It doesn't take too long, especially in a robust family where there is lots of activity, for a beloved futon to start looking a bit shabby. Generally, it's not the mattress itself that is in need of refurbishment, but simply the outer cover. If you already know your way around a sewing machine, then making a new cover to slip over the old one is a relatively easy task and one that will have your futon resplendent again, ready to deal with the thrills and spills of the next round of family fun.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Marking pencil
- Sewing machine and thread
- Fastening tape
Lay the futon mattress flat on the floor and measure its length, width and depth. Purchase enough fabric to cover the futon on both sides, allowing 2 inches for seams. The fabric shop will help you with the quantity. Have it cut to size so you don't have to bother with this task. You need two pieces of fabric, wide enough to cover one width of the futon, including half the depth. To get this width you may need to sew two pieces of fabric together, if your mattress is wider than 54 inches, and you are unable to purchase fabric wider than that.
Lay both pieces of fabric on a flat surface and mark out the 2 inch seam lines on the inside of each piece.
Place the right sides together. Pin along the seam marks on the two short sides and one long side. The other long side should be left open. Sew along the pins, removing them as you progress down the seam.
Turn over the raw edges of the open end of the cover, and sew them down to create a neat edge and prevent the fabric from fraying.
Machine a length of fastening tape onto both sides of the opening. This neatly closes the gap and allows the cover to be removed for cleaning.
Turn the futon cover inside out, so that the patterned side is now on the outside.
Slide the futon cover over the mattress, so that the open end runs along the top of the back rest. Press the fastening tape together to seal the gap.
Place the newly covered futon mattress back on the futon base.
Tips and warnings
- Select a hard-wearing fabric that can take the rough and tumble of the family room, which is where most futons are situated.
- Pre-shrink the fabric by washing it before cutting it out.
- Keep your fingers away from the sewing machine needle while it is in operation. It's very easy, especially when doing close work like stitching on the fastening tape, to catch the tips of your fingers with the needle.
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