before & after: reupholstered sofa with custom fabric design

We’ve seen many lovely reupholstery jobs over the years but very few in which the fabric was designed by the owner. This was Michelle’s final project for her BFA in graphic design, and it’s pretty amazingly cool for a school project. She had been wanting to do a fabric design project, and after finding the couch at an old garage sale, the rest was history. Great job, Michelle! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read more about Michelle’s reupholstered sofa after the jump!

Time: 50 hours (40 researching and planning design, 12 selecting fabrics and planning production)

Cost: $1650 ($20 for sofa, $600 for fabric, $1,000 for upholstery work)

Basic Steps: My main goal was to create a bold, modern fabric so when I saw that sofa (while I was out jogging in my neighborhood!) I knew it would be a good fit for the fabric I had in mind. That wood! And that tufting! I couldn’t pass it up. Color was a big part of achieving the look I wanted. I chose to use the bright yellow for the material, while going with the classic dark brown on the wood. Working with the contrast of a vintage couch and modern fabric made for a really fun project.

Always get sample swatches before you buy a lot of material! Color is by far the trickiest thing to get right when you are printing material. Even if you aren’t designing your own fabrics, get a sample of what you are going to buy before you purchase large quantities of it. The material will look different when you are holding it in your hand than what it looks like on your computer screen. And, spend the extra money on large swatches if you are doing a project as big as a sofa. It’s hard to tell what an entire sofa will look like with only a few inches of fabric to hold up to it. —Michelle


  1. Penee says:

    Hey Michelle i love this i was wondering where did you find the sofa??? iam desperately looking for ne like this

  2. Katie says:

    Hi! I’ve actually been planning to do the same thing – right down to the color. What was your cost for fabric (per yard) and how many yards did you need?

    It turned out beautifully!

    Thanks!

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