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9 Ways to Upgrade Your Couch Without Reupholstery

No need to drop hundreds of dollars on upholstery or a slipcover.

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Lose the slump

Has your sofa seen better days? Saggy cushions are probably to blame. But no need to rush out for a brand-new couch—just revive what you’ve got. Unzip the covers, then perk up cushion backs by adding polyester fiber stuffing, and wrap quilt batting around the original seat cushions to add some oomph. (Related: Try these other inexpensive tips to erase the wear and tear on your home.)

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Replace the back

Alternatively, send your couch back straight to the trash. Instead of replacing them with new large cushions, simply get your hands on a set of coordinating throw pillows that are big enough to fill the space. They’ll give you support and a fresh look that you can easily swap out whenever you want. (Related: Avoid these decorating mistakes that make your home look messy.)

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Nail it

Hammer nails along the edges of your couch seams to create a trim that makes a cheap sofa look expensive. To get the job done faster, buy a long strip from a craft store instead of attaching individual nails. Try these other upgrades that make your home look expensive.

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Show some leg

A fabric skirt at the bottom of a couch can make even a classic couch look dated. Give your sofa’s legs some attention by getting rid of the skirt. Pull out the staples underneath, then attach the rest of the fabric underneath to keep it streamlined. Keep your couch clean with this technique. 

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Get a good base

Switching out the legs can breathe new life into a sofa that’s in otherwise good condition. Simply lay the couch on its back, remove the old legs, and screw on the new ones. For an even bigger pop, stick with the old legs, but paint them a bright color to kick things up.

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Wrap it up

For a no-sew seat upgrade, just wrap each cushion with a large piece of fabric, tucking the excess underneath to hold it in place. If you need quick cover for the whole sofa, skip the pricy slipcover and drape a large sheet over the whole piece of furniture for a comfy upgrade. (Related: Try these other ways to make your home cozier.)

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Add a coat of paint

A bright color will revive a tired old sofa. Mix a quart of regular paint with 16 ounces of fabric textile medium to create a fabric paint that works on furniture. Spritz each section with water before painting, then use a paintbrush or foam brush to spread the color, going with the grain of the fabric. (Related: Here’s how to create a stunning color scheme for your home.)

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Tuft it up

Tufted cushions take a basic sofa from boring and plain to incredibly chic. Adding tufts to your own couch is easier than you’d think. Guide a button halfway through a piece of thick string, then fold the string in half. Use an upholstery needle to bring both halves of the string through the back so the button stays in the front, pulling firmly but not too tightly. Grab another button, and tie it to the reverse side using the two loose strands of string. Repeat the process so you have a two-sided cushion with rows of buttons.

iStock/KhongkitWiriyachan

Soften up

A cozy throw makes a couch look more inviting. We dare you to resist snuggling under it right away.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest