DIY // How to tuft/button your IKEA Karlstad cushions

oh hey love!

A few years back I had an idea to give my Ikea sofa a makeover. By adding stained tapered legs, a wooden frame, and tufted cushions.

Let’s just say, I still love this sofa nine years later.

xo, betty

Revamp your living space with a simple yet stylish tufted sofa cushion makeover. This DIY How to tuft/button your IKEA Karlstad cushions project is an easy and affordable way to update the look of your sofa and add a touch of elegance to your home decor. With a few basic tools and materials, you can transform your old and tired sofa cushions into brand new ones that look just like the expensive designer versions.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to make your own tufted sofa cushions, including tips and tricks to make the project go smoothly. So, let’s get started and give your sofa a fresh new look!

Our living room is enormous, and we have struggled with the layout since we moved in back in 2012. But after we purchased a new sofa, it’s starting to feel like a place you want to hang out in. I am not sure if you noticed, but we had a different sofa cover (Sivik Dark Gray from the Ikea Karlstad Series), but it made the room very masculine and dark. So, right before I added the buttons to my cushions, we went to Ikea and purchased the Isunda Gray covers.

I’ve always dreamed of owning a tufted sofa, but I did not want to spend $1000’s of dollars!!! Well, I didn’t have to, and I promise you that after you’ve watched my little video, you’ll be heading to the stores to gather all supplies needed for your sofa/couch transformation!

But, before I get started, here are a few images of our sectional before the transformation. I also added some images from our sectional with a new cover from comfort works.

A tufted cushion sofa can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to a living space. Additionally, adding new throw pillows or a coordinating blanket can also enhance the overall aesthetic. Another option is to paint or stain the wooden legs of the sofa to give it a fresh (How to taper Ikea Legs + Skirt tutorial), updated look. Overall, a tufted cushion sofa makeover can upgrade the feel and look of a living space by adding a new layer of visual interest and comfort.

Ok, let’s move on.

How to tuft/button your IKEA Karlstad cushions – SHOPPING LIST


Step 1.

Measure your cushion, then add some pins to place the buttons. Measure again and again. I placed my outside buttons 6 inches away from the top and the side piping, and the following buttons were 6-8 inches apart, depending on the size of the pillow.

Step 2.

Get everything ready; cut 84-twine strands approx. each 24 inches long.

Step 3.

Put on your favorite music, and let’s transform a sofa… (now, you may watch the video)

Be nice to me; it’s my first video (where I am talking) and far from perfect.

Enjoy, and please share your finished project on IG (tag @oheverythinghandmade) or Facebook.

in the shop

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    1. Hi Carmody, this sofa has become the most fun item in our house, our kids are all over it since we have changed the covers and tufted the cushions. It’s magical!!! Happy tufting if you decided to do it.

      1. have you been able to wash the slipcover since the tufting? That makes me nervous, with our chaos we’re washing our covers at least twice a month!

        1. Eryka, no we have our kids on it all the time and haven’t washed the covers yet. But, like I mentioned in a previous comment, you can simply cut the twine off behind the covers and retuft the cushions after washing. The buttons will be reusable no matter how often you take them off.

      2. Hello,

        Great idea! My question, is, where did you get the extra fabric for the buttons? was there extra fabric on the sofa when it arrived or did you have to purchase more fabric?


  1. What a pretty change to an Ikea sofa. I have camper cushions I need to re-tuft, how exactly did you tie the knot that you slid down to tighten the button in place?

          1. ISo inspirational, am finely going to tuft my sofa. Thanks so much for posting this tutorial. BTW, I could not find your rug on Overstock, : ( Lots of great geometrics, but not this one. You don’t happen to remember the name of it do you?

  2. Bettina, have you checked Antique Revival in Grapevine? Awhile ago, they had a table that sound similar to what you’re looking for. I don’t know if they still have it, but it might be worth a shot.

      1. They’re on Main Street; I’m sorry, I don’t have the phone # handy…I was going to post it in case you wanted to call first and save a drive over. Anyhow, loved the tutorial, and hope you find your table!

    1. Hi Nicole, glad you asked! I had a few other readers that were concerned about the same thing.
      This is what I think about (opinion from a mom of two little monkeys that are constantly jumping on the couch) not being able to wash my covers;
      • these covers are super easy to just clean with a damp rag
      • if it’s anything that may have dried on, it can be brushed off with a soft brush (my kids love crackers, and its all over there hands – sometimes even on the couch)
      • we had the couch nearly one year now, and only took one of the bottom cushions off.
      • you can also just cut the twine that was used to apply the buttons, wash them, and add the buttons to the cushions again.

      Its not permanent, you just have to be willing to do it!

      1. This is great! Thank you.
        Two questions- 1) you’ve washed the Islunda slip covers? Ikea indicates dry clean only. (I’ve washed plenty of prices of clothing that said dry clean only.) and 2) your buttons are the Islunda fabric? How do you get that? (I don’t want to make buttons; just curious.)

        Brilliant woman. Thank you!

