How to Reupholster a Sofa Bed

Item # X-HT-300415

Is your sleeper sofa still in good condition, but the fabric is outdated or no longer matches your room’s décor? Then this is the DIY for you! In this comprehensive, full sofa tutorial, we’ll be showing you how to reupholster a sofa bed in detail with step-by-step video instructions. With supplies, tools and instructions from Sailrite®, no DIY is too tough to tackle. Let’s get started!

Our newly upholstered sofa bed.

If such a big sewing project seems intimidating — don’t worry! It’s not as difficult as you might think. Our good friend and professional upholsterer Cindi is on hand to show us how manageable this project is. She will walk you through every step of the process and explain the reasoning behind everything she does. The techniques demonstrated in this tutorial are rated in difficulty from medium to easy, even for a beginner sewer.

The first step is to remove the metal bed frame. Next, you’ll remove all the panels of fabric from the separate parts of the sofa. In the video, we’ll show you how to remove them in a specific order and also how numbering the panels will make it easier and faster when reassembling the sofa pieces back together. Once the old fabric panels are all removed, we use them to pattern the new fabric. The fabric we chose for the sofa is Sunbrella® Esti Citronelle from the Sunbrella Sailrite Collection. Not only does this fabric look modern and stylish, but it’s also fade, abrasion and water resistant — perfect for families with kids and pets.

If the cushion foam in your sofa is still in good condition then you can reuse it. However, if you need new seating foam, we offer high-quality foam for all your seating needs. For sofa and couch cushions, you’ll want a High Density Polyurethane Foam. It’s the best foam for indoor seating in high-traffic areas.

Follow along with our tutorial below to see how to reupholster a sofa bed. With video instructions and materials from Sailrite, you’ll have a great-looking sofa bed that looks brand new! Let us know if you have any questions as you get started on this home DIY.

Video Chapters:

  • Removing the Sleeper Section – 1:10 min.
  • Removing the Old Fabric – 1:33 min.
  • Creating & Installing the Front Rail – 12:22 min.
  • Pattering & Sewing Center Back Cushion – 26:17 min.
  • Stapling Center Back Cushion – 57:21 min.
  • Patterning & Sewing Side Back Cushions – 59:59 min.
  • Stapling Side Back Cushions – 1:18:12 min.
  • Patterning & Installing Inside Arm – 1:22:34 min.
  • Pattern & Install Outside Arm – 1:41:09 min.
  • Pattern, Sew & Install Outside Back – 1:52:34 min.
  • Making Sofa Seat Cushion Covers – 2:06:40 min.
  • Reassemble Sofa Sleeper – 2:28:51 min.
  • Materials List – 2:31:20 min.

Materials List:

  • Upholstery Fabric from Sailrite (we chose Sunbrella® Sailrite® Esti Citronelle #44349-0003)
  • Polyester Batting White (5 Yds) #100158
  • 21 Gauge 3/8" (10mm) Staples 10,000/Box (Galvanized) #8010GZ
  • V-69 Bonded Nylon Thread
  • Upholstery Tack Strip 27" #106422
  • Cardboard Upholstery Tack Strip 1/2" #106420
  • YKK® Continuous Zipper Chain #5 White (Coil) #104387
  • YKK® Zipper Slider #5 White Metal Single Lock Pull (Coil) #104356

Tools List:

  • Tack & Staple Remover #104319
  • Staple Lifter #120037
  • Chalk Pencil Cartridge Set #121669
  • Multiuse Pins 1 1/2" #102985
  • Thread Clipper "Kuroha" #121908
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" #101017
  • Tape Measure 120 Inch #102986
  • Sailrite® Short Nose Upholstery Staple Gun #121410
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LS-1 BASIC Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300501
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Industrial Sewing Table & Workhorse™ Servo Motor #120931
  • Rawhide Upholstery Mallet #106423
  • Drill, Marker, Pliers, Wire Cutters