Introduction: $1 Fix for Saggy Couch Cushions

Picture of $1 Fix for Saggy Couch Cushions

With a needle, thread, a few buttons, and 15 minutes, you can convert your couch cushions from sagging, shapeless sacks to sculpted, snugly supports.

Here's how:

Step 1: Remove the Stuffing

Picture of Remove the Stuffing

Step 2: Thread a Needle

Picture of Thread a Needle

Stick thread through the eye of the needle.

Loop the thread and tie a knot, leaving yourself a foot or two of thread to work with.

Step 3: Sew the Cushion Together With Buttons

Picture of Sew the Cushion Together With Buttons

If you're unfamiliar with how to sew buttons, there are some good instructables (like this one).

I used four buttons to pinch my cushion together in two places. Depending on the size of your cushion and how firm you want it, you might use more or less.

Step 4: Stuff the Stuffing Back In

Picture of Stuff the Stuffing Back In

Step 5: Enjoy

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skiptoloo (author)2016-09-26

I have upholstered for 39 year, I would say skip the dental floss it will never hold up. It would be worth your time to buy some heavy button thread and a long needle.

Sfbayarea1123 (author)skiptoloo2017-06-21

My couch back pillows aren't removable! Can i still do this another way??

DonnaLRC (author)2017-05-29

Does anyone in this group know how to repair the arms that are supposed to be cushioned. Mine have become detached. Super glued - twice; a failure both times. how about a construction- type stapler (can I rent one?)

Or; those nail heads that my Grandma used to re-upholster her chair. Did they screw in?

Spritey01 (author)2016-06-26

That's a great idea. Any tips for the seat cushions?

DonnaLRC (author)Spritey012017-05-29

I bought replacement foam @ Joan Fabrics some years back. Buy when on sale - it matters! Keep it in the plastic bag - it holds up longer.

solobo (author)Spritey012016-06-27

You could try doing the same thing I suppose to tighten them up, but I don't have much experience with that (the cushions themselves were in pretty good shape on my couch).

solobo (author)2017-01-05


GeorgeHarris (author)2016-11-22

i must try this.

solobo (author)GeorgeHarris2016-11-22

let me know how it works out

Willowrainwter (author)2016-08-14

Tnx for the tip. I thought I was going to have two new armchairs.

Now I won't need too.

solobo (author)Willowrainwter2016-08-14

ha, great!

NancyM84 made it! (author)2016-08-02

It really took so little time! My cushions went from saggy to - well, see for yourself!

solobo (author)NancyM842016-08-02

Nice, thanks for posting!

LalaL6 (author)2016-06-21

My mom was an upholsterer, and when she wanted to be sure any sewing stayed in place, she used clear nylon thread. It's just like a thin fishing line, which you could use if you don't have the nylon sewing thread. And yes, those big, long needles are wonderful for a lot of work that needs done with upholstered furniture.

solobo (author)LalaL62016-06-21

good tip

LalaL6 (author)solobo2016-07-20


LesB (author)2016-07-08

Since one has the stuffing out, one could replace it with new stuffing of one's choice. This would of course up the cost, but might deliver some benefit for some.

mlaiuppa. (author)2016-07-01

If you have a longer needle you don't have to take the stuffing out. You can get long needles at sewing shops or upholstery supplies, even doll repair supplies. You can use intrinsic thread or button thread, which is thicker and can be found at sewing shops or dental floss. If you end up at upholstery shops for the needle they have a thick thread used for this purpose. Since you probably won't have matching fabric I'd just buy regular buttons but try to get large ones 1 inch or larger across. Make sure they are smooth.

fanofdory (author)2016-06-25

any tips for sagging leather couch?

solobo (author)fanofdory2016-06-26

I think you could do the same thing with leather?

theresaw (author)2016-06-23

Such a good idea! I've never felt compelled to make a comment until now. Thanks for a great write up! Headed to do mine now! :)

solobo (author)theresaw2016-06-23

thanks! if you have time to post a before/after picture, I'd love to see it.

stephanie.turner.798278 (author)2016-06-22

I think I understand, but I'm confused about "buttons you can cover"...and "put a heavy thread cover button with fabric" - that confused me. Can you clarify this please? Thank you.

mommadar (author)2016-06-22

If you get a long needle 8 or 10 inches long and some buttons you can cover Joann Fabric has them put a heavy thread cover button with fabric and put on thread and push thru the pillow and put button thru one side of thread and tie tight that is a lot easier

stephanie.turner.798278 (author)2016-06-22

I was going to try this, but then I realized that my cushions are attached to the back of the couch :o(.

