Saturday, December 27, 2014

Quick and easy 15-minute fix for damaged couch cushions

Our poor little couch.  It was a hand-me-down gift from my in-laws about seven years ago.  It was in very good condition and we were happy to have it.  Since that time, however, we have had three babies (now 3, 5, and 7) and have adopted a couple of dogs and a couple of cats.  This couch is probably one of the top five most-used items in our house.  If you have kids, I don't need to explain to you how rough little ones can be on furniture--and some pets are just as bad.  (Our kids are much worse.)

We do plan to get a new couch, but not right now.  Therefore, making this one last has been an ongoing project.  Several years ago when we had exhausted our cushion-flipping options, I started sewing up minor holes by hand.  That worked for a while, but any little hole that pops up is soon made much bigger by destructive, poky little fingers.

Finally the holes were bad enough to require patching, so a couple of months ago I cut some fabric from the back bottom ruffle of the couch (it sits against the wall) and patched the holes.  It looked nice, but did not last long.  I then realized that with the type of fabric this couch is made of and the amount of wear and tear it receives, that approach was a no-go.

I resorted to tucking an incredibly mismatched blanket over the injured cushion while I figured things out.  That looked REAL purdy.

Then I began searching online for solutions, knowing that some person smarter than me surely has fixed up a holey couch before--and if you do a Google image search for "diy couch repair" and similar phrases, some great ideas do pop up.  I found this idea, or something very similar, doing such a search, and meant to go back and link to it in my post, but I can't find it anymore!  Please tell me if you know where the original post is so I can give credit.  I am certainly thankful that someone shared it!

I don't have process photos, but this is so simple that none are needed:

1)  I had some no-pill fleece in a neutral green that blended with the couch.  I measured around the cushion (back to front), and subtracted several inches (fleece is stretchy and I wanted it snug) to get the length.  Then I measured across the cushion and subtracted an inch or two to get the width.  The width will shrink a bit after you stretch it onto the cushion, so cutting it the exact width of the cushion might be best if you want a lot of coverage.  I mostly needed to cover some holes in the middle.

2)  After cutting a length of fabric to these measurements, I folded it in half--right sides together, short ends together--and sewed up the short ends on my machine to make a band.  I didn't bother to hem the edges, because fleece does not fray.  I love fleece!

3)  Then I slipped the band onto my holey couch cushion!  It was just what we needed, so I made two more for the other cushions.  I had exactly the right amount of fabric to do this.  It was meant to be!  Now my couch seat cushions each have an easily removable protective fleece band that can be quickly machine washed and dried if needed.  And I'm sure it will be needed.

Ta-da!  It took about 15 minutes!

These covers will undoubtedly get rumpled and need straightening, but they still make me feel much better about this couch until we get our new one.  One reason we are waiting is that I see my children jumping, climbing, and generally wallowing all over this couch and can't bear to think of what they'll do to a new one.  The longer we keep this couch, the better off the new one will be.  And when we finally DO get our new couch, the first thing I am going to do is sew protective fleece bands for all the seat cushions.  I wish I'd had the foresight to do that for this couch.  If I had, it would look a LOT different right now.  Live and learn, I guess.

Do you have any favorite ways to make frequently used furniture last longer?  I would love to hear them!