How To Repair A Recliner Cushion (AKA When Good Dogs Do Bad Things)

6 Materials
1 Hour

Our beloved pup, Oliver Sprout, decided that our favorite recliner would be a good spot to go on a scavenger hunt. After weeks of digging, a little at a time, we were left with holes and tears in the seat cushion. Not wanting to toss the comfy seating, we opted for a simple repair job. (More details photos on our post as they would not all fit here.)

This was the mess he made. Ironically, this was the only piece of furniture he ever touched. These seats are not removable but that didn't stop us!

We began by removing the seat cushion from the recliner. Because the cushion was actually attached to the chair, we had to lift the edges and cut the fabric to remove it. Be sure to cut as close to the seam as possible so that the cut lines are hidden when the cushion is placed back onto the chair. Once the cushion is removed, slide off the fabric that was covering it, leaving you with just the foam and matting of the cushion.

After years of use, the holes in the cushion weren't our only concern. We wanted to add a little more padding as well. For this we used a 1" sheet of foam. Simply set the foam cushion on top of the foam sheet and outline it with a sharpie.

Cut the foam along your sharpie line to create your new cushion topper.

Because we wanted to fill the holes, we wanted to make the most of the 1" foam we bought. Using our scissors we cut away the sections of the foam that were damaged, leaving a 1" deep pocket.

We then cut pieces of the 1" foam to fit inside the pockets we had cut. MORE DETAILS/PHOTOS HERE

Once the foam is in place, shape the edged of the new cushion top by cutting at an angle with scissors along corners and edges. This creates a rounded top that will look more natural under your new cover.

For the cover, we wrapped our 2 yards of fabric around the cushion from front to back. We then cut the fabric to frame the cushion by about an inch.

Now it was time to measure and cut the fabric for the sides. We measured the width (21") and the length (22") of the cushion for this. *ignore the 64" written in the middle! Then we measured the height of the cushion (4.5").

We then added 2" to each of those measurements (for stitching space) and cut our 4 sides out of the fabric.

Using the sewing machine, stitched the cushion cover together. We recommend testing the fit on the cushion after each line of stitching to ensure a good fit. We turned the cover and ironed the edges for nice creases. (Many more photos on site links provided.)

With one side open, we slipped the cover on and opted for hand stitching to close it.


Because we wanted a little extra pop of color, we chose to use a craft cover button kit to redo the buttons on the recliner to match the new cushion.

Resources for this project:
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Nancy at Craft Your Happiness
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • J-c26271151 J-c26271151 on Sep 11, 2018

    How do you fix a couch or chair when your cat uses it for a scratching post

  • Diana Jusino Downes Diana Jusino Downes on Sep 23, 2018

    How can I repair an ottoman with the top torn, same for arm rests on wing chairs?

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3 of 15 comments
  • N. G. Londonderry N. G. Londonderry on May 11, 2022

    Well done and good job!…..BUT your repair would have looked less obvious with more appropriate upholstery fabric instead of a thin cotton print. ( that’s what your fabric appears to be.)

    • Mamabear318 Mamabear318 9 hours ago

      My first thoughts. But good technique. Need to do this on my sons lazy boy. My plan is to take some of the undamaged parts and pair with new fabric to make pillows that will make it look more cohesive.

  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on May 11, 2022

    Thank you for sharing. My good dogs (Otis and Milo) are wonderful, but they sometimes do bad thing. 😄