Introduction: 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

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

Step 2: Measure and Mark

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

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

Step 4: Twine Tufting Technique

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

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

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

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.

Comments

author
UncleMemester made it!(author)2016-01-15

Awesome! Thank you!

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pritika.16 made it!(author)2014-09-29

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

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Agroking made it!(author)2011-01-31

Please make an 'ible about this!

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k24tea made it!(author)2011-08-25

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!

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two-eight made it!(author)2011-04-25

This looks great. And you just solved my problem.

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artist+without+a+medium made it!(author)2009-05-05

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

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BargainMomforLuke made it!(author)2009-02-12

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

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egriff made it!(author)2009-01-09

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

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mybrooklyn made it!(author)2008-10-07

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

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Miss+World made it!(author)2008-09-22

this is an awesome idea!

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modhomeecteacher made it!(author)2008-09-22

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

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modhomeecteacher made it!(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)

author
pauprint made it!(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.

author
modhomeecteacher made it!(author)2008-09-18

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. :)

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Build-o-Matic made it!(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.

author
modhomeecteacher made it!(author)2008-09-18

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.

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mrfoltz made it!(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???

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djbumrush made it!(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.

author
modhomeecteacher made it!(author)2008-09-12

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!

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modhomeecteacher made it!(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. :)

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canida made it!(author)2008-09-11

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

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modhomeecteacher made it!(author)2008-09-11

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. :)

author
compwalla made it!(author)2008-09-12

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.

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aliceownsj00 made it!(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.

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modhomeecteacher made it!(author)2008-09-12

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

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hcold made it!(author)2008-09-12

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

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modhomeecteacher made it!(author)2008-09-12

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.

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whiteoakart made it!(author)2008-09-11

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

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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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