Sofa Slipcovers Made From Drop Cloths

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When I was growing up in the 1970s my sisters and I played in every room of our house — especially the living room.

With four girls running from room-to-room then plopping on the sofa at the end of each chase, we put a lot of wear on the comfiest piece of furniture in our house.

Mom said our home was lived in — no museum care taking or plastic covers over our green floral couch.  She was easy-going about things like that.

Of course back then when we were making forts in the living room with cushions, Mom didn’t know washable canvas slip covers could be sewn from painter’s drop cloths or I’m pretty sure she would have made them.

Now that I have my family, I know how much work it is to keep our home looking tidy. We like to lounge, watch movies, eat buttery popcorn, read and wrestle with the dog on our couch, too. Or as my grandma used to call it… the davenport.

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Our matching sofas are in pretty good shape. When we first bought them I tossed blankets over each one to keep them clean but they became disheveled quickly.

Once I grew tired of that look I purchased micro-fiber tie-on covers.  They were pricey and didn’t stay on well either.



Then I read online how easy and affordable sewing slip covers from drop cloths can be. So I purchased two painter’s drop cloths from Lowe’s and washed them individually three or four times before getting started.

I like that they are made from durable cotton canvas and were reasonably priced for all that fabric. And they can be bleached, which only adds to their softness the more they are washed.




These particular drop cloths are hemmed which made figuring out a starting point much easier.

To get started, I placed the center hem of the cloth on top of the back of the sofa then draped it over the frame with the outer hemmed edges giving the bottom a finished skirt. Once you get yours home and lay it out you will see what I mean.

Also, when buying cloths, choose the lightest weight canvas. It will make sewing and washing them so much easier on your machines. They are quite heavy when wet.

Be sure to wash them several times before cutting and sewing. I added bleach to every wash cycle which softened the fabric and also lightened their natural clay gray color to a more creamy tone.

{Be careful about heavy bleaching in your tub. I have read all that bleach can ruin sink drains and pipes.}

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Now that I have had slip covers on both sofas for awhile I can tell you they are:

• easy to put on and take off

• wash nicely and come out of the dryer nearly wrinkle-free. I don’t even bother ironing them.

• have saved our sofa from a lot of spots which I can see when it is time to wash them

• are very comfortable and cool to the touch for sitting and lounging on

• work with every color in our home along with my throw pillows and blankets

• they only need smoothing and straightening once or twice a week instead of multiple times a day like tie-ons and blankets do

• they cost about $60 per slip cover to make to make

So worth it considering the expense of replacing a couch.

And if your sofa is outdated or busy, a neutral slip cover will give it new life.

They have been easy to mix pattern and texture with and our living room feels more casual and airy with the lighter fabric, too.



    • marge says:

      Wow LIsa, I am so proud of you!! I know you have great talents but that looks like it was a big task to take on. Looks great!! Tell us more please.


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