Haven’t we all had chair or sofa back cushions that have turned into a crumpled, smooshed up mess? They go from not very comfortable to downright uncomfortable and extremely annoying. You pick them up, pound them, beat them, to no avail. You probably tell yourself they’re better, but come on, you know they’re not.

Here’s the email I received from Katherine, who’s trying to figure out this fluffy mess.

Hi Shelly,

Thanks so much for taking a look at my smushed and sad back cushions with down inserts (from your recent blog post on flattened down leather cushions). Feel free to use the photos as an illustration if you want to write up a tutorial, but any advice at all would certainly be appreciated.

Also, in general, thanks so much for all the information you share on your blog-you don’t know how many times I’ve wished I were close enough to take your classes!

Thanks Katherine, I love to hear that, and I love to share tricks and solutions to help you make your furniture last a little longer.

I’ve performed this fix a million times. (Not really, but close.)

This should solve the problem, at least for a while. Sometimes furniture and cushions are just poorly designed, even those with a big price tag.

1. Unzip the bottom and remove the dacron or down filled cushion form.

2. It’s likely the cushion form is divided into a top section and bottom section. The top section is filled with stuffing and the stitched-in divider across the middle keeps the top stuffing from falling to the bottom of the cushion form, but the filling in the top section does sink down to the bottom of the top section. And likewise, the stuffing in the bottom section sinks down to the bottom of the bottom of the cushion.

What you end up with, is a pillow form with two wads of stuffing that have ended up in the bottom sections of the two horizontally stitched channels. The top of the sofa cushion ends up flat and the middle of the cushion ends up flat which causes the cushions to collapse over themselves.


Here’s The FIX:

You’ll need:

a seam ripper

extra pillow down or dacron stuffing

sewing machine or needle and thread

straight pins

What you’ll do:

1. Open seams on the top and bottom of the cushion form (not the cushion cover).

2. Remove old stuffing.

3. If it’s down, put it all inside a plastic trash bag to contain feathers. With your hands, pull the balled up stuffing apart, fluffing it with air and incorporating new stuffing into old.

4. Repeat this for the bottom channel.

5. Now, refill both channels until the stuffing fills both channels fairly tightly.

6. Pin and stitch up the seams you opened.

7. Replace the cushion forms into the cushion covers.

THAT’s IT! Cushions are now as good as new. You may have to repeat this in 6 months or so.

I’ve already fixed all of my crumpled back cushions so we’ll have to wait for Katherine to send pics.