How to Upholster Sofa Cushions

Sofa cushions endure a lot of wear and tear. Over time the fabric may become stained, damaged or simply worn out. Making a replacement upholstery cover for the cushion is often a good investment if the rest of the sofa is in good condition. You can select an identical upholstery fabric if the sofa is almost new or you can select a fabric that looks good with the rest of the sofa. Mixed fabric is used on new furniture styles and has its own distinct style. Take a look at sample furniture before you decide what look works well for you.

Open the seams on the cushion cover using a seam ripper. Separate each piece and iron the pieces flat. Place each piece on large paper and trace a pattern by using the old cover as a guide. Label each piece.

Cut out your paper pattern and pin the pattern to the fabric you are using. Cut around the patterns.

Assemble any sections, such as a section with a zipper, by following the pattern on the existing cover. Sew your side pieces right sides together to form a large square using the same seam allowance as your sample.

Sew your sides to your top cover piece right sides together. Sew your sides to your bottom cover piece right sides together. If your pattern does not have a zipper, leave the back bottom seam open so you can insert your cushion. Turn your cover right sides out.

Install your new upholstered cover over your cushion. If your cushion is flat, wrap the cushion in a layer of batting to add loft. Zip your cushion closed. Turn under and sew along the bottom seam edge with needle and thread, if there is no zipper.


Pre-wash your fabrics to prevent shrinkage later.

Things You'll Need

  • Seam ripper
  • Iron
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Marker
  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.