Saturday, August 10, 2013

Couch Make Over

Our living room furniture (sleeper sofa and chair) was purchased in January 2000.

We bought the matching love seat in November 2003 (when we moved into a bigger house and had room for it.)

The brand is England (a division of Lazy Boy),  and except for the seat cushions on the couch and chair, the furniture is in very good condition!

But those seat cushions...

Something had to be done.  We found this video tutorial online last year, and just got around to trying it ourselves today.

David measured for the amount of foam we would need, using the  GOOD cushions from the love seat to come up with our depth of 7".

We purchased our foam from JoAnn Fabrics.  (You can order replacement foam online as well.)

1.)  First, protect your work table (area) with a large piece of cardboard, and get an electric knife out as well as a black sharpie marker.

2.)  Next, gently unzip and remove the cover.

(We ended up discarding the outer white wrap since the furniture company used it to load the old foam the first time.)

3)  Next, unwrap the white polyester "netting" that surrounds the old foam and set it aside.  You will need to rewrap the new foam with the same "netting".

4)  Then, use the old foam piece to trace a pattern onto the new foam.

Jo Ann Fabrics did not have  7" depth foam, so we purchased a 5" and a 2" piece and combined the two.  (You'll see this soon.)

5)  Use an electric knife to slice the foam.  (It's like slicing butter!)

Then, we repeated steps 4 & 5 for the 5" depth piece of foam.

6).  Now, place the foam pieces back onto the white polyester "netting" and rewrap it.

(We kept the 5" piece on top for more support.)

7)  Okay.  For the next part, we used a piece of thin (.7 mil) plastic drop cloth from Lowe's ($1.98).

Wrap your foam with the plastic drop cloth.

David tucked it in and then cut off the super extra stuff.  But remember to keep the entire piece covered.

You'll see why...

8)  This is where you get your shop vac (or vacuum cleaner) and create some major suction!!

Don't turn off the machine UNTIL you have EASILY slipped the cover over your suctioned foam.

9)  Turn off the shop vac and watch the foam grow right into place!

10)  At this point, slide your arm in to adjust any foam. and grab, tear, and gently pull out the plastic.  It needs to come out in pieces.  Make sure you get way up in front, too!

11)  The last step is to zip it up.  You will have to firmly work the material down from the front end of cushion to the zipper end to close the gap up, making sure you start on the side where the zipper begins.   See if these photos help...

Repeat this process in small sections so you do not rip any material or tear the zipper out.  There is a lot of tension at this point!

Bam!  All done.

These were the 6' section we had to work with for the sofa cushions.

And we traced and cut the exact same way for the sofa cushions as we did for the chair cushion.

BEFORE and AFTER sofa cushion photos ::

Young lady on an old cushion ::

 (No support what so ever!)

Now check out young lady on the new cushion ::

They feel like new pieces of furniture.  Honest!

Foam ::

8' of 5" foam
8' of 2" foam


50% off sale
15% off teacher's card 
10% off extra for teachers this weekend


Grand total $117

Time frame ::
Once the area was prepped and material gathered, it took 20-25 minutes per cushion from unzip to zip, it's done.  

I wonder what we would have paid to have this done??

Hoping this has given the furniture another 14 years, because David said he isn't buying any new furniture till the kids leave the nest!  Ha ha!

~  Patty  ~


  1. Holy Smokes!! That was the most amazing tutorial EVER! I'm pinning this right now so that I can find it when I need it in the future. So...upgraded couch and chair...what's your next project??
    Happy (productive) weekend! :)

  2. Isn't it great when you can step back and say, "We totally did that!" Great work!

    1. Yes! You summed up exactly what we were thinking. When we watched the video last year, we were totally like, "we can do that!"

    2. I must add, my husband feels totally empowered by the idea of saving money, too!

  3. I think I just lost the argument for a new couch. My husband thanks you!!!

    1. Read this to my hubs. He laughed. He totally "gets" your hubs ;)

  4. Wowzer!!! I totally need to do that...and we just bought the furniture a year ago! (That's what happens when you buy Flexsteel Couch (1996!!!!!!!!) is still in our basement!!! Thank you for sharing this tutorial!!! Hugs.

  5. WHOA, WHOA. How awesome is that??!! Great tutorial. You both made it look totally easy. I am definitely going to have to remember this post. Thank you!

  6. What a great tutorial!!! Love the pics of you on the couch with the hubs, very cute!

  7. Wow! What a huge difference!! Looks fantastic, way to go!!

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  9. It will probably take a year to make it to the top of my list, but I'm going to pin it to DIY & Dumpster Do-Overs be able to find it when I need it.

    I have what I like to call a "live-in" sectional that I bought several decades ago, Excellent quality originally, with many pieces & cushions total - my first big ticket furniture purchase. I was thinking that parts would remain in Manhattan and the rest would move to an eventual "country house."

    Unbelievably many moves elsewhere later, it is beaten to @#$% but soooo functional.

    Paying to have it restored would probably never be anything I would dedicate funds for (especially since it is also time to replace the slipcovers as well) - but I can DIY with the best of them - just as soon as things settle to a passable roar. (appreciated the time estimates, btw.)

