Making Seat Cushion Covers to Reupholster an Old Couch

How to Reupholster Seat Cushion Covers to Reupholster a Couch


Reupholstering a couch does not have to be overwhelming.  An important trick to tackle this big job is to consider the different parts of the couch separately: seat cushions, arm rests, back supports, etc.  Then, focus only on the areas that need repair.

We wore through the covers of the seat cushions of our beloved couch after many years of daily use.  It really started to look shabby.  But, it was still a very comfortable sofa.  We thought that it was not worth having the whole couch reupholstered professionally, but we definitely did not want to give up on our old sofa! 

So I decided to give reupholstering a try.  As you can see in the photo above, I only replaced the two covers of the seat cushions, to keep this large-scale sewing task to a minimum.

 How to Reupholster Seat Cushion Covers to Reupholster a Couch 1. First, I un-stitched the top part of one of the seat cushion covers with a seam ripper.  (Note: If your sofa has multiple seat cushions, leave one intact for now.  You can use that old cover as a reference while you work on the others.)  When I separated the top from the bottom of the cushion cover, I was surprised to discover that the top was a very simple rectangle!  I kept the bottom portion (the black part with a zipper in the photo) intact because it did not need replacing; this decision helped to keep the project simple and quick. 
 How to Reupholster Seat Cushion Covers to Reupholster a Couch 2. Next I cut out new fabric in the same size and shape as the old top.

Then before sewing the new fabric onto the bottom portion of the cover, I carefully studied how the old cushion cover was sewn together.  (This was when having left that old cover intact was very useful!)

 How to Reupholster Seat Cushion Covers to Reupholster a Couch 3. I used a sewing machine with upholstery thread to sew the cover back together.  This thread is thicker and stronger than regular sewing thread.  You also need to use a needle that is suitable for the thickness of the thread. 

Before sewing the cushion covers, it is very important to test and adjust the thread tension on your sewing machine with layers of scrap fabric similar in thickness to the new cover.

We are quite happy with the outcome of my reupholstering project.  Our sofa may still be old, but it is also very comfortable (a number one priority for any couch!) and now has a new look, which was honored by the approval of the Comfy Frog Price.

How to Reupholster Seat Cushion Covers to Reupholster a Couch

I would like to end this post with a quote from Murakami’s novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, “you can tell a lot about a person’s character from his choice of sofa.” 

So, if you have a good sofa, mend it and keep it for your character’s sake!

Happy reupholstering!