Couch Cover for Dogs
Sofa Cover DIY Project that’s Tough Enough for Dogs
This couch cover for dogs is one of accommdations we make for our new family member. The couch itself was from Lazy Boy several years ago, still in great shape and worth protecting. It’s also a bit darker than I want in our new home so this sofa cover diy project solves two problems. It will protect the couch from pets and its a soft cream colour to brighten the room.
The Couch Before
Making Couch Cover Fabric Choices
Static is an issue in our house and I avoid it as much as possible by reading fabric labels and avoiding polyester and even worse nylon fabrics. I wasn’t able to find a natural fibre cotton or linen fabric large enough for the couch. I was hoping some large cotton curtains with a pattern would work but they weren’t large enough.After doing some hunting I found these 100% cotton heavy duty drop cloths at home depot, and am glad I did.
Sizing the Couch Cover
I am going to be specific about the measurements of my couch, but ultimately I went to Home Depot and bought the 2 drop cloths that were large enough to cover BOTH dimensions. One large one for the couch cover, and a small one for the cushions. I didn’t care about them being larger than necessary, just as long as the weren’t too small.
Supplies for Couch Cover for Pets
1 large canva drop cloth 18′ by 12 feet
! small canvas drop cloth 9 by 6 feet
Large Package of 2 inch Safety Pins (12-24)
Push Pins (4-6)
To Find Couch Cover Length
Measure your couch from the floor on one side, across the back, then down the other side to the floor. (mine was 152″).
Then add the height and width of each of the two arms. (2×18″). Total for my couch is 152 +36 =188″.
Then add 6 inches for tucking.
My fabric needs to be at least 194 long. Or 16 feet 2 inches long.
To Find Couch Cover Width
Measure your couch from the floor, up the back of the couch, down the front of the back, under the cushions, and then down the front of the couch to the floor. (mine was 103″)
Then add 6 inches for tucking. (103+6=109″)
Total width of fabric for my couch was 109 inches. Or 9 feet 1 inch.
We bought the 18 by 12 foot canvas drop cloth Home Depot had in stock.
To Find Cushion Cover Length
Measure the length of each cushion (mine 34″), times 2 cushions = 68″ Add the depth of the end of each cushion 6″ . Times 6 x 2= 12 Total length needed 80 inches. Or 6 feet 8 inches
To Find Cushion Cover Width
Measure the height of one cushion (mine 6″), then the depth (24″). Multiple by 2 to get the total.
2 (6+24)= 60 inches. Then add a foot for overlap. So my cushion fabric depth must be at least is 72 inches. Or 6 feet
We bought the 9 by 6 foot canvas drop cloth Home Depot had in stock
Couch Cover Instructions
Take the large drop cloth out of the package. Don’t unfold it, but place the two short ends together and find center. Line this centerpoint to the center of your couch.
Check and make sure you have fabric trailing fairly evenly on both ends.
Covering the Couch Front
Unfold the front of the dropcloth. Make sure the front edge of the cloth is just dusting the floor at the front of the couch.
Lining Up the Couch Skirt
Line up the front of the couch where you want it to be. Count the pins you use to make sure you find them all, and place stick pins into the front edge of your couch fabric to hold the cover in place.
The thing to pay attention to here is keeping the front even with the floor, and remembering how many pins you used so they are all removed at the end.
Covering the Couch Seat Back
Here I am referring to the part of the couch your back leans against. We will cover this part next.
Not all drop cloths but many of them will have a seam down the center, especially large ones. As the large drop cloth obviously had lots of extra fabric I found the seam and placed it along the top of my couch.
I did not bother using stick pins to hold this piece in place.
Next smooth the front of the couch back and tuck it into the bottom. Now the seat back is done. So far I spent maybe 10 minutes to get to this point.
Smooth out the bottom of the couch front, where the cushions will sit. Make sure not to pull out the stick pins.
Couch Cover Arms
For the arms you want to make sure the inside of the arm and the top is as smooth as possible. Don’t fuss too much about the outside portions, as they will be drapey. Each couch is different but the next image shows the crease spots I had in my couch and the direction I smoothed the wrinkles in.
Repeat the process on the other arm.
Take a quick check of the outside of your couch cover making sure the two ends are hanging relatively evenly. That the skirt front is still where it should be. Once thats done you can remove the pin cushions. The back will be done later after the cushions are covered and in place to hold everything.
Covering Couch Cover Cushions
Using two separate couch covers means the cushion can be snugged in using pin and stay more in place. Having a 60 pound 5 month old puppy enjoying himself on the couch means the fabric would shift around if it wasn’t held in place with more than just tucks. The pins hold the cushions together and the cushions apply weigh and protection for the tucks in the underlying couch cover. Doing the cushions took me about twenty minutes, while figuring out how I wanted to accomplish it.
