Old ripped, dirty couch before old couch makeover

Old Couch Makeover: The Cheap and Easy Way to Cover An Ugly Couch or Sofa

Once upon a time we had a new leather loveseat. It was beautiful! Then we got a puppy. The puppy grew up and took his guard dog job very seriously. 

This couch was right in front of the window so, every time someone walked by, he was climbing the back of the sofa to bark at the intruders – the mailman, the neighbors, the Amazon delivery driver and any animals that dared to step on the property. It was also his favorite place to lie when chilling out with the family.

Large tri-color dog lying on loveseat
The reason our couch got ruined

Fast forward a few years, and our once pristine couch looked like it had been through a war zone. The top of the couch had ripped and leaked stuffing, and the leather was worn and dirty. There were also some tears in the seat area from his (sometimes) long claws. But it was still the most comfortable loveseat we’ve ever had.

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We thought about getting a new one, but it wasn’t in the budget. We needed an old couch makeover, but needed a cheap and easy way to cover the old sofa to make it look new again. We decided to go with this easy to install couch slipcover for an easy DIY home decor makeover.

Pinterest pin for how to give your old couch a makeover for less than $50

Why Use a Couch Cover?

Couch covers can make your old, worn-out couch look brand new. Plus, they protect against spills, stains, and all the wear and tear life throws at it. And they are easy to remove and throw in the washing machine. This old couch makeover DIY project is budget-friendly and saves you the expense of buying a new sofa to improve your home decor.

Choosing the Right Cover

Here are some tips to help you choose the right sofa cover for your living room decor:

Size Matters

Measure your couch. You want a cover that fits snugly, not one that’s too loose or too tight. Most covers come in standard sizes, so check the packaging or description and measure again. As our couch is actually a 2-seater loveseat, we decided to order the medium size.


Think about how you use your couch. If you’ve got kids or pets, go for something durable and easy to clean, like microfiber or a cotton blend. Want something fancy? Velvet or faux leather can add a touch of class, perfect for an old leather couch makeover. The possibilities are endless! We decided to go for a textured fabric that matched the rest of the furniture, even though it wasn’t leather.

Color and Pattern

This is the fun part. Pick a solid color or pattern that matches your room decor. Bold colors can make a statement, while neutrals blend in nicely. We went with a neutral ‘natural’ color with a checkered texture.

Related Post: Quick and Budget Friendly Bedroom Refresh Ideas

4 in process photos of covering an old couch

Putting on the Cover

Prep Work

We ordered some duct tape along with the cover to tape up the tears and holes in the leather because our sofa was such a mess. It also helped to contain the stuffing that was escaping from the rips. 

Then give your couch a quick clean. Vacuum up crumbs, and wipe down any dirty or sticky spots with warm water and soap. Let it air dry for an hour or so. This helps the cover lay flat and look smooth.

Start at the Top

The cover I bought was marked front and back, so it was easy to orient. Drape the back of the cover over the back of the couch. Adjust it so it’s even on both sides.

Fit the Arms

Pull the cover down over the arms. Tuck in any extra fabric into the creases where the arm meets the seat.

Smooth it Out

Now, pull the cover down over the front and back. Tuck in any loose fabric into the creases. We used the foam inserts that came with the cover to keep everything in place.

Final Touches

Adjust as needed. Smooth out wrinkles and make sure it’s snug and tucked under all sides of the couch.

Enjoy Your “New” Couch

Sit back and enjoy your couch’s new cozy look! It’s amazing how a simple, inexpensive cover can transform your space in less than 10 minutes. The one we got has a soft suede feel to it and the color matches our other leather furniture pieces.

Plus, if you ever get bored, you can just swap out the cover for a new one. Easy peasy. This simple couch makeover DIY no sew method gives you a fresh, stylish living room without the effort of traditional couch reupholstery.

Pinterest pin for how to cover an old couch and make it look new again

Other Easy DIY Home Decor Ideas

Here are some other easy DIY home decor ideas to makeover your sofa and give your living room a fresh look without too much hassle:

Add Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are a simple and effective way to spruce up your couch. Mix and match different sizes, textures, colors, and patterns to add personality and comfort. They’re easy to swap out whenever you want a new look.

Use a Throw Blanket

A stylish throw blanket can add a pop of color and texture to your couch. Drape a quilt throw blanket casually over the back or the arm of the couch for an effortlessly chic look. Plus, it’s great for cozying up during movie nights.

Re-Stuffing Cushions

Over time, couch cushions can become flat and lose their shape. Re-stuffing them with new foam or batting can make your couch feel like new again. It’s a small change that makes a big impact on comfort and appearance.

Armrest Covers

Armrest covers can protect the parts of your couch that see the most wear and tear. They’re easy to replace and clean, and they can add a bit of style too.

Fabric Paint

For fabric couches, fabric paint can be a game-changer. Use it to add patterns or even just refresh the color of the entire couch. It’s a fun DIY couch makeover project that lets you get creative.

Replace Legs

Changing the legs of your couch can give it a whole new vibe. Swap out standard legs for something more stylish or modern. It’s a small tweak with a big visual impact.

Add a Rug

While not directly on the couch, adding a stylish rug underneath can change or enhance the overall look of your seating area. It ties the room together and can make your couch stand out more.

Accent Lighting

Introduce some new lighting around your couch. Floor lamps, string lights, or table lamps can highlight your couch and create a cozy atmosphere.

Reupholster Cushions

If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge but not quite ready for a full reupholster couch project, try reupholstering just the cushions. Choose an upholstery fabric that complements your existing couch to upcycle the cushions for a refreshed look. Or you could buy some couch cushion covers to make it an easy, no-sew project.

Upholstery Cleaner

Sometimes, a thorough cleaning is all your couch needs. Use a good upholstery cleaner to remove stains and refresh the fabric. This can make your old couch look and smell like new again.

These quick, affordable ways to give your old couch a makeover are all about making your couch look great without breaking the bank or requiring major effort. Try a few, mix and match, and see how they transform your living room decor into a new, updated room!

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