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


How to tuft Ikea Karlstad Sofa cushions

Today I like to show you how to tuft/button your Ikea Karlstad Sofa cushions. We changed the entire appearance of our sofa in only 20 minutes, and it made such a big impact to our sofa. 

Our living room is huge, and we have struggled with the layout since we first 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, 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 actually 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 did not want to spend $1000’s of dollars!!! Well, I didn’t have too, and I promise you after you’ve watched my little video, you’ll be heading to the stores to gather all supplies needed for your own sofa/couch transformation!

But, before I get started, here are a few shots of our sectional before the transformation…

Ikea karlstad cushion makeover - before Ikea karlstad cushion makeover - before 1 Ikea karlstad cushion makeover - before 2

I know, I know, we need a coffee table. I have been searching for a card catalog coffee table all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area but haven’t found one yet.

Ok, let’s move on.

How to tuft/button your IKEA Karlstad cushions


Step 1.

Measure your cushion, then add some pins where you’ll be placing the buttons. Measure again, and again. I placed my outside buttons 6 inches away from the top and the sides 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 very first video (where I am actually talking) and far from being perfect.

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


Tufted Ikea Karlstad Sofa Cushions


Tufted Ikea Karlstad Sofa cushions

Tufted Ikea Karlstad Sofa cushions 2


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  • Reply Carmody Tisdale August 29, 2014 at 6:26 am

    I have the same exact sofa. I had thought about tuft buttons to ours, Great tutorial.

    • Reply Bettina Johnson August 29, 2014 at 6:34 am

      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.

      • Reply Eryka February 7, 2015 at 3:01 pm

        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!

        • Reply Bettina Johnson February 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm

          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.

        • Reply Bettina Johnson February 7, 2015 at 3:36 pm

          I also use the stain remover from the honest company as soon as I see something on the cushions. Works pretty good!

      • Reply Tia June 7, 2015 at 11:32 am


        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?


        • Reply Michael October 29, 2015 at 7:35 am

          Oh yes! Where did you get the extra fabric? Is it just a match from the fabric store?

          • Bettina Johnson October 29, 2015 at 8:01 am

            Yes, we work with the original fabric as seen at IKEA.

  • Reply Megan @ Homemade Ginger August 29, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    This is absolutely brilliant!! Looks amazing.

  • Reply anneweaver1974 August 30, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    wow, those buttons have huge impact!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow that links to your tutorial:

    • Reply Bettina Johnson August 31, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for sharing the tutorial with your readers.

  • Reply Karen August 31, 2014 at 10:55 am

    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?

    • Reply Bettina Johnson August 31, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Karen please watch the video it will show you exactly how I tied the knot.

      • Reply Jessica September 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm

        I had a difficult time seeing exactly how you tied the knot in the video. Is there a knot name I can google?

        • Reply Bettina Johnson September 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

          I am pretty sure there is a name for the know, unfortunately I don’t know the name of it. Sorry I wasn’t able to help!

          • Sandy September 13, 2015 at 11:52 pm

            getting ready to re tuft a cushion for rocker glider use a slip knot d for fishing lures.

        • Reply srj January 19, 2015 at 10:47 pm

          If you google “upholstery slip not” you will find some video instructions!

          • srj January 19, 2015 at 10:48 pm

            Oops I meant “upholstery slip knot” haha

  • Reply Jen September 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Your living room is beautiful. Where did you get your curtains?

    • Reply Bettina Johnson September 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Jen, glad to hear you think so! The curtains I got from JcPenny while they had a sale last year.

      • Reply Amy_o September 15, 2014 at 9:01 am

        And absolutely love the rug! Where is this from?

        • Reply Bettina Johnson September 15, 2014 at 9:17 am

          Hi Amy, the rug is from (indoor/outdoor rug)

          • Barbara O September 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

            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?

          • Bettina Johnson September 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm

            Hi Barbara, did you order our buttons? Thanks!!!
            Here is the link for the rug, they have it in lots of sizes. We love ours, it’s so easy to clean.
            Overstock rug

  • Reply liz n. September 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    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.

    • Reply OhEverythingHandmade September 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Liz, no I have not been there yet, but I will make sure to go there tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing!

      • Reply liz n. September 4, 2014 at 9:00 pm

        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!

        • Reply Bettina Johnson September 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm

          That’s sweet of you, thank you! I will make sure to call them before I head out!

  • Reply Rhonda September 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Took a sometime sloppy look to tailored. GREAT JOB!

