Friday, December 31, 2010

Drop Cloth Sofa Slipcover

Rene at Cottage and Vine has been hosting a drop cloth project party this week, highlighting all the wonderful ways to use this versatile and affordable fabric for purposes other than painting.   Visit her and the other partiers and get your creative juices flowing for the new year!

I seriously wish I'd known about drop cloths back in late 2008/early 2009 when I scrimped and saved, then searched (and searched...and searched some more) for simple, affordable curtains to hang on the plethora of windows in my living area and bedroom.  I probably could have gone with a muslin, but I had my heart set on linen or at least the look of it.

Target did finally offer a nice, simple linen/cotton blend that I snagged on sale for about $16 a panel, if memory serves. And you better believe I cleaned off the shelf when I had my chance! We have no visible neighbors, but still it's creepy to know someone could see straight into the house from the road. Or from a lurking position in the woods.  No, no, I'm not paranoid in the least! <rolls eyes> 

Though I missed the boat to have drop cloth curtains, once I a) learned about drop cloths on the Interweb and b) met a local seamstress and interior designer who makes slipcovers, I knew a drop cloth slipcover on my leather camelback sofa would be in my future.

Here's the sofa before:

Woo-eee!  I'd forgotten just how brassy those nailheads were.

It was originally my mom's, but she gave it to us when we moved into the house three years ago. She felt it was too bulky for her place, which is was, But it was scaled perfectly for our new living room.  Plus, it's ridiculously comfortable, accommodates my 6'2" husband nicely, and leather was ideal for a rough-housing, dirty baby boy.

The only problem with it was the unrelenting BROWN-ness of it.

Until this year, all the (inexpensive or hand-me-down) furniture in the living room was a shade of brown. Throw that on top of all the wood in the house on the walls and floors, and it was just too much of a good thing.

So, I systematically painted the side tables and hutch, one of the two rocking chairs, and found a few pieces  to introduce a cottage feel. That just left the couch.

I've coveted the IKEA Ektorp and classic Pottery Barn sofas (who hasn't though?) for years, but I couldn't possibly justify purchasing a new couch when we were in possession of a perfectly good, but BROWN, one.

Enter Kara, seamstress extraordinaire.

{P.S.--For you local folks, Kara and her business partner, Karan, own an elegant and eclectic shop called Spruce, located in Hillsborough just off I-85.  They don't have a Web site, but an antiques blogger featured the store in an October 2009 profile that provides an accurate synopsis of Karan and Kara's offerings, along with plenty of photos.}

Kara worked her magic and whipped together a beauty of a slipcover.

Simple, clean and exactly what this space needed!  Check out the cording details for that extra somethin' somethin':

Hello, lovely nubbies.

Kara and I also made pillows and (with much patience) she taught me how to sew cording and how to sew a zipper.  See, I'm not completely allergic to sewing machines!

The fabric is Waverly's Rose Sonata in Tea Stain.

Okay, just one more shot of my "new" sofa that I love to doze off on, because drop cloth is infinitely warmer to lay on than leather in the wintertime...

This post brought to you by the magical, transformational abilities of a seamstress sewing with drop cloths.

This project is also linked to:

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Air Your Laundry Friday at Freckled Laundry


  1. Thanks for sharing this Erin. It is hard to believe it is the same couch with the slip. I'm like you, wish I had know about drop cloths a few years ago.

    Happy new year!


  2. Wow! This came out just beautiful- I am so impressed with your slipcover! Your couch is beautiful, warm and looks super comfortable too! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! Happy New Year!!

  3. This turned out so great, the pillows, too! Hopped over from French Country Cottage...I am a new follower!

  4. Having just moved to the area, this is perfect! I'm heading up to Spruce later this week and will tell them you sent me! THank you so much!!!

  5. Loverly! I love using drop clothes for everything from curtains, to table clothes to slipcovers....your couch is transformed! And I love the florals you paired with it. Very cottage-y and perfect :)

  6. Wow this is a great transformation, I think i will have to try drop cloth something this year.

  7. That is amazing! I love how it turned out, and the sweet little flowered pillow you added it it, too! :)

  8. This is beautiful! My dream project is to try to make one for my sofa.

  9. Oh, what a fabulous remake! You give me hope. Maybe I can get brave enough to sew up a slip cover for my loveseat...and drop cloths make the fabric part so much more affordable.

  10. Gorgeous slip. I have a huge sofa to slipcover and I'm always reassured and inspired by posts like this. You space looks gorgeous and I'm lovin' the nubbies, too! Thank you so much for sharing it with my party!


  11. The slipcover is gorgeous!!


  12. I really like your drop cloth slip cover. I am about to do curtains with some. I love the look of the fabric. I am a new follower. Would love it it you would stop by my place and return the favor.

  13. Very nice slipcover, I'm making one out of drop cloth for a oversize arm chair now, I'm almost done but I'm sure it wont look as good as your couch!

  14. Lovely! How many drop cloths did the sofa take?

  15. Hi Regina,

    I couldn't respond to your message by email so hopefully you'll check back here! I bought five 6x9 drop cloths for this project from Home Depot at just under $10 per cloth. I washed them so that shrunk them just a bit, and there was part of one left over. I've not calculated how many yards are in a drop cloth but I know sofas of this size usually require 10-12.

    Hope this helps!

  16. I have almost the same couch! My nail head is "antique brass" so not as shiny and the top has 3 humps of half circles (your's looks to have less deffinition)

    anyways! I LOVE IT! now I want mine done but I don't sew and nor do I have a Kara handy :(

    My mom is coming this week and I am hoping to get my camel back loveseat slipped while she is here with her machine... shhh she doesn't know that yet!

  17. While searching for summery slip covers I stumbled across this blog. Wonderful. Turns out the sofas (yes 2) I am trying to brighten up are the exact same as yours. Thanks so much for getting the ideas spinning in my head.

  18. i just LOVE this, erin! such a wonderful change up!

  19. I just found this post and I am amazed! Drop cloths? Really? I love the look of your transformed couch. I also have a big, ol' BROWN leather couch, so you've got my mind going....Thanks for sharing this!


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