Let’s face it: Our butts are not kind to our couch cushions. Over time, they leave an indelible and not-very-cute imprint in our favorite lazing and resting places, squishing and squashing our cushions’ once rebounding softness into flat, dented mushiness. But if you’re not quite ready to give up that couch or your favorite armchair, there’s an inexpensive DIY solution to make them look and feel comfy again.
How to make couch cushions plump again
For one of the easiest and least expensive ways to inject new life into furniture cushions that have seen better days, all you’ll need is some craft store Poly-fil (which is exactly what it sounds like: sturdy, mold-resistant, and resilient polyester filling), spray adhesive, and quilt batting. (Before you begin this project, make sure the cushions and seat backs have zippers to allow you to open them and get inside.)
For the seat backs: Unzip the seat back covers and grab a generous portion of Poly-fil—more than you think you’ll need. Begin stuffing the Poly-fil behind any foam or pillow inside, so the smoothness of the original foam will be front and center, supported by the less structured Poly-fil from the back. Be mindful to stuff Poly-fil far into the corners; if you have trouble reaching, you can fashion your own stuffing tool out of a ruler, remote control, or long-handled spoon covered with a wash cloth. (Hey, we said this was DIY.)
Stuff, stuff, and stuff some more, until you think there is no way the seat cover can accommodate another shred. (You’ll want it to look overstuffed at first, as the fibers will compress over time.)
For the cushions themselves: First remove the cover completely, and vacuum away any loose pieces of foam. (An optional step here is to spray the foam with all-purpose adhesive to help the quilt batting stay in place.) Wrap the foam in a few layers of quilt batting and, if possible, find assistance to help you slide the puffed-up cushions back into the cushion covers. Expect and welcome a tight fit that will require some elbow grease to maneuver.
An alternate, slightly more expensive option is to affix high-density 2-inch thick foam to the top of your existing cushions. Follow the same process above, but instead of wrapping the cushion in quilt batting, cut a piece of high-density foam to fit your cushion. Spray the existing foam pillow with the aerosol adhesive and attach the new, high-density foam to the top. Let dry according to the bottle instructions, then put your pumped up, 2-inch higher cushions back in their zippered seat covers. See here for a tutorial.
A note on supplies: While store-bought Poly-fil is already affordable (see this 5-pound box for just over $30), you can also check out thrift stores, garage sales, or your friend group, as many people find themselves with leftovers after completing a small project like this.