4 Ways to Breathe New Life Into Old Furniture

I’ve been wanting new furniture for years but it’s really not a good idea for us to buy anything new with five young kids in the house, and honestly there’s nothing really wrong with our old furniture other than being a little outdated and full of crumbs and crayons.  Thankfully, the sofa shown above isn’t mine, although I think it would be great for hiding all the evidence the kids leave behind!  In an effort to extend the life of our furniture and save some big bucks at the same time, I’ve put together the following four ways to breathe new life into old furniture.


For a very small investment of typically $50 to $100 you can purchase a new slipcover for an old chair or sofa.  Available in all sorts of styles and fabrics, you can easily find something to match your current decor, plus you have the added benefit of being able to remove the slipcovers for cleaning.  Overstock has hundreds of designs to choose from at very reasonable prices, and eBay is also a good source for finding new goods at liquidation prices.

Enroll in an Upholstery Class

Lots of area community colleges have non-credit courses to teach skills like cooking, photography and even upholstery.  Visit the websites of schools near you to check their course offerings.  Sign up for a class in your spare time, maybe along with your significant other, and you’ll be able to gussy up your old furniture for a small fee with the assistance of a professional teacher.

Let the School Do the Work

If you don’t have the time or inclination to take an upholstery class yourself then look for a local school and ask if they’ll take your couch or chair on as a class project.  They may have a waiting list, but most schools only ask that you supply your own materials.  Even though you might have to wait, you can’t beat the price and you’re assured that the work will take place under professional supervision.

DIY Tutorials

The best thing about the Internet is the wealth of free tutorials on how to do practically everything!  If you’re pretty handy with a staple gun and a yard stick then you may just want to head over to YouTube for some free upholstery videos or check out this nifty step-by-step tutorial for some ideas to do it on your own.


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