Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?


Has anyone bought slipcovers for their government couch/chairs?  I guess I should ask, has anyone bought slipcovers for gov’t sofa/chairs that look GOOD?  I bought one from the PX and it just look like I threw a sheet over my sofa or something – YUK!  (Perhaps that was just due to my unskilled slipcovering technique???) Is there hope?  Can good slip covers happen?  If so, how?  Where?  Do tell!

(Very blurry, flash-not-working, visual of said gov’t couch.  (And coffee table!)  Also comes in blue and maroon(?)


  1. I bought slip covers for my couch and 2 chairs at JC Penney. They work great and fit very nicely. The only problem is I have to keep tucking them in after people sit on them awhile. They had a nice selection.

  2. I have been checking out slip covers for some time now. The bx/px carries the sure fit, but they don’t carry the chair ones, they carry ones for recliners!! I know that online with Sure fit you can get a wider selection of fabrics and colors. I am going to try the stretch ones. The twill fabric are supposed to be scotch guarded, but I have a feeling they won’t fit this furniture well.
    Hopefully the combination of stretch material and some of the plastic pieces will make the covers fit good. Anything is better than this green stuff we have now!!!

  3. Adding to Heather’s comments. I wish I had gotten slip covers because between 2 dogs and 3 kids, our government couch/chair are pretty disastrous. HOWEVER, we took our couch back recently and for several orange Sharpie marks and a tear near the floor, we were only charged $18. So, it’s nice not to be fined, but the fine was not much!!

  4. Nina – if you’re still with us – yes, government furniture is still being loaned out for use here. But the caveat is, if you’re allowed to bring 100% of your weight allowance, you can only keep it for 90 days or until your HHG arrive. I believe that’s the policy in place for AF members at this time. We were only allowed to bring 25% of our allowance when we PCS’d here in August 2008, so nearly all the furniture in our on-base house is gov’t issued.

    About slipcovers: I bought the SureFit ones for our gov’t issue couch and chair from the BX; although they don’t look like the upholstery itself they do actually look pretty good. The key is to tuck, tuck, tuck until that fabric is in there really well. I originally bought them as protection from my kids, but as it turns out they make really good protection from cat claws as well. We have a couple kitties that haven’t learned their manners yet, and while the slipcovers are started to get a bit shaggy, the couch underneath hasn’t been touched. If I don’t have to pay for damages to what was once a brand new couch when we leave, then the cost of these slipcovers just paid for themselves several times over!

  5. There are some nice fabric stores here that carry beautiful Japanese fabrics and more. House of 66 outside foster is one of them (not sure of the directions though) Fabrics here can be more expensive then the states so if you have some sort of discount place you can get cheap fabric I would bring it with you.

  6. Would love to get the name of the seamstress as well. Very great idea! Also wanted to share that I found these special triangular shaped plastic pieces specially designed to keep slipcovers looking good. They go in your sofa. I was skeptical at first but I have to say they really work! Even with my two yr old. They work much better then the pvc pipe or rolled up magazine.I put them in 3 weeks ago and haven’t had to adjust the sofa once! Here’s the link. They are called tuck once grips and are about 25 bucks a set??

  7. I had a seamstress come in and make a slip cover for my couch. She charges 5,000 yen and will sew all day for you- 7:30-4. You just need to provide a sewing machine. The results were great and if I would have provided the supplies needed to make piping on the cushions she would have done that also

  8. hi all we aill be moving to okinawa in January so this is very intresting to know since we will not be bringing living room furniture. As far as slip covers go if you can sew or know someone who can you can just taylor them to fit the couch, which seems like something I will be doing form the sound of it. you will have to take really good mesaurements of all the arms and sides and coushins (oh if the coushims come off its much easier) but it can be done, it is a little more complacated. but good luck with what ever you do. I will be there soon enough with sewing machine in hand!

  9. Hi! I just read this and wanted to say that I just received my sure fit slipcovers. They are huge on the govt furniture which is why I think they don’t fit very well. I ended up ordering mine through walmart because my orig. aaffes order was cancelled for some reason. The ones at the local BX are ok…very few choices, but the prices are the same as online. Oh and the exchange only sells the loveseat size and chair size (which I am guessing I should have chosen instead of the couch size). I think whichever you choose, they’ll still be loose and you’ll still have to work with it a bit. Mine look ok…I just wish they fit better and didn’t wrinkle so easily. But, I guess anything is better than what they looked like before and it made it possible for our house to look a bit more put together. Good luck whatever you decide!:)

  10. Wanted to add that I got the more expensive stretch to fit slipcovers from target. Its harder to find the armchair ones. As far as I know though the base just does couch and armchairs, not loveseats! Anyway, the covers I got were better then the ones without the stretchy stuff in them but still don’t fit tight and constantly need restuffing. I think the PVC pipe idea is a good one. *sigh* Still slipcovers are a better bet then the green/blue/ or tan dot furniture choices the base offers. I would also definitely buy the covers in the states or order online. BX surefit slipcover choices are pricey and limited.

  11. Thank you guys for all of the info! Very good tips. Nina, I posted a picture of the sofa, just so you get an idea of what some of the furniture looks like. While it’s not the most stylish looking stuff, the quality is actually not too bad. It’s functional. It serves it’s purpose. I’m told that they re-upholster the armchairs/sofas for each new family. I’ll try and post more pics soon!

  12. Here’s another slipcover tip: you can insert cut-to-fit lengths of PVC pipe or wooden dowels (bamboo would probably work, too) along the sides and back where the slipcover gets tucked over the cushions into the couch. This helps keep the cover from moving so much each time someone gets up or sits down. While it definitely won’t look as good as a made-to-fit slipcover, with 4 kids running around it helps us minimize the disheveled look. You can give it a trial run with rolled-up magazines to see if it might work.

  13. Hi again! Thanks for the dimensions…this will help out a lot. Does the base issue more than a sofa? Perhaps some chairs too? Sorry to keep asking – I am about to order some of these covers prior to our departure and want to ensure I have them in advance. I did locate some more of the stretch slip covers. Bed Bath & carries the stretch slip covers by Sure Fit. and also carry a few of these stretch covers as well. All three stores ship to APO addresses.

  14. I feel like Sure FIt is the brand the Exchange carries. Pretty sure about that. It didn’t work out for us. Could be me.

    Also, I don’t have a chair to measure but yes you can get them.

    Thanks for the tips. I’ll have to check it all out and see if it’s the same.

  15. We are moving to Okinawa in a couple months…PCS move. This site has been more than helpful in answering some questions. I have been curious about the govt furniture as we plan on leaving our furniture in the States. How does it look? A friend told me to look into JCPenny’s for slipcovers – they sell a cover that is form fitted, but I don’t know what the demensions are for the sofas/chairs…do you think you help me out? Thank you in advance!

  16. I also bought one of those atrocious covers from the Exchange and never got it to fit in any passable way. I don’t think it’s your Skill, Kelly!

    And I so want to know the answer to this because I will order one immediately. As for the dimensions of our furniture. Not sure. I just took a measuring tape to our government issue couch. It’s roughly (ROUGHLY) 77 inches across. 34 inches deep. 33 inches tall. Again, roughly.