Kindles Killed the Couch

Im not going to say that it is all their fault, but it sure is mostly their fault. I mean how can it not be their fault?

Ok, here is the whole storey.

I never grew up in a home with any furnishings that did not come from an estate sale, a garage sale or a thrift store. Not complaining just stating facts here people. When I got out on my own I knew where to get furnishings for my new “adult” apartment. Boy did I love that 1960’s eight foot long couch in cream & gold, with coordinating teal and gold club chairs. I’m serious they were awesome and in great shape. It was obvious that the little old lady, who’s estate sale it was, never ate anything while sitting on them and probably didnt sit just floated above them. Then when I and my now husband moved in together we had wonderful hand-me-down furniture from his mother and my grandparents. Then down the road after marriage and three kids we exchanged previously used furniture for previously less used furniture as needed. Why buy new when you have two boys in diapers and potty training at the same time, lets face it there will be accidents…lots of accidents.

It wasn’t until after we had out third (and final) boy most of the way potty trained that we considered buying new. Really there was no “we” my husband has a million wonderful qualities but seeing a need to replacing things is not one of them. Basically, I desperately wanted to have a couch that didn’t have permanent stains and holes that had to be covered with strategically placed throws and pillows when guests stopped by. So started looking into what was available, affordable and washable. Remember there are three boys, a husband and a cat living in this house with me.

I decided on what we needed. Something with a low profile so as not to block the windows, nothing puffy that will look battered and deflated after a year of kids rolling on it and leather so messes can be wiped up with ease. I found a wonderful deal on exactly what we needed, a couch and a love seat that would fit perfectly in the living room. It was on sale too! So I called up Nana, my 80 year old 4’10” spit fire ally-in-mischief, and asked if she wanted to go shopping. She thought it was great fun and I felt so grown up and proud buying my first new set of furniture. It was everything I had hoped for…for 6 years.

During it’s last year my boys were given kindles by my mother-in-law, whom I truly love, and they reveled using them. Their friends had kindles too so any given day I could find my three boys and up to another four or five other kids happily playing with them on my couch. Did you know a couch does not like being sat, bounced or plopped on by eight or so butts off and on all day for a year. It gets tired. The couch develops wear such as in cracks. 2016-01-25 13.20.46

Comes to be that the couch is a compound leather and is fabric backed. I tried repairs but they didn’t last. I certainly didn’t want, nor could justify buying another set of furniture so I thought about it for a few months.

In December I received a sale/coupon flyer for the local fabric store. There were great deals for 40 to 60 % off fabric on top of their sale prices. So I went down to take a look, Nana in tow. As per usual I walked past all of the regular bolts of material and went straight to the clearance section. The first one I saw was perfect! Damask and in colors to coordinate with everything in our 100 year old craftsman bungalow. $29.99 marked down to $8.99 a yard and with my additional coupon and some quick math I was thrilled, I could get 8 yards for $38. Way cheaper than a new couch and Nana thought I was “such a cleaver girl”.

It took a week of pondering and cowardice before I got up the nerve to tear the cushions out so I could figure out how to do this. I have never reupholstered couch cushions in my life and if I screw this up I am not only out of a couch I just wasted $38 on fabric. YouTube is a wonderful thing! After some videos for research and a glass of courage(wine) I attempted the first of five cushions. No lie it took me all evening but it turned out perfectly. The next day since I had the hang of it I did the remaining four.

2016-01-25 13.11.14

Over the years wisdom has snuck into me despite all of my resistance and I ScotchGuarded the heck out of them. With luck they will survive another 6 years. Since I over bought on the material, not knowing what I’d need, there was enough to redo the side chair and the throw pillows. My dear friend and neighbor Cheryl came over and thought it was marvelous. She said she would be to scared to do it and I told her “I was terrified” but I know you can never do more than try your best and accept that you may fail. Goodness knows there are many failed fixits I’ve attempted but those are another storey for another time.

How I did it…

  1. Using an X-Acto knife I carefully cut through the stitching on the couch cushion so as to have the individual pieces that comprised the original cushion.
  2. With those pieces I got out my roll of brown paper and made a pattern. (In the past I have used wrapping paper for this purpose)2016-01-25 13.24.30
  3. I knew I would need two of each(side, front(back), top(bottom) to make an entire cushion.
  4. For sewing them together I made certain to find the center of the top(bottom) and the center of the front(back) so they would line up properly. marking the fabric with pins.
  5. With a seam guide marked on my machine, to keep me even throughout, I first sewed the front, back and side panels together.
  6. Carefully lining up the centers previously marked I next sewed the top on with reinforced seams.2016-01-25 14.07.12.jpg
  7. Turning inside out I repeated the process but purposely not sewing the back piece shut so the cushion could be inserted.
  8. This is where I realized I could put a zipper in but really didn’t want to…I know lazy
  9. Turning the cover right side out I could now wrestle the cushion into the new cover.
  10. I found that the corners were not as full as I wanted so I filled them with fiberfill.
  11. To close the cushion back I simply folded the seam inwards, and pinned them in place and hand stitched them shut.

For the chair it was similar but markedly easier. Take apart, make pattern, but them staple it on no sewing needed.

This precess I repeated 5 times and the finished project looked pretty good if I do say so myself.



  1. Very nice story. It reminds me of how my mother used to blame our dog and myself for “ruining” the couch. She claimed that because the dog and I had spent so much time together on the couch that the its original color had faded. I think she was just wanted to buy a new couch and was just looking for an excuse.

    Liked by 1 person

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