How to Make a Futon Cover

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Pencil or pen

  • Paper

  • Scissors

  • Needles and thread

  • Straight pins or tape

  • Sewing machine (if you are not going to do the sewing by hand)

  • Fasteners such as snaps or “hook and loop” fasteners

  • Material in your choice of style, fabric, and color


If you know how to put in a zipper, you may choose that as your fastener.

If you decide to insert elastic banding around the edges of the fabric, you will need to make your cover slightly larger to accommodate the elastic banding so that the cover will not continually slip off of the futon.

“Hook-and-loop” fasteners may be your best bet for attaching the fabric to the mattress. Most of them come with “peel-and-stick” backing on both pieces, making placement of the fasteners very easy. Once they are fastened into place with the sticky backing, you can always anchor them more firmly with a few stitches through the middle or on either end of the pieces, if you wish.


Be careful when using pins, scissors, and needles. They are sharp, and can cause injury. Diabetics and other persons who have diminished sensitivity in their fingertips should be especially careful, as an injury can occur and they may be unaware of it until they see the blood or (eventually) feel the pain.

If you are using a sewing machine, use care around the moving parts. The idea is to sew fabric, not skin, hair or other objects.

You have a perfectly good futon that you would like to use as an extra couch and bed. The only problem is the cover on the mattress is stained, torn, or just hopelessly out of date. With some material and a few simple sewing techniques, you can bring that futon out of hiding and back into circulation. And, if someone wants to think you've bought a new one, let him or her. Only you need to know otherwise. Read on to learn how to make a futon cover.


Step 1

Take your mattress off of the futon, and lay it in the middle of the floor. Make sure you can get to all four sides of the mattress.

Step 2

Using your measuring tape, measure the length of the mattress first. Record your figures.

Step 3

Measure the width of the mattress next. Record your figures.

Step 4

Now, measure the height (or thickness, as it is known as) of the mattress.


Step 5

Convert your measurements from inches to yards. Remember that 36 inches equals one yard.

Step 6

Using your converted measurements, purchase the amount of fabric you will need, as well as the needles and thread, and the fasteners you have decided to use for the project.

Step 7

Wash the fabric before you begin sewing. This will "set" the colors, as well as prevent the completed cover from shrinking. Make sure you follow correct washing procedures for the type of fabric you are using. Allow the fabric to dry thoroughly.


Step 8

Lay the fabric out on the floor (design down—if it has a design). You may wish to put a sheet, blanket or other type of protection down first. Smooth it out, and make sure it is lying completely flat.

Step 9

Put the futon mattress on top of the fabric, making sure all four sides are an equal distance from the edges of the fabric. Use your measuring tape to be certain.

Step 10

Fold the fabric over, and pin or tape it to the mattress. Don't be stingy with the pins or tape, because you will be flipping the mattress over to check for fit.


Step 11

Fold the fabric over the corners, and pin or tape the folds securely. You will want the corners to remain fastened together when you remove the fabric to sew it and attach the fasteners.

Step 12

Flip the mattress over; make sure the material is stretched tight enough to eliminate any bagging, sagging or wrinkling, but not so tight that the fasteners will not hold when the futon is in its upright position. If necessary, flex the mattress a few times, and make any adjustments that may be necessary.

Step 13

Once you are satisfied with the fit, flip the mattress back over, and mark the places where the fasteners will be attached. See Tips section for more information.


Step 14

Remove the cover, and either hand-sew or machine-stitch the corner folds. Remember to leave a "pocket" so that the corners of the cover can be fitted over the corners of the mattress. Also, if you are using elastic banding around the edge of the fabric, now is the time to insert that into the cover.

Step 15

Attach your fasteners, using your marks as the guides for placement. Follow any instructions that come with the type of fasteners you are using.

Step 16

Put your completed cover on the mattress, put the mattress back on the futon frame, and enjoy your "new" futon.