    CONGRATS - and thank you for sharing in so detailed a fashion. The video seems to have gone bye-bye so you are not allowed to remove this post!! (::grin::)

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    - ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder -
    "It takes a village to transform a world!"

  10. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!!!!

  11. Super smart idea, I wish I had thought of that years ago. And, we have almost the same sofa which will soon be going to my mom so I'll have to help her plump up the cushions with your trick.

  12. I know that I am late making a comment because I just found your post on Pinterest. I have got to say that I just LOVE you! I have struggled with inserting new cushions in covers for years. I upholster my own furniture, but I could not get the cushions to be thick and plump looking. The cushion was always to bulky to stuff into the cover, so I settled for not so thick cushions. Oh boy, I am ready to go now, thanks to you. .

  13. I know this is an old post so I don't know that I'll get a response, but here goes: You said you knew you needed 7" thick foam because you had the "good" cushions from the loveseat, what would you recommend for someone who doesn't have "good" cushions anymore? lol I'd like to replace the foam in our new hand-me-down sectional but it's all so squished that I'm not sure if I need 5" or 7"...

    1. Hi Lauren, I just saw this in my feed and be happy to answer. Because our couch and love seat are a matching set, I would go with 7" thickness on the foam for the love seat as well. If you are not sure on size of foam thickness, you would want to measure your couch, love seat, or chair seat cushion with the material on, (from the side) top seam to bottom seam and add a little bit extra measurement.

  14. I recently bought a couch and chair from Lazy Boy Furniture. They now have an option to have "jell cushions". You pay an extra 100.00 per each bottom cushion. (Three for the couch and one for the chair.) Extra $400.00 but the cushions are amazing. They come right back into shape after sitting on them. I am very happy I put the extra money into them as they look so amazing! Judy Mead

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  16. Our cat peed on my expensive couch given to me by my mom. I told my husband we could replace the cushions he doesn't think so. However that fuzzy cover is also ruined. Can I buy that at Joann's? Please help can't afford another couch.

  17. Our cat peed on my expensive couch given to me by my mom. I told my husband we could replace the cushions he doesn't think so. However that fuzzy cover is also ruined. Can I buy that at Joann's? Please help can't afford another couch.

    1. Wash cover with distilled white vinegar. Then rewash with All powercore pods for tough odors and a fabric softner. Replace foam seat/pillow.

  18. This has to go to the top of our to-do list. What we really need is to refluff the back cushions. Wonder if this would work on them??

  19. Just the info I needed to plump up the "used" sofa cushion to match the "unused" sofa cushion on my couch. Thanks for sharing this!

  20. Used your method to redo the guts of my daughters 3rd hand couch, and it looks years younger, and ready for a few more years of use by her and her family of rough and tumble boys. Thank you! Only spent about $160.0��

  21. Hi, wondering how well this fix has held up over the years? We are looking to do the same to our couch but it had space with springs inside the foam. Wondering if we were to use just foam if it would sag a lot faster. Did you use high density foam from Joann's?

  22. nanalu46@concast.netSeptember 7, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    I was wondering if you had any advice for a rocker recliner that has a one piece seat cushion attached to the foot rest and how I would go about using your method to refresh it. My puppy (small guy) loves this chair and I don't want to buy a new one for his use.

  23. I have a recliner that has lost its firmness and need to fix. The cover is in good condition. Was looking at it and trying to figure out how to fix seat area. Ideas welcome!

  24. I just did this with our sofa and love seat. Instead of getting all new foam cushions, I just attached a 2 in foam cushion to existing cushion and covered with new batting. Turned out amazing.

  25. The only thing different I would do is use spray adhesive to secure the two cushions together so they don’t slide and become misaligned in the coming years. Learned that through a bad experience!

  26. Graceful written content on this blog is really useful for everyone same as I got to know. Difficult to locate relevant and useful informative blog as I found this one to get more knowledge but this is really a nice one. Vintage Three Seater Sofa Antique

  27. Pintrest Win!My 20 plus year couch feels brand new. I didn't have an electric knife so we used a hack saw. Cuts were a little rougher but worked. We bought quilt batting and put that on over and then the old batting for extra thickness. We have to cut sections of foam to fit our cushions and glued then in 4 pieces for each cushion. Worked like a charm. I am so excited!

  28. Wish I had seen this a couple of months ago when I decided I would wash my linen-like sofa and loveseat cushions. The back cushion stuffing was wrapped as a pillow would be so getting the covers off and on was no problem. However, the seat cushions had dense foam wrapped in poly batting. I took them out, washed on delicate, dried for a few minutes to get the wrinkles out, then put back on while still damp. Wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, but I'm sure saving this anyway! Great idea. I've used plastic cleaner bags in the past in this way, but never thought about using the shop vac with them.

  29. I enjoyed reading this article. PLease continue publishing helpful topics like this. Regards, from

  30. I've done this to two sofas. The first time I was standing in line at the upholstery shop with the cushion covers in hand, waiting for my turn to have my foam custom cut. The expert foam cutter told me I should have measure the old foam for buying the new foam. This didn't sound right to me. Then a nice gentleman behind me in line and offered his advice, because he does it for a living. He said "measure the cushions, not the old foam because it is distorted". I'm glad I listened to him because he was right.


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