can you reupholster a leather couch
Kristina Davis

Can you reupholster a leather couch? Is your lovely leather couch looking less lovely every day?

Buying a new couch is a significant expense and can also be a headache having to get it into your home.

So, you are wondering if you can reupholster a leather couch instead of buying a whole new one.

Leather couches are expensive, and couches, in general, are expensive. So, reupholstering can be a great option for people on a budget.

But leather can be a temperamental fabric to work with, so many people feel they should leave this kind of reupholstering to the professionals. But that isn’t necessarily true.

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Keep reading to learn about reupholstering a leather couch, and if it is something you can do on your own.

It is definitely possible to reupholster a leather couch with the right materials and a bit of finesse.

Even if you aren’t super comfortable working with fabric and crafts, the process is straightforward, and almost anyone can do it.

Reasons to Reupholster

If you are on the fence about reupholstering your leather couch, some reasons may convince you that it’s the best option.

reasons to reupholster

Refresh the Couch

Reupholstering your couch will give it a brand new look, and you don’t have to give up your comfy, beloved couch.

Save Money

When reupholstering a leather couch, you will likely save money rather than buying a new couch. You will also save more if you choose a cheaper fabric than leather.

Changes Styles

One of the best reasons to reupholster a couch is to change the aesthetic. When reupholstering, you can choose new colors and patterns to revamp your home.

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Materials Needed

Before you can reupholster your leather couch, you’ll need to do some shopping.

Below is a list of all the materials you’ll need to complete this project, and a few optional items that will put the finishing touches on your couch, so it looks perfect.

  • Leather fabric (between 12 and 24 yards depending on the couch size)
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Sewing pins
  • Electric scissors (worth the investment if you don’t own a pair)
  • Staple gun (or heavy-duty stapler you can unfold)
  • Fabric staples
  • Decorative tacks (optional)
  • Leather polish (optional)

How to Reupholster a Leather Couch in 5 Easy Steps

steps to reupholster leather couch

The more experience you have handling fabric, the better you will fare in this process.

So, if you have a crafty friend that likes to hem their pants, this is a good time to give them a call.

Either way, you can follow these five steps to reupholster your leather couch s it looks shiny and new again.

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Step #1. Remove the Old Leather

Flip over the cushions and couch and find the seam where the leather is stapled to the furniture.

Using a flathead screwdriver, pry up the staples gently until the fabric comes free. Make sure you do not damage the couch itself while doing this.

Remove all the old fabric, but do not throw it away yet. Try not to tear the old pieces as you will use them as templates.

Step #2. Pin the New Leather into Pieces

Lay the new leather on the floor as flat as you can. Place the old pieces on top of the new leather, using them as a template.

Use sewing pins to taper the new leather to match the shapes of the old pieces.

Step #3. Cut the New Leather

Use the electric scissors to cut around where you pinned the new fabric. Remove the pins as you go.

Take your time with this step, as it is very frustrating if you cut a piece wrong and do not have enough fabric to finish the couch.

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Step #4. Staple the New Pieces

Using the staple gun, replace the old pieces with the new pieces. You can either go in reverse order of how you removed the pieces, or start with the largest pieces and finish with the smaller pieces.

Both options are fine, but it’s best not to randomly attach pieces, as they may look strange at the end.

Try to place the staples exactly where you pulled the old ones up.

Staple the leather pieces on the wrong side out, and then flip the leather over so you don’t see the staples as much. Pull the leather tightly when applying the final staples to each piece.

Having fabric leftover on the edges is a good thing, so don’t be afraid to pull the leather super tight against the couch!

Step #5. Trim and Tack

Use the electric scissors to trim any excess leather around the staples. This next step is optional but highly encouraged.

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Use decorative tacks around the edges of the fabric. Hammer them in to give the couch a more polished and professional appearance. And voila! Your leather couch is brand new again!

An optional last step is to use leather polish to spruce up your couch, so it looks as new as possible. Plus, you’ll have leather polish on hand now to keep your couch looking lovely.

Can You Reupholster a Faux Leather Couch

reupholster Faux Leather Couch

Now that we’ve established you can reupholster a leather couch in just five easy steps you may be wondering about faux leather.

And the answer is yes; you can reupholster a faux leather couch using this exact same process.

Faux leather is often easier to work with and cut because it isn’t as durable as genuine leather.

Faux leather is also typically less expensive than genuine leather, so you’ll save some money when buying fabric.

If you are removing genuine leather, you can switch to faux leather, and it should work just as well on the couch as the genuine leather.

Can You Reupholster a Leather Couch with Fabric

If you’ve decided that you’re over the leather look and want to move on to something else, this is your moment!

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When removing the old leather pieces, you can choose any fabric you want to reupholster the couch.

Turning your old soft into a completely new style is much easier than replacing the entire couch. Both your back and your bank account will thank you.

materails choices

To inspire you, check out these common or unique materials you can use to reupholster your couch:

  • Velvet
  • Linen
  • Wool
  • Polyester
  • Cotton
  • Chenille
  • Tweed
  • Denim (if you feel funky)
  • Gingham
  • Corduroy
  • Flannel
  • Poplin
  • Fleece
These fabrics are just a few of the options you choose from to cover your couch. But explore your local fabric store and get creative!

Once you reupholster your couch, it will be easier to do again, so you can completely revamp the same old couch every six months if you want.

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For more information, refer to these commonly asked questions.

Is It Worth It To Reupholster A Leather Couch?

It is worth it to reupholster a leather couch. Reupholstering will cost between $300 and $4,000, depending on the size of the couch and the quality of materials you use.

But a brand new leather couch will usually cost at the very least $1,200 and can be as much as $12,000.

What If The Cushions Are Attached To The Sofa?

If your cushions are attached to the couch, it will make it slightly more difficult to reupholster, but still possible.

You’ll need to tuck the fabric in between each cushion, spreading them as wide as you can, so you can access the wood frame underneath. Then staple the fabric against the wood.

Can I Use The Same Process To Reupholster A Leather Chair?

Yes! The only difference when reupholstering a chair is that you will need less fabric, usually only about three to ten yards, depending on the size and type of the chair.

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A recliner will need closer to ten yards, while a club chair may only need four or five yards of fabric to reupholster.

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If your leather couch isn’t looking so hot anymore, don’t toss it in the dumpster just yet. Reupholstering is a lot easier than it seems as long as you have a whole day and a good amount of patience.

Leather couches aren’t cheap, so you can save yourself money by buying some leather fabric and crafting materials.

The best part of reupholstering your couch is that you can do it over and over again.

This way, you can experiment with different styles and fabrics. One day you can have a minimalist cotton white couch, and the next month you can have a flashy, tropical print to go with the summer weather.