How to Make DIY Sofa Cushions

Updated November 21, 2016

As your sofa ages, so do its cushions and upholstery. Once firm cushions can start to become lumpy or sag, and their covers get worn out, dirty or torn. However, you can make your own new cushions with store-bought materials and a sewing machine. Perk up an old sofa with bright new cushions, or add cushions to a plain sofa to make it more comfortable and inviting.

Measure the current cushions on your sofa. Draw a sketch of the cushions and mark all of the dimensions. If you want to use the current cushion covers and just want to replace the foam, purchase foam in the dimensions of your old cushions and simply swap out the old foam for the new foam. You will also need to buy foam to the correct measurements if you are making entirely new cushions.

Measure the cushions and determine the amount of fabric you will need. Use upholstery material for durable cushions. Cut the fabric to the outline of the cushion foam, leaving a margin of 2 to 3 inches on each side.

Trace the outline of the foam on the inside of the fabric to create a pattern. Make sure the top and bottom tracings match; they will have to line up when you sew them together. Trace out the side panels of the cushion. If your cushions are thin and do not have side panels, trace out the top and bottom.

Using the sewing machine, install the zipper first in the area that will be the back of the cushion. Next, sew the side panels onto the bottom panel, and then sew the top panel onto the side panels. You will sew the entire cushion from the inside of the fabric, following the pattern line exactly. If your cushion does not have side panels, sew the sides and top together and leave the bottom open.

Turn the cushion cover inside out and put the foam inside. Close up the zipper or sew up the bottom seam. Spray on fabric protector if desired. Your new cushion is ready to go on the sofa.


Work slowly and carefully. Measure everything twice before cutting.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Heavy-duty thread
  • Zipper, 10 inches
  • Fabric protector spray
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