    • Reply Bettina Johnson September 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      I know how sloppy looking those cushions can get, and this tutorial will transform them, you won’t believe your eyes! And it is affordable!!! Glad you like the new look Rhonda.

  • Reply Nicole September 9, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    This looks lovely! A game changer for this couch. Thoughts on not being able to wash the covers now though?

    • Reply Bettina Johnson September 9, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      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!

      • Reply Kathleen Lawrence May 11, 2015 at 3:41 pm

        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!

        • Reply Bettina Johnson May 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm

          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.

  • Reply Sky Cloud September 14, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    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!

    • Reply Bettina Johnson September 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      We love our sofa sectional, its huge and super durable. Best purchase ever!

  • Reply MoniqueDC September 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Did you cover your own buttons? If so, from where on the sofa did you cannibalize the fabric? Curious to know

    • Reply Bettina Johnson September 19, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Yes, we sell the fabric covered button ready in our shop. We did not cannibalize our sofa for this. We work with Ikea to be able to provide this to our customers.

  • Reply Bron September 26, 2014 at 6:19 am

    You should change the legs now re. this tutorial as then it will look even more expensive! 🙂

    • Reply Bettina Johnson September 26, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Absolutely, I can only agree. We are working on that. Hope we can add them to the sofa after our vacation!

      • Reply Raele Ohana May 15, 2015 at 2:21 pm

        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.

  • Reply Porchea-Londone November 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I cannot wait to try this!! Thank you!!!!

  • Reply momb2 November 4, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    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.

    • Reply Bettina Johnson November 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      So happy to hear that you enjoyed the tutorial! The curtains are actually from JcPenny.

  • Reply jason November 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    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. 🙂

  • Reply Rachel November 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    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?

    • Reply Bettina Johnson November 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Glad we were able to help you! And thanks for your order!

  • Reply Matt December 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

    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?

    • Reply Bettina Johnson December 31, 2014 at 2:40 am

      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.

  • Reply Barbara January 6, 2015 at 10:49 am

    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.

    • Reply Bettina Johnson January 6, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Ahw, Thank you Barbara. I am so happy you gave it a try. I would love to see your finished sofa. If you could please share it with me on Facebook or Instagram by tagging me with @oheverythinghandmade.

      Thank you

  • Reply Madeleine January 10, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    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.

    • Reply Madeleine January 11, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Hope you can reply when you have the time, so I can order 🙂

      • Reply Bettina Johnson January 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

        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!

        • Reply Ashley January 11, 2015 at 1:43 pm

          Thank you! 🙂 Very helpful!

          • Ashley January 11, 2015 at 1:44 pm

            Haha – wrong conversation. Refering to the one under 😉

  • Reply Ashley January 11, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Is it possible to order in Korndal Dark Grey? Love it!

    • Reply Bettina Johnson January 11, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      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.

      • Reply Ane January 11, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        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?

        • Reply Bettina Johnson January 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm

          Ane, I will add you to the list as well.

          • Michelle January 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm

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

          • Bettina Johnson January 20, 2015 at 11:34 pm

            Added you Michelle!

  • Reply Miki January 21, 2015 at 12:15 am

    It worked!!! This is so awesome 🙂

  • Reply Amanda Aikman April 27, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    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!

    • Reply Bettina Johnson April 27, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      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

      • Reply Amanda Aikman April 27, 2015 at 3:12 pm

        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.

  • Reply heather June 11, 2015 at 7:42 am

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

  • Reply Lea August 2, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Hi, I just wanted to ask where you got the matching buttons from? This looks great.

  • Reply Laura September 12, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    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?


  • Reply Jen November 8, 2015 at 7:08 am

    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!

    • Reply Bettina Johnson December 13, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      The cushions are made of polyester fibers and should bounce back. This may not apply to cushions that are older than 5 years.

  • Reply Elinor December 15, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Omg this is so nice!

  • Reply Janelle Kay December 19, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    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!

    • Reply Bettina Johnson December 19, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and ordering our buttons. We love our karlstad cushion hack, I haven’t had any issues with the buttons ever since I first applied them 1 year ago.

  • Reply Kamila December 30, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    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!

    • Reply Bettina Johnson January 4, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Hi Kamila, there will be marks, but once you wash the covers and fluff the pillows they should fade away.
      Hope this helped!


  • Reply Mel January 17, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Where did you find your coffee table? Love it!

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    Pretty cool. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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

    • Reply Bettina Johnson August 8, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Would love to see the outcome, let me know if you need any guidance.

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    Hi, Nice article! I would like to purchase the pillow on the coach. Do you know where I can buy it?

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