Alas! JoyceD19 in the comments below had the same problem; I think there were some suggestions for handling that situation.

RobbieB4 (author)2016-06-22

Dental floss is an almost indestructible thread & would be much better used here than standard thread, would hold/last much longer!

jjnol (author)2016-06-21

PERFECT! I've seen buttons in cushions before and always just thought they were decorative. We have cushions very much like what you have in your photos and I'm constantly reshaping them because they get so squished.

I'm probably going to do a few more buttons more then two compression points because I NEVER want to have to reshape them again. I was going to get them re-stuffed with long lasting firm foam rubber (which I've done for the seat cushions which had the same problem) but now I'm going to to this.

It will be cheaper, faster, and as effective and still the back cushions will have more give then the harsh firm foam rubber.

Thanks, so simple but so effective.

solobo (author)jjnol2016-06-21

cool! post a before / after picture if you get a chance.

jjnol (author)solobo2016-06-22

Oh I totally will do. Going out today to see if I can find a good heavy duty needle and buttons that match the fabric. It will be a good project. Absolutely look for the before and afters. ;o)

HeatherH119 (author)2016-06-22

My cat uses top of my couch cushion as her permanent this is my solution..thank you for a great post! Now does anyone have suggestions for a couch that sags in middle? When we were at store the model didn't sag but after they delivered it we discovered ours did..long battle with sad resolution stuck with it now need a fix.

thundrepance (author)2016-06-22

FANTASTIC!! @ first, i thought that you had done it the difficult way ~ put the buttons on with the cushion still stuffed. this is perfect; it looks so GREAT! ☻

rnorton2 (author)2016-06-21

nice fix. effective and inexpensive and simple. win win win

Mikeable (author)2016-06-21

WTF!!! (Wow That's Fantastic)!

We have that SAME exact couch & that Same exact problem!!!

(for now... must stop on the way home to get buttons!!!)

solobo (author)Mikeable2016-06-21

nice! good luck!

jolshefsky (author)2016-06-21

I've seen buttons on furniture and thought it was just decorative. You have piqued my fetishistic form-follows-function philosophy. :)

solobo (author)jolshefsky2016-06-21

ha, yep, good philosophy.

ValerieJ13 (author)2016-06-21

Amazing - great idea!

solobo (author)ValerieJ132016-06-21


S189 (author)2016-06-21

What an excellent solution! That looks great, and most importantly, very easily doable.

solobo (author)S1892016-06-21


TheButterygoodness. (author)2016-06-21

Great idea! I am a sewer and might add some extra 'fresh stuffing' to cushions along with what you are already putting back. This will of course add to the 'expense' but a big bag of stuffing can be had for less than $10 at anyplace that sells fabric like Walmart. I would opt for either thread labeled and sold as 'upholstery thread' and a matching upholstery needle. Much sharper with a bigger hole especially if you need to do more than just a few cushions.

Cute buttons or contrasting colors can also add a 'decorators touch' for very little money using thrift store finds.

good tips!

craftslady1 (author)2016-06-21

If removing the stuffing first doesn't seem to be a good option, you can sometimes sew right through the whole cushion. Look for extra-long and -strong needles (sometimes called doll-making needles or canvas needles, they will be about 4 inches long) at the fabric store. Definitely use heavy-duty thread. Also select buttons with a metal shank on the back. Arrange the stuffing as evenly as possible and then mark the location of the buttons on both sides of the stuffed pillow. Simply PUSH the long needle through all layers, sew through the shank of one button, go back through all layers to go through the mark on the back and sew through the shank of the other button. Then pull the thread as tightly as you can; make several small stitches hidden under the last button and secure it with a knot.

solobo (author)craftslady12016-06-21

Good tip. I tried doing this initially, but ended up breaking the thread several times (I had a long needle but not extra-strong thread). Luckily, I had the option to take the stuffing out, sew, and replace, which ended up being much easier for me.

nancyCpants (author)2015-06-26

You can also put a kind of backing button on the inside of the cushion on the other side of each button, it helps keep the outside buttons secure and prevents the fabric tearing where the button is attached.

DirkStanford (author)nancyCpants2016-06-21

How explain more detail please?

You simply use 2 buttons; one front one back. It is a lot more stable, and makes the cushions reversible!!

solobo (author)kathy.stenner2016-06-21

cool, didn't know that

jig10 (author)2016-06-21

Genius! Just simple-y genius!

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