How to Replace the Stuffing in Couch Pillows

By Jennifer Terry
the Stuffing, Couch Pillows
Charley Steward/Demand Media

Spruce up your home this season by renewing your saggy and worn couch pillows. These pillows are so versatile that we keep them around for years. Though pillows make a couch inviting and comfortable, those with wadded stuffing can be awkward to use and terrible to look at. Foam rubber stuffing can irritate allergies because it deteriorates; it grinds into a dust that can actually come out of the pillow through the fabric weave. Renew your home by replacing the stuffing in all of your old couch pillows.

Prepare the Old Pillow

Step 1

a zipper, you, the stuffing, a lot
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Look for a zipper, which will allow you to remove the stuffing without a lot of work. If there is no zipper, inspect the pillow covering and attempt to identify the original stuffing seam. This may be indicated by a hand stitch. If no seam is found that looks like a stuffing seam, simply choose any seam to open.

Step 2

the seam thread, the old pillow, you, the stuffing
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Snip the seam thread of the old pillow for which you wish to replace the stuffing with the sharp-to-tip scissors. Do not snip any of the fabric. As you snip, pull the pieces of fabric apart gently; this will make it easier to get to the next stitch. Continue until one side of the pillow is open.

Step 3

the old pillow stuffing
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Empty the old pillow stuffing and discard.

Step 4

the empty pillow cover, the fabric type, it, a washable fabric
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Clean the empty pillow cover according to the fabric type. If it is a washable fabric, soak it gently in a pan of cool water.

Step 5

Lay, press, right side, press
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Lay flat to dry. Turn inside out and press, then turn right side out and press.

Replace the Stuffing

Step 1

the width, length, your pillow cover, Add 1 inch
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Measure the width and length of your pillow cover. Add 1 inch to the length measurement and 1 inch to the width measurement. This is your muslin measurement.

Step 2

two squares, muslin, your muslin measurement
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Cut two squares of muslin as specified by your muslin measurement.

Step 3

the squares, Place pins, the perimeter, the pillow
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Pin the squares together. Place pins along the perimeter of the pillow. Machine straight stitch all the way around using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving a 3-inch opening. You may choose to leave this area unpinned to remind you leave it open. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the stitch line to prevent the stitch from unraveling.

Step 4

right side, cotton stuffing, the form, softer pillows
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Turn right side out and fill with cotton stuffing until the form feels tight. For softer pillows, use less cotton.

Step 5

the raw edges, the opening, a straight stitch
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Turn the raw edges inward and hand stitch the opening closed using a straight stitch.

Assemble the Pillow

Step 1

the pillow stuffing form, the pillow cover, the cover's open seam
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Insert the pillow stuffing form into the pillow cover through the cover's open seam.

Step 2

the pillow stuffing form, the cover
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Position the pillow stuffing form straight inside the cover.

Step 3

the raw edges, the pillow cover, hand stitch, a small straight stitch
Charley Steward/Demand Media

Turn the raw edges of the pillow cover inward and hand stitch using a small straight stitch, if the pillow cover did not have a zipper.

About the Author

Jennifer Terry is program director for TriCounty Agency for Intellectual Disabilities. As a University of Alabama graduate, she holds a Masters in rehabilitation counseling and a Bachelor in psychology with an emphasis in child development. She also earned an Associate in business management and second Associate in computer information systems from Bevill State Community College. She holds a grant writing certificate from North Georgia College and State University.