How to Make Cushions for Midcentury Modern Sofas

This past summer, I made a set of cushions for some authentic midcentury modern Danish sofa frames. The cushions were a beautiful way to update these wonderful pieces of furniture, and now I'm ready to attempt a new set! After all, the cushions that I made last summer were my first, and a second set will likely improve.

As you can see in the photo, I originally made 4 cushions for each couch. This time, I will make 2 full-size cushions for each couch. I think this will increase efficiency in the creation process in addition to making the sofas more comfortable.

All in all, making a set of cushions for 2 matching sofas costs a little under $250. Purchasing 1 new cushion (1 of four needed for a couch) is about the same price. Making your own cushions is rewarding and can save you a lot of money!

Below, you will find a PDF of instructions for the method I used to create these cushions. You will likely need to adjust the measurements for your own needs, but I hope this will be helpful regardless. I also hope to add video instruction once I complete the new cushions.

How to Make Couch Cushions for Midcentury Modern Danish Couches

Dimensions of the bottom cushions:

Parameter of top and bottom panels: 140 (x2 = 280)

Dimensions of the top cushions:

Parameter of top and bottom panels: 124 (x2 = 248)

Material Needs (purchased on fabric.com):

  1. Fabric (canvas duck fabric recommended)

  • 5 yards of 54” top and bottom panel fabric (Fuchsia)

  • 2 yards of 54” side panel fabric (Orange)

  • 2 1/2 yards piping fabric (White)

  1. 30 yards size 3 (3/8”) cotton piping rope

  2. 4 48” zippers

  3. 3” Upholstery Foam Cushion (purchased on Amazon.com)

Cuts of fabric

  1. Tips

  • Use a ruler and a rotary cutter

  • Cut width of rectangular panels on the fold for efficiency

  • Lengths on fold will usually be 23.5” (from 47”)

  1. Top and Bottom Panels

  • 4 panels: 47” x 25”

  • 4 panels: 47”’ x 17”

  1. Side panels

  • 4 panels: 47” x 4”

  • 8 panels: 47” x 3”

  • 4 panels: 25” x 4”

  • on fold: 12.5” x 4”

  • 4 panels: 17” x 4”

  • on fold: 8.5” x 4”

  1. Piping fabric

  • Tips:

  • Draw strips and cut with scissors

  • 4 panels: 95” x 2”

  • on fold: 47.5” x 2”

  • 4 panels: 79” x 2”

  • on fold: 39.5” x 2”

  • 8 panels: 47” x 2”

  • 4 ropes: 140”

  • 4 ropes: 124”

  1. Foam

  • 2 panels: 46” x 24” x 3”

  • 2 panels: 46” x 16” x 3”

Putting it together (1/2” seam allowance, use zipper foot)

  1. Piping

  • Sew together each 95 x 2 and 47 x 2 piece of piping fabric

  • Sew together each 79 x 2 and 47 x 2 piece of piping fabric

  • Sew in appropriate rope to piping fabric

  • 95 x 2 and 47 x 2 with 140 rope

  • 79 x 2 and 47 x 2 with 124 rope

  1. Zippers

  • Align zipper handle 1/2” from the end of the fabric

  • Attach zippers to 47 x 3 side panels

  • Excess fabric will be tucked into the cover

  1. Top and bottom panels to piping

  • Attach piping to top and bottom panels

  1. Side panels

  • Attach side panels to appropriate top and bottom panels (leaving the corners open)

  • Sew corners together

  • Optional: change to standard foot

  1. Foam

  • Cut foam to size with an electric meet carving knife

  • Insert foam into cushion covers

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