DIY ModUpholstery: Mock Tufting

By: Modhomeecteacher Sep 06, 2008

created on: 09/06/08 

 The problem at hand was those annoying, yet luxurious, down-filled back cushions.  Everytime anyone would get up from the loveseat, the back cushions were smashed down, seams all askew.  My compulsive self had to walk over, re-fluff, straighten and then I could move on.

Don't the best solutions just come to you in the simplest of ideas??

My first thought was to make some covered buttons and pull those through the cushions to give a modern, symmetric button tufting look.  That is definitely an option.  After perusing the Mitchell Gold catalogue, I opted for mock tufting made by using upholstery twine to make mock tufts with symmetrical stitches. It's so easy!!!

Not only does the tufting freshen up the look of this loveseat, but it also solves the slouchy cushion insert problem.  Check out this tutorial for your own Mock Tufted Sofa/Loveseat Cushions. (You could also do this on the seat cushions to get an even more trendy look.) 

Note: After adding the stitches or buttons, you can't remove the cushion inserts unless you re-do the tufting after cleaning the cushion covers.

This is the loveseat with plain back cushions.  It's not bad, just a little bland.

created on: 09/06/08

What you need:

upholstery or other twine




long upholstery needle

What you do:

1. Gather your materials

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2.  Fluff and distribute the cushions stuffing evenly

3.  Measure and mark where you want your mock tufts to be placed

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4.  Thread long needle with upholstery twine

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5.  Pull twine through to back of cushion

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6.  Take a small diagonal stitch.  It needs to be diagonal so it will distribute the pull on the fabric weave.

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7.  Pull twine snug to make your desired tuft depth and tie a knot created on: 09/06/08

Notice how this pulls a bit on the weave. It needs to be loosened a little

8.  Snip off excess twine

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 There you go, clean,  updated cushions that will no longer slouch.

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That may work, but you'll have a little space between the covering and the tufted cushion forms. You could wrap the cushion forms in a dacron batting after you tuft the. That would fill out the cushion coverings.

I'm thinking to take the covers off and make the tufts in the inside stuffing only so it's sturdier, but doesn't look tufted on the outside. I don't think that the style of my couch (Tommy Bahama look) will look right if it's tufted. Has anyone else tried this?I may need to make a sturdy cover over the stuffing and make more tufts so they're not visible through the outside fabric.

Thanx so much I had no idea how to do this and find your pictures very helpful.Cant wait to try it!!

This is awesome! Do you have any guidelines for deciding where to put the tufts? My sectional has 7 cushions of different shapes and lengths and I'm not sure if they should all have the same spacing or if it needs to be different for each cushion. Thanks!

amazing!!!!!! i love this!!! THANKS YOU SOOOOO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS!!!! I PIN-ed this because it is just THAT amazing and i hope load of more ppl see it!! :) You have just saved my couch's life!!! lol

Great step-by-step instructions for a simple tuft. Thanks to this, also found another video that shows how-to with buttons -

I feel the same way about puffy cushions that sag or lose I know I'm not the only one, phew! ;)

Great step-by-step instructions for a simple tuft. Thanks to this, also found another video that shows how-to with buttons -

I feel the same way about puffy cushions that sag or lose I know I'm not the only one, phew! ;)

Love this!  I think I'm going to try it with my Ikea Karlstad Sofa.

Thanks for posting this, it's great! I'm on the lookout for a vintage couch of some kind, and I will keep this in mind if I come across good bones/bad cushions.


Thanks so much.  It's about the easiest thing to do.  I cut out circles to make covered buttons but I just didn't feel like making them.  If you wanted to, you could take fabric to an upholstery shop and they could make some heavy duty covered buttons for you.  between you and me, I have a sofa that has worse cushions too, but I've already featured that in another post.  These weren't that bad, but the detail helps break up the blahness of the back cushions.

I found this via Apartment Therapy and can't tell you how glad I am. I have sofa cushions that are much slouchier than your before picture and I'm going to try this and see if it helps...I LOVE the look, and maybe it will help curb my craving for a new sofa for a bit.

Thanks for putting this together! :)

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