How to recover sofa cushions

If you are looking to give your room an inexpensive makeover, recovering your sofa cushions is a good option. Instead of purchasing new furniture, salvage your old furniture and create your own scheme by upgrading your existing pieces. Hiring a professional is an option, but it can be expensive. Doing it yourself will save money. The process is relatively simple and will only require some time and basic sewing skills.

Using a seam ripper, carefully undo the existing fabric. Most sofa cushions are shaped like a box with a top, bottom and four sides.

Measure the fabric of the existing pieces. You should have six pieces total for each cushion.

Examine the foam. If the foam beneath the fabric is in bad shape, purchase new foam when you purchase new fabric.

Buy new fabric. Furniture fabric should be durable and stain resistant. Also, take notice to the zipper. If your old cushion had a zipper, you can reuse it. If not, purchase one using the measurements taken from one of your longest pieces. It is recommended that you add a zipper to your new cushions for easy removal and cleaning.

Use a light pencil to trace the measurements onto the new fabric. As an alternative, simply trace the old fabric pieces onto the new fabric. Use the reverse side of the fabric for tracing. This is the side that will not be exposed.

Cut the pattern out.

Sew the pieces together so that the exposed side of the cushion is facing in. This will give you a smooth seam line when you flip the material right side up. Using a sewing machine, sew approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the edges. The easiest way to perform this task is to lay each piece on the ground and begin by attaching the top and bottom to three of the sides, leaving one long side unattached. Close two corners, leaving two remaining corners open on both ends of the long unattached side. This is where you will insert the foam later.

Insert the zipper on the inside of the fabric of the one long piece of unattached fabric left. Place the zipper in the middle of the fabric and trace. Cut the fabric and sew the zipper in its place. Be sure the zipper will be facing out once you flip your fabric right side up.

Attach the remaining edges.

Flip the fabric right side up and insert the foam. Close the zipper.


Some sofa cushions are piped. See the resources below on specific pointers on piped cushions.

Things You'll Need

  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Zipper
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About the Author

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Damica Brownswood has been writing music articles for over four years. Her most recent articles have appeared in several notable online music sources. Brownswood is currently pursuing a career in the entertainment business. In her spare time she enjoys saving money by creating things from scratch.