A new look for your sofa for less

How to Update a Couch Inexpensively

by Pam Hutzler

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Affordable Reupholstery

Your couch has seen better days. The once beautiful piece is now worn and possibly torn. Kids, pets, and time have done a serious number on your furniture, and it's time to do something about it. But, with new couches averaging about $1200 to $1500 a pop, you may be thinking you'll have to live with your old couch a bit longer. Inexpensive reupholstery, or another cheap makeover trick may be the answer to your problem. Here are a few ways to update a couch inexpensively.

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Check into Vocational Schools

Do your research and you just may find a vocational school in your area with an upholstery program. As with any learning experience, these students may need an opportunity to practice their newly learned skills. Generally, in situations where a student is practicing a skill under the supervision of an instructor, a positive outcome comes at a much reduced rate. In other words, you may be able to get your couch reupholstered for the just the cost of supplies.

Related: Let Students Reduce the Cost of Professional Services

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Better Yet... Learn to Do It Yourself

DIY is all the rage. On any given day, from lawn service to home repair to car maintenance, multitudes of people are doing things for themselves instead of paying someone for a service. So, why not reupholstery? It's understandable if this seems a little overwhelming. But, never fear! Contact your local community college to see if they offer classes in upholstery. Then bring your knowledge home and get to work on your old couch. Usually these classes don't cost very much, and you'll gain a valuable skill that you can work with in your spare time.

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Look for Someone New to the Industry

Experience and word of mouth go a long way towards building a successful business. Therefore, a person just starting out in a small upholstery business may be looking for opportunities to get their name out as a reputable, skilled option. Find someone starting out and ask if they'd be willing to help you out for the cost of materials plus a small labor fee. In exchange, they can use you as a reference for future jobs.

Related: Bartering Your Way to Savings

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Satisfied with a Slip Cover

Maybe you've decided that you're just not ready to tackle a reupholstery job, but the thought of looking at your old couch for much longer makes you ready to throw caution to wind and pull out the plastic. Before you take on a hefty credit card bill, consider a slipcover. They come in a variety of style, colors, and price points. One popular place to begin your search is Overstock.com. With many styles under $100, this just may be a great option for you.

Thinking you want to save even more? That's awesome! Be proud of your frugal self. Then consider using durable canvas drop cloths for a slipcover. Before you start laughing, you should know it's really not a crazy idea. Check out Pinterest to see just how great these slipcovers can look. On Pinterest, you'll also find tips from others that are experienced in making drop cloth slipcovers. With the length and width of your furniture in tow, head to your local hardware store. Drop cloths come in several sizes, but usually are a light sand color. The best part is that they are completely machine-washable.

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Related Articles:
Furniture Remakes
Budget Furniture Fix-Ups
Making Slip Covers

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