        1. Kathleen, here are my answers.
          1. Yes, I washed the covers before (cold and gentle setting), and let them air dry. Worked great!
          2. We guarantee that each of our fabrics is the exact same you’ll receive at any Ikea store.

  3. Wow! That makes such a difference! We’re currently building an extension so I am drowning in sofa catalogues – this is a great plan, You can’t beat Ikea on price but your tufts make your sofa look individual and much more interesting. Thanks for the idea!

      1. Another place to try for more hip or modern funky options, plus regular, is Pretty Pegs. com
        It’s a European company. More pricey than Uncle Bob’s, but I found free shipping and a discount code. Also, it depends what look you are going for.

  4. Wow! That’s awesome! Thanks for the tutorial. Curious too, did you make your curtains? If so, can you point me in the direction of the fabric you used. Thanks. Very inspiring.

  5. This is absolutely brilliant. You are really creative. Although I loved the sofa the way it was but it looks more elegant with the tuft buttons. 🙂

  6. I want to do this! We have the beige karlstad sofa, and we are in the uk…. How might I get or make matching buttons?

  7. Hi Bettina, this looks great! I’ve heard the Karlstad cushions tend to sag and not hold up well…have you noticed a difference since tufting whether the cushions tend to look more full?

    1. We had our sofa for 1 year now, and my kids always sit on the cushions while watching a show on TV. The tufting is helping to prevent the cushions from sagging. Hope this helped, let me know if you like to see a current image of our cushions.

  8. I just finished my tufting project using your tutorial. It came out even better than I thought. I am so happy you shared this amazing project on your blog. Your home looks fantastic BTW.

  9. Hi! Good idea! Looks amazing! Can you also do it on the seat cushions? If so, and I have a 3 seat Karlstad – I need to order 6 (x8) right? I guess I wont need buttons on both sides of the seat cushions.

      1. Hi Madeleine, sorry I wasn’t able to reply sooner.
        You can absolutely add the buttons to the cushions, if you want to save some bucks use strong (metal buttons on the bottom). Let me know if you have any other questions.

        It really is your choice of style how many buttons to add. I would place some quarters to your cushions to see what style you like!

    1. Hi Ashley, sorry but we only have the brown with that same texture available. If you like I can add you to my waiting list with your fabric request and as soon as we add the color to our inventory I can email you. Simple let me know, I can see your email on my end through the comment you left.

      1. I was going to ask the same. Do you ship worldwide? If so, can you add me to the waiting list of Korndal Dark Grey as well?

          1. I would like to be added to the list as well for buttons in the Korndal dark gray fabric as well. Thank you!

  10. Hi! I recently bought the Karlstad corner sofa with the goal of taking on this tufting project. One thing that has me stumped is that you list 84 fabric covered buttons in your post, but it appears as though you have 8 buttons front and back on the five regular cushions and 6 on the smaller corner cushion…wouldn’t that mean I’d need 92 buttons for the whole project (46, front and back)? I’m just trying to figure out how much twine to order, and those extra 8 buttons make a big difference :). Thanks so much for the inspiration, hope mine turns out as great!

    1. Hi Amanda, I appreciate you asking about this.

      I used 16 buttons on the long pillows (8 buttons on each side) = 48 so far, then is used 12 buttons on the small pillows (6 buttons on each side) = 36 buttons, all together 84 buttons.

      This style is optional, you can also just tuft along the middle with 4 or 3 buttons.

      Hope this helped you, and should you have any other questions, please post them here.
      Thank you

      1. Oh, I see now! Thanks for your quick reply. I’ve only had the sofa for a couple of days and I had forgotten that two of the back cushions are longer than the others. Mystery solved! Much appreciated.

  11. where are you finding the KARLSTAD sofa for $300? The sofa pictured on Ikea’s website is over $1000.

  12. Hi,
    I was wondering where I could order the grey buttons? I tried looking them up in your shop but the page is “Not Found” are you still selling them?


  13. Hi Bettina! Question for you…I have 2 different slip covers for this couch. If I tufted for one, and didn’t tuft for the other (the dar grey which I can’t get button covers for) would the pillows be misshapen from being tufted if I did not tuft again? Thank you!

  14. OMG, I am gushing over here! We just got the Karlstad and we are definitely going to do this…well actually I think I am going to pay an upholster to do it:) But I will be buying the buttons from you:) Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

  15. Hi Bettina,
    I’m wondering if there were any noticeable marks from the needle or otherwise when you removed your button from the cushion, in case I ever wanted to go back to an unbuttoned style.
    Thanks so much!

  16. Pingback: 50+ IKEA Hacks
  17. Pretty cool. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    We recently purchased a IKEA Kivik, and I may do this to it some day.

  18. This is such a great idea! I would love to do this to give my sofa a little more style. Unfortunately, i do not have an Ikea sofa so i could not get the fabric covered button. Any idea what other button i could use? Thanks!

  19. This looks amazing! I would like to do this to our couch. But when I clicked on your link to purchase the buttons off Amazon, they are no longer available. Are you still selling them?

    1. We are currently taking a break from making buttons, due to the high volume we had over the past months. Once we start making them again we can send you an email. Thanks

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