Introduction: Reupholster Fitness Machine Cushion

About: I am a self taught average carpenter. I started doing carpentry for the first time in 2010. I have moved up to being a finish carpenter and installer. I am also self taught on Auto CAD and Adobe Illustrator…

This is an instructable on how to reupholster a fitness center cushion that is no longer pleasing to look at (and is cracking).


Staple Remover


New fabric

1/2" upholstery staples

Sewing Machine



First step is to remove the old fabric and the staples. I use the staple remover first and with any staples that do not come out, I used the pliers to pull out any little stubs left in.

Beware of the staples that don't fully come out as they are sharp and could cut/scratch your fingers if you accidently brush over them.

NOTE: Do not pull or rip the fabric off as you will need to use the old fabric as a template for cutting the new fabric that you will be putting on the cushion and you don't want any guesswork involved.


Next step is to separate the seems so you have each individual piece of fabric that will need to be sewn together.

This is needed to trace out the shape of the fabric for your existing cushion.

I use a "seam ripper" to take the seam apart. It generally works well.


now roll out the new fabric and place the old fabric on top. Often the old fabric maintains it's shape of the cushion and so it is important that the old fabric is sitting flat on the new fabric so that you get an accurate shape.

In some cases it is better to iron out the old fabric so it sits flat, however I did not want to try it on this as it is a vinyl fabric and I did not want any melting.

I am more than likely being over cautious on that, but that's just how I am. I'll test it out later.

Step 4: SEWING

Now comes the sewing of your cut pieces together. What I did for my cushion, was to sew the sides together so that I had a large circular piece that was sewn together and then I sewed it onto the flat top piece.

In order for this to work I made marks on the side and the top pieces so that they would align properly and while I was sewing, I was able to see that the pieces were not going askew from each other.

NOTE: Although it is probably very well know, it would be remiss of me to not at least mention that the fabric is sewn face to face. So when you are done, the cushion is inside out. Once sewing was completed, I cut slits in the outside of the corners so that when I turn it the right way around, the corners bend more easily and look better.


Now it is time to put the new fabric on. This should be fairly simple at this point, since the fabric is cut to fit. I put it around the cushion and then pulled lightly before stapling it onto the back of the cushion. Since this is vinyl material, it does not require and is, frankly, not that easy to stretch onto your cushion. I used 1/2" staples to staple it on.

As the original cushion had an extra head cover (that is more simple to replace than the entire cushion fabric) I also made one of those and attached it too.

At this point I have completed the Cushion.

Sew Fast Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Sew Fast Speed Challenge