How to disguise couch rips and tears

Whether you sat down with car keys in your pocket or your comfy old couch is starting to burst at the seams, these nifty tricks will help hide imperfections and see your sofa live another day.

If you want your couch to last a lifetime, then it’s best to find one that’s made from sturdy microfibre, leather or wool.

Of course, linen, polyester and velvet make for beautiful (although slightly less durable) alternatives. But no matter the material of your couch, accidents can happen and when they do it’s good to be prepared to fix the issue.

Use your couch tear as an excuse to inject some colour and a few new statement cushions. Picture: Lisa Cohen

What to do if you discover a tear

“When you discover a tear, it’s best to attend to it straight away so it doesn’t get worse,” says property stylist, Kylie Schlick.

She suggests first assessing the damage before formulating a plan. If it’s just a small tear, perhaps you may feel confident enough to have a go at repairing it, DIY-style, with a repair kit.

“Repair kits exist for both fabric and leather and I recommend keeping the appropriate one for [your couch] on hand in case of mishaps,” Kylie says.

Sewing a patch from an inconspicuous part of the sofa, like the back of the skirt or from its matching base cushion, can be a great solution for nifty needleworkers – but can sometimes end up looking obvious.

Ultimately, you’ll probably want to disguise the blemish somehow and protect it from further damage, too.

A lush throw will detract from the horrors below. Picture: Ikea

Disguising couch rips and tears

So you’ve repaired the tear-in-question – but it’s sticking out like a sore thumb. Don’t fret – you’re probably not a professional upholsterer! Kylie has a few nifty tricks for hiding these imperfections in plain sight.

Cushions, Kylie says, are perhaps the easiest and most-cost effective way to cover couch tears. This tactic doubles as a cheap solution to masking spills, too.

“Cushions work well if the tear is towards the middle or back of the sofa. Consider it a great excuse to introduce some new colours and textures to your scheme.”

Her go-to for sofa sins, however, is the humble throw.

“Choose something soft and comfy, in either a matching or contrasting tone, and inject some new style into your living room while you’re at it!”

Last but certainly not least, Kylie reminds us of the simple – yet very effective – couch cushion flip.

“No one will ever know…” she jokes.

We’re all guilty of a sneaky cushion flip. Picture: Coco Republic

What if your couch is beyond repair?

Nothing lasts forever and in the unfortunate case that your couch is beyond the above advice, Kylie advises it could be an opportunity to redecorate.

“Re-upholstery is always an option but it can often be more expensive than purchasing a new sofa.

“If the tear is large and an eyesore, then it might be a sign it’s time to be out with the old and in with the new.”

Originally published as How to disguise couch rips and tears by Katie Skelly. Author at