DIY: How to Reuse a Foam Mattress

Written by christina sloane
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DIY: How to Reuse a Foam Mattress
Recycle an old mattress into cushioning for a dog bed. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Like any other mattress, a foam mattress wears out over time and loses its ability to properly support your spine. After about 10 years, a mattress should be replaced with a new one that offers better back support. Unfortunately, mattress recycling centres are few, and throwing a mattress in the trash takes up a lot of space in landfills. Rather than throwing your mattress to the curb, you can cut it up and convert it into cushions. Depending on the mattress width, you can use the cushions as pet beds or throw pillows.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Scissors or electric kitchen knife
  • Old sweaters or other scrap fabric
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Rotary mat
  • Pins

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  1. 1

    Make a decorated cushion by cutting a square or rectangle out of your mattress the same size you want the cushion to be. If you can't cut through the mattress with scissors, use an electric kitchen knife.

  2. 2

    Launder your fabric or old sweaters in hot water with a little soap and dry them in the dryer. Iron the fabric, if necessary, to remove wrinkles. If you bought fabric directly from a craft store, you can skip this step.

  3. 3

    Cut pieces of paper into squares and strips and tape them on your foam cushion to make a template for how the fabric will fit together. Make the paper cover the surface of the cushion and overlap the entire length. To determine how much to overlap, measure the thickness of your cushion. The paper should overlap as many inches as the cushion is thick. For a solid colour cushion rather than a patchwork cushion, use a single piece of paper as a template.

  4. 4

    Use a rotary cutter or scissors and a ruler to cut your fabric to the same sizes as the paper. Cut enough fabric for both sides of the cushion.

  5. 5

    Pin the fabric pieces together on the right sides, then sew together. Sew the front and back pieces separately.

  6. 6

    Lay out the top with the nice side up, then lay the bottom piece over the top piece with the nice side down. Pin the two pieces together an inch from the edges.

  7. 7

    Sew the two pieces together, leaving one short side open so you can insert the cushion. Reinforce the corners to make them stronger. Turn the fabric sleeve inside out to hide the stitching.

  8. 8

    Stuff the foam cushion into the fabric sleeve and sew up the open side. You now have a decorated cushion you can use as a pet bed or throw pillow.

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