How to Re-upholster Sofa Cushions

What You'll Need
Foam padding
Sewing machine
Replacement zip, if necessary
Seam pick
Various thread
Tape measure
Fabric chalk

A worn or damaged sofa can become a bit of an eyesore and can prompt you to want to eventually change the sofa cushions. Following a few steps will allow you to undertake the task yourself rather than seeking the services of a professional.

Step 1 – Remove Old Covers

Take the sofa cushions from their place on the sofa to enable you to remove the covers effectively. Unzip the covers before carefully removing them to reduce the risk of damage as these will be used as a pattern for the new covers. This is especially the case where the cushion is of an unusual shape.

Step 2 – Mark Out Positions

In order to ensure that the new cushion covers fit correctly, use a piece of chalk to mark corresponding letters or numbers on the reverse of the covers and the foam padding. This will allow you to take into account any unusual dimensions and sew the new covers correctly.

Step 3 – Check Foam Padding

Examine the foam padding of the sofa cushions for any wear and damage; replace them by cutting new foam padding if they are beyond repair. Measure the old padding and take into account any points where it has become compressed.

Step 4 – Unpick Covers

Turn the covers of the sofa cushions inside out to give you easier access to the seams and, using a seam picker, carefully loosen and pull out the thread that fasten them together. This will allow you to lay out the material flat to get an idea of the pattern. Retain the zip if it is still in good working order.  

Step 5 – Cut New Covers

If you don’t have a table surface large enough to fit the pattern, spread the new fabric on the floor before laying the old cover pattern over the top. Make sure it is completely flat by smoothing your palm across it before tracing around the pattern with chalk. Once this is complete, set the pattern aside and cut along the chalk line with sharp scissors.

Step 6 – Start Sewing

On the pattern, measure the space between the edge of the material and the position of the seam and mark the length on the new material so that you know where to sew. Fold the material that you have cut using the pattern as a guide; this should be done so that the reverse of the material is facing outwards. Use the sewing machine to sew the edges of the material, leaving the edge where the zip is to go. When you are happy with your seams, sew the zip into place along the final free edge whilst making sure it will be the correct way around.

Step 7 – Fit Cover

Turn the sofa cushions covers back the correct way to allow you access to stuff the padding into it. Zip it closed and replace it on the sofa.