Keep the cushion in place with a few decorator's tricks.

How to Keep Cushions From Sliding Off Chairs

by Linda Erlam

The cushions on a chair are the jewelry in the decor plan, and it is very annoying when they do not stay in their designated places. Leather chairs seem to repel cushions despite the best efforts to place the cushions “just so.” Keep the cushions in place by adopting a few decorator's tricks; all you need is a bit of ingenuity and some basic sewing skills to conquer this decor dilemma.

Create a Flat Bottom

Remove the filler from the cushion and turn the cushion inside out. If you must open a seam to remove the filler, open the seam on the bottom of the cushion -- this is the seam that would normally sit against the chair seat.

Lay the cushion flat with the bottom seam toward you.

Place a mark 2 inches to the right of the bottom left corner along the bottom seam. Place a mark 2 inches to the left of the bottom right-hand corner along the bottom seam.

Grasp the bottom left-hand corner and align it to the mark 2 inches to the right by swinging the tip down and then to the right. You have created a triangular-shaped fold; the tip of the triangle is aligned to the mark, and the base of the fold has become the bottom left-hand edge of the cushion.

Stitch through the tip of the corner into the 2-inch mark on the seam. Take several stitches; enough to secure the sewing. Knot the thread and cut off the excess. Make the same fold on the bottom right-hand corner and stitch that fold in place.

Turn the cushion right side out. Insert the filler through the opening. Sew the opening closed by machine or by hand, or by whatever method already exists. The bottom of the cushion is now flat and will sit firmly on the chair.

Add Gripper Shelf Liner

Remove the filler from the cushion.

Cut one piece of gripper fabric 1 inch wide and 2 inches shorter than the width of the cushion.

Hand-sew the gripper fabric to the bottom edge of the back side of the cushion.

Replace the filler and close the opening as required.

Add a Weight Insert

Cut two pieces of lightweight fabric, such as broadcloth, 3 inches wide and equal in length to the width of the cushion less 2 inches.

Sew around the perimeter of the weight insert, with right sides together, with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn the weight insert right side out.

Fill the weight insert with dry beans, wheat or dry rice. Sew the opening closed.

Open the bottom seam of the cushion and insert the weight insert. Arrange it to lie flat along the cushion seam. Close the cushion seam as applicable.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure
  • Fabric marking pencil
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Gripper shelf liner
  • Broadcloth scrap for the weight insert
  • Weight insert filler


  • For particularly slippery cushions, sew the gripper fabric to a newly formed flat bottom and add a weight insert.
  • Gripper fabric is an open-weave product, also called shelf liner, available by the yard in fabric stores, or by the piece in hardware or RV supply stores. Use the open-weave type for better grip.

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images