It’s funny that I procrastinated so long about re-upholstering my couch and den chair since the actual time it took to perform the task was only about 12 hours. I have a couch with 6 cushions that were in sad shape – the seams were beginning to split and the seating surface had developed holes where the fabric simply fell apart. I repaired what I could of the original seats, just to keep it looking somewhat acceptable, but eventually I realized that the fabric was so worn out that it simply could not be repaired. The foam cushions had deteriorated to that state in which anyone who sat on the couch felt like the couch was attempting to absorb them into the lower reaches of the seating area.
I decided that we either had to completely replace the couch or at least replace the cushions. I waited until there was a sale on foam sheets (foam is amazingly expensive), then purchased 3 72”x36”x3” foam sheets. I measured the cushions and then marked cutting lines on the foam to match the sizes of the existing cushions. My husband used a kitchen knife to cut the foam into several pieces.
I purchased about 15 yards of denim (using a 40% off coupon at JoAnn’s), then let it age for about 3 years in my stash until I finally decided that the couch looked so bad that it was ebarrassing to have guests see the couch…I then purchased enough zippers by the yard to ensure that I had enough lengths of zipper for the cushions.
Cutting out the pieces was fairly simple: I put the existing cushion on the fabric yardage and wrapped it around the cushion. I then folded over appropriate amount for seam allowance / zipper space and cut it to that size. The width was cut about 1/2” wider on each side of the cushion. I cut the side gussets by measuring the thickness and width of the cushion.
I serged around every piece I cut, then proceeded to assemble them. It was far easier than I thought it would be since the zipper is attached first (attach to one end of the fabric strip, right sides together. Fold over and top stitch the fabric to the edge of the zipper. Then, put the fabric from the other half of the main piece onto the zipper right sides together. Turn right side out and topstitch along the second side of the zipper. On each end of the zipper, bar tack 3 times (once at the edge of the fabric, once about 1/4” in, and again just over 1/2” in…this way the zipper is less likely to open up from the wrong end)
You now have a tube of fabric with a zipper in it. Pin the side gussets to one end of the fabric tube and sew around it. Before you repeat for the second side, be sure to open the zipper at least a few inches so that it can be turned right side out. Then sew second gusset and turn right side out. Stuff with the new foam and then with the old foam (which is so battered that it easily crushes to less than half its original 6” size, thus filling the cushion to the originally intended size).
Place on couch. Done!
Yes, it really is that simple, so don’t procrastinate.
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