DIY: Restuff An Old Papasan Cushion

papasan cushion restuff - before and after

When Joey and I first moved in together, we didn’t have much money to spend on furniture.  So instead of buying a couch for our living room, we bought a double papasan chair from Pier 1.  It started out great, and we felt so smart for all the money we saved, but over the years it’s been slowly falling apart.  We’ve already had to reinforce the frame once, and lately the cushion just gave up. We should probably just buy a new couch, but Joey graduates in just a few months, after which we plan to move to Oregon.  And I hate the idea of dragging a new couch across the country.  I thought about either buying or making a new cushion from scratch, but this weekend I decided to try opening it up and adding some new stuffing.  It worked beautifully and only took about half an hour from start to finish.  If you’re also suffering from a papasan cushion failure, here’s how I did it.

1.  First, I followed the seam until I found where the manufacturers had originally closed it.  Most cushions are sewn together with the insides facing out and a small opening left to invert it.  Once inverted and stuffed, this opening is then sewn flat creating a place on the seam with a visible lip.   This papasan cushion had two such places, but I chose the one where the tag had been, so I could get remove the leftover tag fabric left sandwiched between the cushion fabric.

papasan cushion restuffing tutorial 1

2.  Once you locate the spot, use a seam-ripper to gently remove the closing stitches.


3. I somehow managed to not get a shot of this part, but it’s pretty simple.  Just feel around on the cushion for anyplace that feels loose, grab a handful of stuffing, and shove your arm into the cushion to put that stuffing into that loose spot.  I went through two nearly full bags of stuffing  (I suggest Morning Glory Premium Polyester Fiberfil) before my papasan cushion started looking full and fluffy again.

morning glory premium polyester fiberfil

4.  Once your cushion is restuffed, pin the opening closed and handsew it shut.  You don’t have to worry about hiding your stitches to make it look pretty.  It just needs to be strong.

papasan cushion restuffing tutorial 2

5. And that’s it, you’re done.  Hopefully your new cushion will not only look 100 times better, but it’ll also be way more comfortable than before.

papasan cushion restuffing tutorial 3


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  1. thanks so much for this tutorial! i almost bought a new one but you saved me nearly $100!!!
    thanks a ton!

  2. How many bags would you recommend if I made my own cushion?

    • I don’t know exactly, but I’d think at least 5 or 6.

  3. Awesome tutorial thank you! I just got a free one for Christmas and the seat is so flat now. Can’t wait to refluff! Next: spray paint the frame then make a cute cover for the cushion ❤

    • I’m so glad you found it helpful! I’d love to see a picture of it finished with the spray painted frame.

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