Creative Slipcover Fabrics
Finding budget fabric for making do-it-yourself slipcovers
Kelley R. Taylor
The trend in recovering flea market finds has soared over the past few years and slipcover manufacturers, pattern makers, and retail stores have taken the market by storm. Loose slipcovers, tailored slipcovers, pillow covers and duvets are all the rage…even chic! It’s wonderful to know that one can refresh and old outdated chair, footstool or couch with just a few yards of fabric.
But when I recently embarked on recovering a tag sale sofa with simple, regular cotton duck canvas, I found that it cost almost as much as the sofa itself!
I had barstools, cushions, ottomans and dining chairs to go, too. I knew that I had to come up with a solution to my decorating dilemma.
Here are just a few ideas I came up with that might help you save a few dollars so that you can take up making slipcovers by storm without hurting your pocket book.
When I wanted a simple cotton duck canvas – sturdy enough for the family room wear and tear, simple enough to please everyone – I discovered that the fabric ranged in price from $5.99 a yard up to 10.99 depending on manufacturer and fabric width.
I visited my local hardware store and found the same heavy duty, unbleached, cotton duck canvas (quite a mouthful) in a painter’s canvas for approximately one quarter of the price I would’ve paid had I tried to buy it by the yard! And the best part: it was already big enough to completely cover the couch without having to seam anything together.
With a few tucks, hidden safety pins and ribbon ties to gather everything up under the arms of the couch, I have my loose slipcover that can be washed and dried easily and without hardly any effort or cash.
If you just don’t care for plain canvas, try stamping or stenciling the canvas with fabric paints to customize your own look. Or paint straight lines, flowers, or transfer photos to the canvas to make your own custom fabric. You’ll have a one of a kind slipcover that’s also a conversational piece.
For smaller slipcover projects like chairs, seat covers, footstools or ottomans, try using tablecloths.
Tablecloths come in all shapes and sizes, colors and textiles, and can be found at tag sales, flea markets, thrift stores and such. I used a new tablecloth, bought on sale at a bed and bath store, to “gift-wrap” chair cushions. I didn’t even have to sew. I simply wrapped the cloth around the cushions and pinned the edges in back with safety pins so that I may remove it easily for washing. And, I can change it on a whim, or perhaps use the tablecloth for a spring picnic. It’s my choice.
And don’t forget the lace tablecloths! With just the right pattern of lace, you can use it as an overlay for solid cushions or fabric that you just want to tone down. Article Continued