04 December 2012

How To Make New Back Cushions For A Couch

Today I'm going to show you how I made these long, comfy back cushions so that we could ditch the slew of pillows that had previously been on the couch. 


 I showed you here how I re-covered the seat cushions on my previously microfiber couch. 
Doing that made a big difference in the overall look, but it's these new back cushions that make it look like a completely different couch. 

Here's how I did it:

To get my measurements I used the old pillows as my guides. I arranged them straight across the back of the couch and along that one short side like this:

{I had to eliminate one of the pillows so that they would line up without overlapping each other.}

Then for the two cushions that would go across the longest side of the couch, I just split the old pillows down the center and measured from the outside seam of the pillow all the way to the left, to the point that was in the middle of that long side of the couch, which ended up being halfway through the third pillow. So the length of my two longest pillows was roughly the length of two and a half of the original pillows. 

There was probably a better way I could have figured out my measurements, but this was the best I could come up with. The two longer pillows ended up being too long so I just took a little off of each one until they fit next to each other right. The shorter pillow was easier because I just figured it could be the size of two of the original pillows and that sizing ended up being perfect. 

After I had the sizing for the new pillows figured out I ripped open all the old pillows and took the stuffing out of them so that I could reuse it in the new ones. 

I measured out the new fabric

and cut it out.

For the rounded corners I used the corners on the old couch pillows as my template.

My new fabric happens to be the exact same on both sides so I didn't have to think about "right sides together"; after cutting out another side identical to the first one I pinned them together and sewed them all the way around, using the seam allowance from the old pillows as my guide for the new ones. (Just like I did for the seat cushions here.) I left an opening in the center of the side that was going to be the bottom of the cushion for stuffing. 

Then I turned it right side out and filled it up with the stuffing from the old pillows. 
I had separated the stuffing before-hand: each of the two longer cushions got the amount of two and a half pillow's-worth of stuffing, and the shorter cushion got two pillow's worth. 

To close the opening after I was done with stuffing, I folded the edges under and pinned the two sides together

Then I somehow stuffed it under my sewing machine and sewed it closed. 
It's a miracle I was able to get a picture while I did it. It took some muscle to keep the pillow in place.

And here's the finished end. Not super pretty but no one sees it anyway since the pillow sits on this part.

Since I had only filled them with the stuffing that had been in the old pillows, they didn't end up being all that full. They were still super comfy but not quite as firm as we were wanting. And they wrinkled up easily after they'd been leaned on, which you can see in the pictures from my first blog post about the couch here.

Here's one of the pictures from that post:

They were still awesome but I wanted them to be firmer. So one night I ripped them all open and added a 32oz bag of fiber fill to each of them. 

So here is how the couch looks now:

I probably way over-stuffed them- they were a nightmare to sew closed again. 
But I wanted to make sure they were super full since after a while of being leaned against they will get flatter. 

But holy crap are they ever comfortable. Even more than they were when I first made them. 
They make sitting on the couch seriously awesome. 

Btw, anyone notice that something is missing in the above picture?? 
That's right, the For Like Ever poster that used to lean up against the fireplace is gone. 
My two year old son knocked it over the other night and then walked on it until the frame broke in half. 
Luckily my wedding veil is fine. It's tucked away now waiting for me to make a new "forever" poster for it to hang out with. That was the first major kid-caused catastrophe we've ever had at our house so I was in mourning for a few days. 

But my awesome couch cushions are going a long way to console me- I love them!

*August 2013 update: I tufted these cushions! 

See how I did it HERE


  1. Hi Brooke, How are you??
    The sofa looks amazing. Another great job!
    Happy December!

  2. I commend you for all your hard work. I would have caved and just sat on the floor. LOL!!!

  3. great job! looks wonderful Debbie lowry

  4. I was already impressed with the sofa, but now that I am realizing you MADE the back cushions?! Well, I'm super impressed! They look great!

  5. Brooke! you crack me up! you are such an ambitious soul. i'm at ease with watching you do work. LOL!

    GREAT POST! Great cuz you worked so hard!

  6. So smart. I love that you reused the stuffing.

  7. You are my sewing idol!! And I've had a few of those toddler induced accidents as well - my condolences. :)

  8. Amazing job on the couch, Brooke! You inspired me to add more fluff to my couch cushions. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Some MCM style "tufting" would help the back cushions keep their shape.

  10. I have that same couch! Or at least very very similar, and I HATE that there are just cushions for the back. I googled "making back cushions for a couch" and yours was the top result and the only one I clicked on and it is perfect! Thank You so much for posting your easy tutorial!

    1. Yay I'm so happy that it's going to be helpful to you! Check my new posts over the next couple days because I actually just did buttonless tufting on the cushions and I love them even more now! So anyways that post will be going up hopefully by the end of this week or early next. I'll link to it from this post as well. Best of luck to you!!

  11. I have the same couch in different colors and I HATE it. I am wondering how much fabric yardage you used for the whole project?

    1. Hi, I bought 10 yards and used most of that. I'm so sorry I'm getting back to you so late; I just noticed your comment.

  12. Anonymous04 May, 2014

    Hi, I was wondering what the final measurements for the fabric for your back pillows. I'm currently making my own and am struggling.

  13. I have never reupholstered; but am toying with the idea of it. What steps would you recommend to take off back cushions that are attached and make into separate non attached back cushions?