Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Flashback - Sofa Slipcovers

One month before our now 3 year old daughter was born, we moved into a bigger house. I had a lot more space to fill up with furniture. My husband gave me a budget, enough for a new sofa. I wanted to make that money stretch and fill up the other rooms that needed furniture. That's when I jumped into the world of craigslist.

I looked for pieces with the right shape, ones I could work with as I found time. I found a sofa/loveseat set for $150 and thought this was a steal. The set even came with an extra set of sofa cushions that hadn't been used.

With a 9-month preggo belly and then a newborn, it took me a little longer to get around to finishing this project, but it did get done. For slipcover materials, I had to get a deal. I liked the look of matelasse, but couldn't afford to make two slipcovers from the real deal. Thinking back to some of my grandmother's catalogs, I visited Blair's store online. There I found blankets that had the right look for $25, any size! Yep, I recovered my sofas with king-size blankets and lots of piping. I bought 4 blankets, but in the end probably used 3 of them for that project. The floral pillows were made from Waverly cloth napkins I had found on clearance at Target. I splurged on the red fabric for the other pillows and the backs of the two middle pillows were from a fun furry-like fabric find at Joann's in the remnant basket.

2 years and another child later, the slipcovers are holding up well. This past Sunday, I discovered an old sippy cup of milk that my little girl had forgotten about. Although I was happy to finally figure out where the unpleasant smell was coming from, I was sick to my stomach to think about what was to come of my hard work and what additional hard work was at hand for this most holy day of rest. Our loveseat underwent a little surgery (thank you, Todd!!!) and the carpet had to be steam cleaned.

After some ingenuity on my husband's part with the loveseat and an online search of getting rid of the sour milk smell in fabric, we've managed to save ourselves some money and hang onto our loveseat. The fix that worked (and removed the old stains!) - Pour one cup laundry detergent and one cup dishwashing detergent (we used lemon Cascade) into washing machine. Hot water setting. Agitate to mix solution. Add stinky fabric and let soak in the hot water overnight. Run washing machine the next morning. Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar during the rinse cycle. Apparently this takes out the stink. (And it did!!!) Rinse a second time to get rid of extra detergent residue.

I had tried washing normally my first time, but the stink and stains were still there. When I tried this method, I was amazed at how great the slipcover looked and smelled! Just thought I'd pass this tip along in case you find yourself in the same boat some day. For your sake, I hope not!


  1. You did a beautiful job! Wish I could find blankets like that. You will have to link up to my Slipcover Show-off next weekend.

    And I will have to remember that washing tip to pass on to my clients.

  2. Wonderful job! Your slip covers look so professional. I'm curious, do your slip covers slip on or did you use some kind of closure in the back or on the sides, buttons, Velcro, ties? Great idea to use blankets. I found you through Mustard Seed Creations. I also follow angie's blog, she's very talented. Enjoyed the visit.

  3. you did a great job and the furniture's shape is perfect for slipcovering

  4. Thanks for visiting Lemonade Spring! To answer your question, Shelley, about what type of closure used - for the main body, I didn't have to use any because the blankets used were pretty stretchy. I found this to be a great time saver! As for the cushion covers, I went with Velcro because of cost and ease. I had also lined my cushion covers with interfacing and muslin, so there was extra support for the Velcro when I put it in. So far, after a couple of years, they're holding up great!

  5. They look wonderful! You really did an excellent job.