Re-cover Your Ikea Klobo Sofa




Introduction: Re-cover Your Ikea Klobo Sofa

We have had our little Ikea Klobo for several years and it's starting to look a bit tatty. We have been using a few throws to disguise it's general shabbiness but it's very frustrating constantly adjusting these. It's time for a change! It's possible to buy pre-made slip covers from eBay but they are only available in certain colours and I was unsure about the quality of the materials that are used. I decided that the shape and construction of the Klobo sofa would make it really easy to re-upholster. The finished result is extremely smart and well worth the effort. 

The fabric was £5 a Meter and the sofa only requires 5 Meters (from a 147cm roll).

Step 1: Designs

I didn't want to spend a lot of time making a complicated cutting pattern so i decided on a method of construction that allowed for plenty of room for mistakes. I used rolls of fabric that were 147cm wide. This width was wide enough to completely span the length of my sofa and allow for a large overlap. 

Don't take my word on the measurements! Much of this design was cut to the size of each piece as I went along so I didn't carefully measure anything. 

Step 2: Gather Materials!

You will probably need....
-Sewing Machine (you could probably hand sew the whole thing if you don't have one).
-Staple Gun 
-Stanley Knife
-Measuring Tape
-Fabric! 147cm Width X 5 Meters (I used a Polycotton Drill) 

Step 3: Disassemble and Re-stretch Old Fabric

Take apart you Klobo.
The whole thing is held together with wing nuts and comes apart in minutes. Remove the threaded bolts from the arm piece and put to one side. This is a good time to perform any other repairs that the sofa might have already needed... Loose staples, wobbly joints etc. 

Re-stretch Old Fabric.
This step is important to avoid the old fabric gathering underneath your new fabric. As you can see in image 003 I removed the staples from the end of the seating section. My girlfriend pulled the fabric tight whilst I stapled it back down. Don't pull it too tight though because it's easy to accidentally compress the foam padding unevenly. 

Step 4: The Seat - Top, Front & Rear

This is the easiest part of the build as you can get away without doing any sewing. The sides of the seat are hidden by the armrests so you can simply wrap this piece much like a parcel. 

Don't forget to check you fabric is the correct side up.

I found the easiest way to achieve a nice flat and evenly stretched finish was to lay the seat upside-down on the fabric. Next I attached the fabric bottom front side of the seat using the staple gun. I then rolled the seat forwards until I could access the rear of the seat (Image 003). I then stapled the fabric before cutting it from the rest of the roll. 

Step 5: The Seat - Sides

The sides of the seat will be totally hidden by the other sofa parts so this stage doesn't have to be too tidy. Secure each corner with a triangular fold and staple down. Keep the folds as neat as possible as they will slightly protrude from the corner of the sofa. Be careful not to overstretch the fabric. Cut of the excess after stapling. 

Step 6: The Back - Front & Rear

This is when things get a bit more tricky...

In order to hide  the stitching we will need to turn the cover for the back inside out after sewing. This means that you must follow these steps with the fabric facing outside in. In other words the side that you want people to sit on will be facing inwards in this step. If you have a cat then ask him to stand nearby and remind you about this.

Begin as in the previous step by stapling one edge and rolling the sofa back over the fabric. This time only use a few staple on each section as we will be removing this in order to sew the sides on. 

Overlap the fabric on the edge of the sofa to allow room for stitching the sides on. Cut the fabric on the other side to overlap by the same amount. The off cut will be large enough to make the side pieces from. 

During the cutting stages you may find it helpful to weigh the edges of the fabric down with a spare cat. This will stop it blowing away. Do not let the cat steal the fabric. 

Step 7: The Back - Side Panels

Use some tracing paper to make a rough stencil for your side panels. Cut the panels from the remnants left over from the previous stage. Don't forget to be check which side will ultimately be facing outwards. 

Stand the back section on it's side. Pin the side panel in place, it may also help to mark a sewing line using chalk or crayon. There is a slightly awkward lip that curves over the top of the sofa seat. You may have to hand sew this section in a later stage although I managed to carefully staple it in place. 

My girlfriend was on sewing machine duty and suggested that we sew one side panel first in order to check our measurements. This turned out to be a useful idea as it allowed us to ensure the opposite side panel was attached in a way that nicely stretched the fabric across the sofa back. Once the side panels have been sewed you can turn this piece inside out and slip it back over the sofa. The inside-out seem will look very neat (Image 005). 

Step 8: The Back - Details

Attach the fabric by folding it right around the underside of the sofa back before stapling. On the forward facing side of the back section you will need to wrestle the fabric around the corners of the overhanging lip. I found combination of folds and some creative stapling produced a tidy finish. Much of this will be covered by other sections of the sofa so you can afford to be a little untidy. 

Once again be cautious of over stretching the fabric. 

On the rear side of the back section I stapled the overlap (that had initially been created for sewing the side panels) to the side of the back section. (Image 003)  

Step 9: The Armrests

The Armrests were once again wrapped much like a christmas present. We used a similar sewing technique as in the previous stage but instead of using a separate panel for the front and back sides of the arm rest we simply cut the fabric to form a sort of tab. This folded over the front and back of the armrest and saved lots of time and energy. This was pinned an then sewed before turning inside out and placing back over the armrest. Try and make these a nice a tight fitting. 
Don't forget to check which way the fabric is facing.

The excess was simply stapled underneath. 

You may wish to consider which way the 'tab' fold faces. You will probably want the seems to match on each side of the sofa so don't forget to make the second armrest as a mirrored version of the first. Also remember that the seem will reverse sides after sewing because you will be turning it inside out. 

Step 10: Cutting Bolt Holes

After all this covering you will need to expose the holes through which your sofa fixings fit. I copied the Ikea technique. First you will need to mark the holes. I used chalk to mark each hole position. Surround each bolt hole with 4 staples arranged in a square. These staples will prevent the fabric from stretching and taring. Use a Stanley knife to cut around the marked bolt holes but WITHIN the staples. 

You will need to repeat these steps on each piece of the Sofa. There are 4 bolt holes on each arm rest, 6 on the backrest and 4 on the seat. 

Replace the bolts, wing nuts, feet and carefully reassemble your Reupholstered Klobo Sofa!

Step 11: Finished!

Have a relaxing sit down on your fresh newly covered Klobo Sofa! 

Very effective, very cheap, very individual and pretty comfy for a sofa that costs less than £100! 

I haven't included it in the instructable but we also made a few arm protectors from the remnants of the fabric. You can see them in the first image of this instructable. 

1 Person Made This Project!


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2 years ago

Hi. Great idea. We have used ours as a balcony sofa in a humid environment thinking we could replace it but we can't find a narrow enough sofa now - it's mouldy and we're looking for solutions. Also I need to repair one of the armrests I broke. Is it feasible to re-cover using new fabric in place of the original fabric or is that not going to work? Ideally we'd use waterproof canvas. If you think we need the original, then I'll have to bleach the inside one - but it'll still get mouldy again even under fabric.


9 years ago

Amazing! Fantastic, cost-efficient result, and there won't be another sofa in a landfill :). Great ible

Mr Chutney
Mr Chutney

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Thanks very much indeed! I am very pleased with the result, it's amazing what you can achieve in an afternoon.