Introduction: DIY: Mock Tufting

Picture of DIY: Mock Tufting

This is an easy answer to an annoying problem: back cushions that get all slouchy and are scrunched down after someone gets up. It also gives plain cushions an updated, restyled look

Step 1: Measure and Mark

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The things you'll need to transform your cushions:
long, straight upholstery needle

Step 2: Measure and Mark

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First of all, fluff and distribute stuffing evenly within the cushion to be tufted. Next, measure and mark where you want your tufts to be on your cushion.

Step 3: Thread Needle

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Thread a pieice of 18" twine through the long needle.

Step 4: Twine Tufting Technique

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Holding one end of the twine, push needle through cushion at marked location and out through other side. Re-thread needle with the twine end from the front side of the cushion.

Step 5: The Key

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The key to NOT having your fabric pull too much is to re-thread the needle and push it through at a distance of approximately 1/2" at a diagonal from where you first insert was made.

Step 6: Pull

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Pull twine firmly, but not too tightly. You can see that the weave is pulled a little too tightly here. It needs to be loosened a little bit. Tie it off and cut excess twine off.

Step 7: Before

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This is the before shot of the cushions. They weren't bad but the tufting added some nice detail and the cushion innards stay put.


UncleMemester (author)2016-01-15

Awesome! Thank you!

pritika.16 (author)2014-09-29

Hi, thank you for your tutorial. Where did you get your tufting supplies?

Agroking (author)2011-01-31

Please make an 'ible about this!

k24tea (author)Agroking2011-08-25

Well, I would, but somehow I managed to delete my comment, so I don't recall just what it was now.... If I remember, I'll post it!

two-eight (author)2011-04-25

This looks great. And you just solved my problem.

artist without a medium (author)2009-05-05

I wonder can this be done to a sectional?...though the pillows are attached . I just hate sectionals.

BargainMomforLuke (author)2009-02-12

Love it! What a totally inexpensive way to update a boring couch. The tutorial is perfect!

egriff (author)2009-01-09

my only beef is, lack of pictures. I learn best with pictures or drawings.

mybrooklyn (author)2008-10-07

ca i do this to a leather couch? back and arms? they're both removable.

Miss World (author)2008-09-22

this is an awesome idea!

Thanks. It's SOOOO easy, and it looks fresh.

modhomeecteacher (author)2008-09-19

That sounds like a really good idea, especially with the way kid throw pillows everywhere. Thanks for commenting. Check out my other stuff at Curbly and I'll be a regular on Apartment Therapy-Chicago in a couple of weeks. :) ModHomeEcTeacher (shelly)

pauprint (author)2008-09-18

After cutting the twine, the ends of it stick outm right??? How 'bout, before cutting but after tying, you take the needle with one end of the twine inserted and push it back through one of the sewing holes, run it under the cover, through the stuffing for a couple of inches. Bring it back up through the fabric at this point and then cut it. If you pull it a little taut while cutting, the twine will pull back into the fabric/stuffing and you won't see the ends. Do the same thing with the other loose end. Makes the pillow neatly reversible.

If I need to flip these over, I'll push the threads back in. As I told Build O Matic, I'm almost ready to reupholster so I like trying easy makeovers. :)

Build-o-Matic (author)2008-09-18

Great idea! The only thing I would worry about is the string cutting through the fabric and just wrecking the cushions for good... That's why they usually put large fabric covered buttons on the front when they do this commercially. Buttons distribute the stress over a larger surface and prevent ripping.

I understand. I just decided I didn't want buttons on these. I have a commercial button covering machine.:) The loveseat is just about due to be reupholstered.

mrfoltz (author)2008-09-18

Great... It makes it look more expensive..... Can I borrow this ideal for when I make my really tall head board???

djbumrush (author)2008-09-12

This would be a great solution for my old couch. My only concern would be that it would become a problem to wash the cushion covers. Seems simple enough to cut off and redo if necessary though. My cushions are trapezoid shaped, so the box pattern might not look right, I'll have to look into staggered tufting.

You could easily re-do these with more lengths of twine. Trapezoid, as in the outsides angle to accomodate the arms of the couch? Even so, a symmetrical tufting would look fine. It's personal taste. Good Luck!

modhomeecteacher (author)2008-09-12

The only difference here is that I didn't use buttons when I tufted. When using buttons....well, I'll just do another tutorial. :)

canida (author)2008-09-11

That looks great, and totally easy! So if this is mock tufting, what how does it compare to "real" tufting?

modhomeecteacher (author)canida2008-09-11

Well, real button tufting obviously has buttons and one step further up the ladder is diamond tufting which I'm sure you've seen. This is simply putting a pull on the fabric to form the indentations, no real skill necessary. Ha! I have an entire book on tufting every which way, even what's called 'biscuit' tufting. :)

How different is button tufting from this? Do you just add a button? I am looking for a new couch and I HATE HATE HATE loose pillow backs because they eventually all squoosh down and look awful. It doesn't help that I've usually got a 10 pound cat on top of the cushion helping to speed the squooshing process. If I tufted the cushions from the beginning, do you think it might prevent the squooshing from ever happening? If so, it would really open up the shopping possibilities as I would be stuck with a formal granny-looking sofa.

aliceownsj00 (author)2008-09-12

oh it makes that couch look so pretty! This is a great idea, I will most definitely have to try this.

Thank you so much for your comment. It's about as easy to do as tying your shoes. ha!

hcold (author)2008-09-12

The photos in this Instructable are really well done, congratulations.

modhomeecteacher (author)hcold2008-09-12

Thank you so much. I just got a new camera but haven't figured it all out yet. I used my old Kodak Easy Share for these.

whiteoakart (author)2008-09-11

Yes! I am going to do this on the slumpy sofa in the basement.

About This Instructable




Bio: Furniture, fabric, architecture, building, painting. I specialize in upholstery design, restyling, repurposing and writing all about upholstery. I teach loads of upholstery classes all week ... More »
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