Open and unfold the small drop cloth. Spread and smooth as much as possible. Place your cushions in the center. Grab the safety pins.
Two things to be aware of, you want the very front of the cushions, and the top to be as smooth as possible. The other two sides are hidden so less important.
Secondly you need the safety pins to be at the underside and at the back. That way the pins are supported by the couch and if they do happen to open the cushions prevent anyone from getting poked.
With the pin placement in mind pull up the back of the cushion cover first, then overlap with the front and pin it along the entire seam towards the back of the cushions.
When folding up the ends just make sure the front stays smooth. I placed two folds in my ends as i refused to cut my fabirc.
Then I gathered the remaining fabric and tucked it in as a second fold.
Once the cushion are covered pop them onto the couch making sure the pins are towards the back.
Once the cushions are snuggly on the couch, remove the push pins, making sure you got all of them.
Finishing the Back of the Couch Cover for Dogs
The front of the couch is very close to being finished, we just need to tidy up the ends of the couch cover, and deal with all the access fabric. If you like you can cut your large dropcloth, I didn’t want to do that for a couple of reasons. If the pup chews a hole somewhere in the couch cover I still have oodles of fabric to work with in rearranging it. Secondly when pup grows out of wanting the couch, I still have a very large intact painting cloth.
Folding the Sides of the Sofa Cover DIY
The back of the couch is the least fussy part of doing the couch cover as no one sees it. Lets begin by double checking that the front of the arm cover and the sides are close to the floor.
I had so much excess fabric, that I created two folds in the back. If your not worried about the back you could just call it good enough and tuck all the excess fabric in behind the couch and push it against the wall where no one see its.
I went through pinning and folding the back. This is how I did the back of mine it took maybe ten minutes.
Starting at one end gather whatever fabric you have left and make a large wing shape out of it. Creat a straight seam with the top of the “wing”. Pin it along the back of the couch, making sure to pin the fabric to the couch cover fabric only.
Then take the sides of fabric and pin them around the ends.
The only thing you want to be aware of while doing this is keeping the sides of the couch as pretty as possible. Again the back is hidden. Pin the two swag folds on the back as shown above.
Repeat on the other side. With all the pins in the back the couch cover is very secure. The pins hold the fabric in place and theres less likelyhood of the sofa cover shifting around.
Here is the couch cover two days after I finished it. I think it looks pretty good, I even like how the fabric snuggled down between the two cushion to make them look separate. Puppy has spent hours on it and its keeping its shape.
Finishing the Couch Cover for Pets
Once the couch cover for pets was finished, I smoothed everything out as much as possible giving it some final tucks.
As my couch cover diy is going on Pinterest I ironed it to get as many wrinkles out as possible. Going forward I hope to either find or make some cushions for it. In the meantime I placed some cushions and a green throw on it. Puppy still loves it and I have started to sit on the couch with him instead of encouraging him to sit on the floor with me. One less piece of furniture to keep an eye out on, so far he’s been amazing, but we haven’t left him home alone yet.
Wanting to Make this Soon but Not Today. Pin it for Later!
Other No Sew and Pet Ideas
Hand Stamped No Sew Napkins
Easy to make using left over fabric. These no sew napkins are easy to make and fun to stamp.
No Sew Seat Covers
Another quick way to update and freshen our older furniture. These no sew seat covers are really easy to do with a staple gun.
Protecting Window Alcove from Pets
Our beautiful boy loves keeping an eye on the neighbourhood through this large front window causing lots of damage. Check out how you can protect your window alcove from pets.
This is a great idea! Our dog is a tiny 3lb morkie, and she began having severe seizures last year. When she has them she can’t control her bladder. She has a hard time climbing on the couch, but this would be good when we pick her up to be with us. Don’t want her ruining our new couches (not that she would do it on purpose, she can’t help it).
Sorry to hear about your puppy Niki. I think for a small dog the drop cloth would protect you couch. You could place a waterproof sheet under the cloth cover on the cushions as well. I hope the vet is able to help her and the seizures go away. Give her a hug for me.
I love this idea, Leanna and your tutorial was so easy to follow. With 3 fur babies and 2 purr babies our couches get a lot of wear and tear and are always covered in fur balls and muddy paw prints. This is so happening this weekend.
Thank you Michelle. It preferred to protect the couch as puppy just loves it. And its nice when he snuggles up against me when I sit on the couch. Its the furbabies home as well after all lol.
Pretty and practical? I’m a fan! Love this idea. It’s totally going to save our furniture pieces from our 2-year-old rescue Piper who gets into EVERYTHING. Thanks so much for the step by step, CoCo
Thank you Coco. Its been on the couch for more than a week in full use. It hasn’t moved at all, we are really happy with it.
Looks great! I love the idea of giving new life to something you’ve had for a while. Saving this for a future find in a “buy nothing” group!
That’s a great idea. There is no reason to buy new tarps if you can find them in the right size.