Transform Your Armchair with Budget-Friendly DIY Upholstery

In this article, you will learn how to transform your armchair into a stylish piece of furniture without breaking the bank. With budget-friendly DIY upholstery, you can give your armchair a fresh new look and add a personal touch to your home decor. Whether you want to update the fabric, add padding, or change the color, we’ve got you covered!

First, gather your materials. You’ll need fabric of your choice, upholstery foam, batting, a staple gun, and scissors. Start by removing the existing fabric from your armchair, being careful not to damage the underlying structure. Once you have a blank canvas, cut your new fabric to fit the armchair, leaving a few inches of excess on each side. Next, layer the upholstery foam and batting on top of the seat and back, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles. Secure the fabric in place by stapling it to the frame, starting in the middle and working your way outwards. Finally, trim any excess fabric and admire your newly upholstered armchair!

Transform Your Armchair with Budget-Friendly DIY Upholstery

If you have an old armchair that is looking tired and worn, don’t rush to throw it away. With a little creativity, some basic upholstery skills, and a limited budget, you can transform your armchair into a stunning piece of furniture that will fit seamlessly into your interior design. This article will guide you through the process of choosing the right armchair, planning your DIY upholstery project, preparing the armchair, learning basic upholstery techniques, reupholstering the armchair, adding personal touches, restoring armchair legs, and cleaning and maintaining your newly upholstered armchair.

Choosing the Right Armchair

Before you start your DIY upholstery project, it is crucial to choose the right armchair. Determining the purpose of the armchair is the first step. Will it be used for lounging, reading, or as a decorative piece? The purpose will help you determine the level of comfort and style you need.

Size and proportions are also essential factors to consider. Measure the available space in your room and ensure that the armchair fits comfortably without overwhelming the area. Additionally, consider the proportions of the armchair in relation to other furniture pieces in the room to ensure a cohesive design.

Matching the armchair to your interior style is crucial for a seamless look. Whether your interior design is modern, traditional, or eclectic, choose an armchair that complements the overall style. Consider the color palette, fabric patterns, and the overall aesthetic to ensure that the armchair enhances the space.

Planning Your DIY Upholstery Project

Once you have chosen the perfect armchair, it’s time to plan your DIY upholstery project. Start by setting a budget for materials. Take into account the cost of upholstery fabric, padding, tools, and any additional supplies that may be required.

Research different upholstery techniques to familiarize yourself with the process. There are various methods, such as traditional hand-tied springs or modern foam padding. Decide which technique suits your skill level and the level of comfort you desire.

Gather all the necessary tools before starting your project. Basic tools include upholstery needles, scissors, a staple gun, and a rubber mallet. Depending on the specific technique you choose, you may also need webbing stretchers, pliers, or upholstery tack strips.

The type of upholstery fabric you select will greatly impact the overall look and durability of your armchair. Consider factors such as fabric weight, pattern, and color. Choose a fabric that not only fits your interior style but is also suitable for the purpose of the armchair. Durability is key, especially if the armchair will be used frequently.

Preparing the Armchair for Upholstery

Before you can start reupholstering your armchair, it is essential to prepare it properly. Begin by removing the existing upholstery. Carefully strip away the fabric, taking note of any damaged parts that may need repairing.

Inspect the armchair for any damaged parts, such as loose joints or broken springs. Repairing these issues before proceeding with upholstery will ensure that your armchair is sturdy and comfortable. Replace any worn-out or broken parts as necessary.

Adding extra padding is a step that many DIY upholsterers overlook. If your armchair lacks sufficient cushioning, consider adding extra padding to enhance comfort and support. This step will make a noticeable difference in the overall feel of the armchair.

Learning Basic Upholstery Techniques

To successfully reupholster your armchair, it is essential to learn and master basic upholstery techniques. Start by understanding different upholstery stitches. Depending on the specific technique you choose, you may need to learn techniques such as slipstitch, blind stitch, or topstitch.

Upholstery tacks and staples are the primary means of securing fabric to the armchair frame. Mastering the technique of using these tools will ensure that the fabric stays in place and provides a professional finish. Practice securing fabric on scrap materials before moving on to the actual armchair.

Learning how to sew cushions and covers is another valuable skill when tackling a DIY upholstery project. Measure and cut fabric according to the size of your cushions, and then sew them together. Adding zipper closures or using fabric ties to secure the covers will allow for easy removal and cleaning.

Reupholstering the Armchair

Now that you have learned the necessary skills, it’s time to reupholster your armchair. Start by cutting and measuring the upholstery fabric. Lay out your fabric and carefully cut it according to the dimensions of each armchair component.

Next, apply the fabric to different parts of the armchair, starting with the seat and backrest. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases and ensure the fabric is taut. Use upholstery tools such as tacks, staples, or adhesive to secure the fabric to the frame, following the lines of the armchair’s original upholstery.

As you progress, pay attention to details and ensure neat and professional finishes. Smooth out the fabric around corners and edges to create clean lines. Trim any excess fabric to avoid bulkiness or unevenness.

Adding Personal Touches

To truly make your armchair unique, consider adding personal touches through decorative trims and piping. Choose trims and piping that complement the fabric and enhance the overall look of the armchair. Apply these details carefully, ensuring they are securely attached to the fabric.

Customizing armchair details is another way to make your DIY upholstery project stand out. Consider adding buttons or nailhead trim to create a stylish and sophisticated look. Play with different designs and patterns to add personality to your armchair.

Restoring Armchair Legs

While you focus on the upholstery, don’t forget to pay attention to the armchair legs. If the legs are damaged, consider repairing or replacing them before completing the project. Loose or wobbly legs can affect the stability and overall functionality of the armchair.

Refinishing wood or metal legs can breathe new life into your armchair. Sanding the legs, applying a fresh coat of paint or stain, and adding a protective finish will make them look brand new. Additionally, if you prefer mobility, consider adding new casters or gliders to the legs.

Cleaning and Maintaining Upholstered Armchairs

Once your armchair is beautifully upholstered, it’s important to know how to clean and maintain it to prolong its lifespan. Regular vacuuming and spot cleaning will prevent dirt and dust from settling into the fabric.

For stubborn stains, use upholstery cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.

To prevent fading and sun damage, avoid placing your armchair in direct sunlight. Use curtains or blinds to protect the fabric from harmful UV rays. Periodically deep clean your armchair using a professional upholstery cleaning service for a thorough and refreshing result.

Tips for Successful DIY Upholstery

Embarking on a DIY upholstery project can be challenging but also rewarding. To ensure success, start with simple upholstery projects to build your skills and confidence. As you gain experience, you can take on more complex projects.

Take your time and be patient throughout the process. Upholstery requires attention to detail, so rushing can lead to unsatisfactory results. Allow yourself ample time to complete each step accurately.

Make use of tutorials and online resources to learn new techniques, troubleshoot issues, and gain inspiration. There are plenty of blogs, videos, and forums dedicated to DIY upholstery that can offer guidance and support.

Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if needed. Upholstery can be a challenging skill to master, and sometimes it’s best to leave certain tasks to the experts. If you encounter difficulties or feel overwhelmed, consult a professional upholsterer for assistance.


Transforming your armchair with budget-friendly DIY upholstery is not only achievable but also a highly rewarding project. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can unleash your creativity, personalize your armchair, and enjoy the process of breathing new life into an old piece of furniture. With a little time, effort, and the right materials, you can have a custom upholstered armchair that perfectly fits your style and budget. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and let’s get started on your armchair transformation!