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How to Recover Couch and Chair Cushions Without Much Sewing

Liven up sofas and chairs with color, texture and patterns.
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If you can sew a straight line, you can recover your couch and chair cushions in no time -- without the need for zippers or fancy stitchery. Scissors, fabric, a sewing machine, a needle, thread, and a tape measure are all you need for the couch. Using a screwdriver and a staple gun, you can reupholster a chair without sewing one single stitch. Shop fabric outlet stores for savings. Head straight to the remnants section to catch the best buys. Before you know it, your old couch cushions and chair seats will have a brand new look.

Things You'll Need:

  • Tape Measure
  • Paper, pen
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Scissors
  • Thread for couch
  • Needle for couch
  • Sewing Machine for couch
  • Screwdriver for chair
  • Staple gun, staples for chair


Check outlet stores that specialize in upholstery fabric. The savings and selection are often better and you can often luck out and find designer fabrics at discount prices.

Determining How Much Fabric You Will Need

Measure the width, length and depth for the couch and/or chair cushions. Jot the measurements down on paper.

Use a measuring tape to determine measurements for a couch cushion. Start at the upper right corner and continue running the tape measure around the circumference. Use the final measurement to determine the length of fabric you will need for the sides of the couch cushion. Measure the height and width of the existing cushion to determine how much fabric you will need for the top and bottom.

Use a bit different approach for the chair. Measure the width, height and depth. Then add three times the depth of the cushion to the measurements for the length and width. For example, if the couch cushion were five inches deep, you would add 15 inches to the measurement for the height and width of the existing cushion. The extra fabric is used to for the depth, and you wrap the remaining fabric underneath the bottom and staple it.

Recovering Couch Cushions

Remove the current fabric from the cushion, exposing the foam cushion. Take your measurements based on the size of the “naked” cushion.

Cut fabric to create the sides of the cushion. Add 5/8 inch to the top, bottom and sides for sewing the seam to join the sides to the top and bottom fabric pieces. Repeat this process to cut the fabric for the top and bottom.

Sew the sides to the top fabric, start in the center and work around the entire bottom piece for the cushion. Repeat the process for the bottom; however, leave the back open so you can have a large enough opening for the cushion.

Reinsert the foam cushion. Take a needle with coordinating thread and slip stitch the opening.

Recovering Chair Cushions

Remove the screws holding the seat cushion to the chair. Keep the project simple by keeping the existing fabric on the chairs. Place the cushion in the center of the fabric, wrong side up.

Pull the fabric over the bottom of the cushion. Staple the fabric in the center on the left side, then on the right. Staple the center area for the top and bottom.

Fold and crease the corners of the fabric vertically, as if you were wrapping a present. Staple the top left followed by the right, and then the lower left and lower right.

Put the newly reupholstered cushion onto the chair. Screw the cushion back onto the chair frame.

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