Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Ikea HACK

before slipcover
So, years ago we managed to buy this useful sectional couch from a craigslister for $300 lightly used, and well, completely UGLY. The MÃ…NSTAD couch has a useful pull-out bed, and storage under the chaise. The color they call "Gobo Dark Grey" is what looks like a faded Navy Blue. So I went searching for a swanky velvety slipcover for it. My search was fruitless, and after consulting with my friend who makes slip-covers for a living, I decided to make one for it! (She'd told me to order one custom made, would be $1000 or more!)
I found on Ebay two matching purple slipcovers ($130 after shipping) which I cut apart after measuring the pieces I needed for the couch. I sewed, stitched, and sewed, cursed, seam ripped, cursed some more, and sewed again. After fitting it completely to the couch, in two main pieces (one for the main part of the couch, another for the chaise) I discovered it would never stay in place unless I tacked it down somehow. VELCRO! In between the seats along the backs of the cushions I glued velcro strips to the cushion, and sewed the velcro to the slipcover in the appropriate spots. I used shoe goo ($5.00) for the glue since nothing compares to shoe goo. I also used upholstery nails ($6.00) to keep the back side of the slipcover in place. I then made by using the leftover pieces of matching slipcover and some leopard velvet($20) cushion covers; optional zippers (which I used) so they can be washed. All in all it took about 12 hours worth of work. It works out great since I can just pull it off... RIP! and throw it into the wash, and not have to tolerate thee UGLY navy blue couch.


  1. Aren't slip covers fantastic? I have made many a couch fabulous with those handy devices. Glad to see that your living room is now so gorgeous. I love your style. By the way, the Velcro idea is ingenious. Before I just wedged in plastic pipes to keep the slip covers from moving. I will have to remember your idea next time I need to cover an ugly couch.

  2. I have to do the same with mine. Now I´m going to get off the sofa and make one too...:)

  3. Gaytha, yours is the only _removable_ Manstad slipcover description I have found! (Having a dog, it's useless for me to follow the instructions on, for example, and permanently staple a new slipcover that would look gross in 3 months...)

    I have two questions regarding your post:

    1) "In between the seats along the backs of the cushions I glued velcro strips to the cushion" - can you elaborate on the exact location fo the strips?

    2) "I also used upholstery nails to keep the back side of the slipcover in place" - wouldn't that prevent the slipcover from being removable? Again, please elaborate.

    The Manstad's design (e.g. non-removable seat cushions) seems to make it impervious to normal slipcover design. More information on your accomplishment would be very useful. Thanks!

  4. Can I pay you to create a slipcover for my Manstad? I'm serious.

  5. The Velcro on the cushion seats was attached by strong "E600" glue. The loop portion of the Velcro was sewn to the back of the seat of the slip cover. The seat portion of the slipcover is then draped from the velcro'd back to the front of the couch seat. The couch's back portion of the slipcover was not attached to the seating portion, as it didn't need to be washed as frequently as the seat portion. The upholstry nails are removable, and were taken off to clean the cover once a year. Thanks for your input. Sorry, I put 12 hours of work sewing the slipcover. I'd probably quote something like this around $800-$1000. If you're willing to pay for it, I can refer you to a wonderful and accomplished professional in Berkeley, Ca.