsion (addiction) with this. I am constantly looking for pieces to rescue. For instance, right now I have two blue side chairs, a couple of barrel back office chairs, and some stools I snagged for super cheap that I thought still had potential. I am working on a couple of those projects now so stay tuned for an update on those transformations.
My daughter picked up this free upholstered rocker and ottoman from a mom’s group in Charlotte for the baby’s room. It was in perfect condition, except for the fact that it was a pale yellow stripe and very dingy (if you zoom in you can see what I mean).
Of course, my daughter looked past the outer shell and thought that her mom might be able to cover it. So she hauled it to the lake one week, I got to work, and in a couple of days she was able to bring it home with her completely refreshed …the chair that is.
I chose a vintage white bull denim from Big Duck Canvas. White, you say? Of course! Don’t be afraid to go light with slipcovers. This creamy soft white is a perfect color to coordinate with whatever color scheme you have. Or if you are like me and like to change colors and move furniture around often, it will go with anything.
Back Velcro Closure
As long as the fabric is washable and easy care, you can simply remove it and throw it in the wash. I preshrunk this fabric so it would be able to be washed frequently. A pair of arm covers would be an added bonus to lengthen the time between laundering.
The ottoman and chair would be a great addition in their new house and baby’s room whether it is a boy or girl. I can’t wait until July to find out!
Update: This chair will be perfect in a shiplap and pink floral inspired room….(it’s a girl).
I found this chair over ten years ago at a consignment shop and have had a love-hate relationship with it ever since.I love it and my husband hates it. Or at least he did.
With the mini-makeover of my lake house basement master bedroom and in conjunction with our ongoing downsizing and merging of household items, I tagged this piece for that room.The green and red stripe Ethan Allan chaise style chair and ottoman would be perfect for it with a new slipcover.
I decided to use a bleached drop cloth mainly because it was handy, cheap and I needed a lot of fabric. I wanted something that was bleachable, washable and replaceable in case I needed to redo the seat cushion.
The back features two short side zippers for easier removal over the large scrolled back.I added a little functional detail by sewing on frog-closures to the pleats on the chair and ottoman.I love the touch of nautical look it gives the chair and ottoman.
This chair is a prime example of an excellent piece to slipcover.It has great construction, simple lines, highly functional and a new purpose and home.
What a great place to put your feet up on, read a good book or take a nap.I think my husband likes (and maybe even loves) it now. Stay tuned for the complete room makeover. Just a few finishing touches and it’s ready to go!
I found these two chairs and ottoman for $100 with the intention of slipcovering them for my soon to be finished bonus room/workroom/she-shed/study/escape room at the lake. I was looking for matching club chairs that wouldn’t be too big but would be comfortable enough to snuggle up on and were in good condition.
Almost immediately after I got them home, I started to doubt my decision.They “looked” stiff and uncomfortable.I considered reselling them and starting over before I invested any more in them, but after further “comfort testing”, I decided it was probably the dark and “office-like” fabric that was getting under my skin. If I found the right fabric, they might just work. Since I’m a hands-on kind of person, I went fabric shopping so I could actually feel the fabric and drape.I found a knobby textured yet soft boucle fabric. It reminds me a little bit of terry cloth, but not snaggy. Normally I don’t recommend upholstery fabric for slipcovers as it is harder to sew, doesn’t have the drape of natural fibers, and isn’t machine washable.Since these chairs had very simple lines, would be in a room with very little traffic and I wasn’t planning on removing them to wash them, I didn’t think this would be a problem. I planned to Scotch Guard them as well.
I chose a neutral color so I could accent them with pops of seasonal colored throw pillows. A tan velvet piping and two-inch velvet band on the bottom gave the chairs even more softness and elevated these chairs to another level.I LOVE them.
I think they turned out great and now meet all my criteria….matching, comfortable, soft and versatile. My plan was to use these as the fall/winter slipcovers and make something lighter and “lakey” for the spring and summer (stay tuned).That’s the beauty of slipcovers.You can actually change your mind and recover them if you get tired of the fabric or just want to change things up by the season or your mood.
If you are trying to decide if slipcovering is right for you, checkout one of my favorite blogs and inspirations, The Slipcover Maker to know when it is a good idea to go with a slipcover and when it is not.
Terrewas on a mission to pull together her living room for her daughter’s high school graduation and the faded striped chair and fraying ottoman either had to go or get a redo. The Pennsylvania House chair was in good shape except for the faded fabric and dated red stripe that didn’t go with her new neutral and relaxed room.
Chair and ottoman before
The ottoman on the other hand was questionable.She wasn’t sure it was salvageable and neither was I. The top fabric had worn so thin that it had frayed. With my newly acquired samples from Big Duck in hand, we found the perfect shade of fabric.Unfortunately, they wouldn’t have the yardage she needed until after the graduation so she picked a second choice, a Bull Denim Cotton Poly Blend in Sand.It washed up beautifully with very little wrinkles.Although it was preshrunk, I was advised by the fabric company to wash it again as there still might be up to 3% shrinkage left. I didn’t want to take any chances as she definitely wanted to be able to wash the slipcovers.
With just four days until the festivities there wasn’t any time to waste.I went to work first on the chair. Following the lines of the chair, the fabric covered the red perfectly and felt so soft to the touch.We kept it simple with cording on the bottom to show off the wood legs.It would be a great chair to snuggle up on, put your feet up on the ottoman and read a book….or take a nap.
The ottoman took a bit of research and thinking.I mended what I could, pressed on a fusible interfacing and finally made a muslin wrap to pull the ottoman all together, hiding the top fix and giving it a clean start before making the slipcover.
Once I took the time to fix the ottoman, the construction of the cover was pretty straight forward.Again, we kept it simple with a corded bottom to match the chair.The cover fits like a glove and the new ensemble really brightens up that corner of the room, pulling it all together.And the best thing is, it’s washable! I’d say this chair and ottoman graduated with honors.