“Sad Couch” pillow makeover


The couch in our den has been in need of a face-lift for a long time. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love to lounge on it, but hate to look at it! We bought this couch 3 years ago at a consignment shop. It was in immaculate condition. Someone actually custom ordered this sofa at some point. The invoice and swatches were still attached under the cushions. The shape and the fabric are nice, but it had terrible southwest style pillows for the back cushions. Yuck. I could see past that. I knew this was a great snuggling couch. It is really deep and can accommodate several people. The problem with it? It just looked sad. Sad Couch has terrible pillows.  They make Sad Couch look… well, sad….like someone just didn’t care and  gave it the worst fabric ever!!!!  Well, I was going to take it home and give it a re-do.

With this sofa being in our family room and having bought all new furniture for the living room, this project got pushed to the side. After all, guests did not HAVE to see Sad Couch, they could sit on pretty new furniture in the living room! I am ashamed to say that it has taken 3 years to get it done. That’s not tooooo long, right? What about using fabric for this project that I bought to use for drapes that never got made….. 5 houses ago? Yes, that is 5 entire houses ago!

Since the ugly pillows were still in great shape, I just wanted to do what I call envelope covers. I’m sure there is probably a technical term for them, but I don’t know it! I have made many of these over the years. They are great for seasonal or holiday pillows. These are a budget friendly way to get a new look, and they can be done in just a few minutes.
Anyway,  here goes!

Measure the width and height of your pillow. Make sure that you loosely place your tape over the pillow. You must account for the pillow fatness in your measuring, otherwise it will never fit.


Take notice of the original fabric….. Imagine 6 of these huge cushions all together! Not so pretty!


Do the math…ugh
Width measurement × 2 + 2= fabric width

Height measurement × 2 + 6 = fabric length

Measure and cut your fabric.

You should have long pieces of fabric just a little wider than the pillow itself.


Hem the short ends of your fabric.  Be sure to go from edge to edge.
Iron hems flat.

With right sides together,  fold one side over 6 inches. Then fold the other side until you get an overall measurement of your pillow height + 1.5 inches.



Make sure at this point that your short flap is inside and the long flap is outside.


Pin along the unfinished sides.

Sew both sides from end to end making sure to back-stitch. I usually sew pillow seams twice to strengthen them. My family is pretty rough on the throw pillows!


Turn the cover inside out. Iron.




See how it makes a nice little envelope for your pillow?!?

Insert your pillows! That’s it.

The second part of this project involved digging out these old pillows I already had. When I bought these, they didn’t have enough stuffing in them. They were just kind of flat.  I used stuffing I already had.  I opened them up and filled them full! 

It only took me 3 years and 2 hours to re-do the couch…. not bad huh?!? I’m gonna have to do better than that with future deadlines! 

Though it is not perfect, and it never got fabric picked out exclusively for it, I think it has lost its status as sad couch! Yay!!!!



I am a work at home mom. I have three great kids, Macie 18, Trent 15, and the newest addition to our family is Layna, who is a whole 6 months old! I love to stay home and take care or my kids, The Hubs and my home! I sew and craft and create to stay sane! My mind is a constant blur of a million projects!
This entry was posted in Crafts, decorating, DIY, fabric, recycling, repurposing, Sewing, throw pillows, Tooksberry, Tutorials and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Sad Couch” pillow makeover

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    Happy smiley couch now. I too call them envelope covers and use them on the Cushions (pillows) in my home in the UK. Lovely make over!

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