DIY: Upholster a Leather Couch


Leather couches have some of the longest fabric endurance capabilities of any upholstered furniture. The fondness many leather couch owners have for their furniture leads them to keep their couches longer, even after the leather starts to wear. Rips and tears can also cause a reupholster of a leather chair to become necessary. Reupholstering the leather couch can be done with either fabric or leather.

Things You'll Need

  • Staple puller
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Leather or fabric
  • Carpentry stapler
  • Flip the couch upside down and set it on the working surface with its legs in the air. Remove the legs by unscrewing them. Pull the staples holding the leather down on the underside of the couch by using the staple puller. Rip the seams holding the leather together if necessary to get the leather off the couch. Using scissors, cut the leather as a last resort.

  • Spread out the removed leather and measure its area to determine the amount of leather or fabric that must be applied. Add a full yard to the measurement to determine the amount of reupholstery fabric necessary. Cut out this amount of leather or fabric, matching it to the shape of the removed fabric roughly.

  • Spread the leather completely over the couch. Tuck it in around the seat area and push it as deeply into the cracks as possible. Staple the leather to the wooden couch frame deep in the cracks using the carpentry stapler. Stretch the leather tightly and continue to fasten it around the seat with staples.

  • Stretch the leather down over the front of the couch and pull it underneath, stapling it tightly every 4 inches underneath the couch, about 4 inches from the front edge. Repeat for the arms and back of the couch, tucking the leather at the corners underneath the side leather and pulling it tightly to make clean, neat corners. Staple all the leather underneath the couch, placing the staples about 4 inches from the edge and about 4 inches apart. Cut off all excess leather using the scissors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cover cushions and pillows by sewing an inside-out bag the exact dimensions of the cushion, flipping it inside out and sliding the cushion in an open side before hand-sewing the final side shut.
  • New leather can be installed directly over old leather if desired to save time and provide additional support for the new material.

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  • Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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