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Locking the cushions to the sofa???

loucarabasi | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi Everyone, This is my first post-I’m a FHB guy and decided to ask all of you a ?. I have twins boys 2 yrs old. They keep taking the cushions off the sofa, sliding them over to the tv on the wall and stacking them so they hang on the tv. So I would like to secure them to the sofa. Whats the best way to do this. I know when I was kid we had these clasp things on our sofa. Any ideas will help. I have some decent sewing skills. Hem pants, take things in and out, etc

Believe me we tried everything to keep these little buggers off and I’m tired of sitting on springs.

Please- No parenting advice( Thank you)

Thank you, Lou


  1. meg | | #1

    What about strips of velcro applied to the cushions? Have fun with your little ones!

    (I remember when my now 21-year-old son was 5. He wanted to see what made the comforter so puffy so he found my sewing scissors and cut it. Out came the down! The Lands' End customer service rep nearly wet her pants when I called to ask for some fabric to repair the hole....)

  2. rekha | | #2

    I would say watch, record and enjoy while it lasts as long as there are no safety issues.

    You'll blink and your boys will become menacing young men.

    p.s. what is FHB

    Edited 8/13/2008 7:19 am ET by rekha

  3. marymary | | #3

    Why not make the boys some large pillows of their own so that they don't have to take the cushions from the couch?  Even if you find something to secure the cushions, it is possible that they will do damage trying to remove them.

    We had a zabuton table full of zabutons (large pillows) when the girls were little.  They could pull them out and use whenever and for whatever they wanted.  They made great forts and tumbling mats, in addition to a soft surface for viewing TV.

    1. rodezzy | | #4

      Now that's a great idea.  Make them floor pillows of their own.  It should be fun. 

      Buy some large pillow forms instead of stuffing.  Cut two rectangles the same size as the pillow forms plus 1/2 inch for seam allowance.  Sew it on all three sides, slip in the pillow form, then whip stitch the open end.  Use sturdy cotton fabric, wash and dry it before working with it, so the pillows can be washed when needed.  Most pillow forms are washable.  Check labels for cleaning instructions.  Let the boys pick the fabric.  Make two for each boy.  Fun huh?

    2. rekha | | #7

      Ah, but they won't be the same.

      I remember a frustrating occasion when my daughter used to go to the childminder's. She always wanted to play with this particular toy and would part in tears. So I got her one, but she didn't touch it - it wasn't in the same context

      Edited 8/13/2008 2:57 pm ET by rekha

  4. sewelegant | | #5

    Since you do not wish any parenting advice?!?  I say go get yourself a recliner with permanent cushion attached, sit back and let 'em play... floor pillows would just make the fort bigger!  Two year olds will figure out how to undo anything you come up with to keep the couch cushions in place.  The good news is:  in a couple years they will lose interest.

  5. Teaf5 | | #6

    I agree with the others; two-year-olds are like raccoons and can unfasten anything, including cabinet child locks.  Fortunately, we had leather sofas with a single, attached seat cushion when we had toddlers.  (They couldn't remove the cushions but managed to destroy the sofa by jumping, playing, and running cars and trucks all over it; that's the sofa each took to college for their first apartment.)

    To secure the cushions, you can attach straps to the lower back edge of each cushion, then thread it back and under the bottom of the sofa frame, and then staple them to the wood. 

    First, you remove a few of the staples holding the dust cover onto the bottom of the sofa just behind where each strap will go.  Then sew a strap to each cushion, take the other end of the strap, and poke it through the gap.  Use a heavy-duty electric staple gun and a wide strap for each cushion.

    You won't be able to reverse or rearrange the cushions, though, and you probably shouldn't let the twins watch you turn the sofa over and back again!

    1. loucarabasi | | #11

      Thanx tea! For the good advice and they are like raccoons arent they. They are alot of fun and trying at times. I do like to get advice on parenting I just wanted to get an answer on my problem. If you have advice- brink it on. The wife and I just want to do the right thing. Atleast some of the time.


      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #13

        Lou, I do not have twins, but I had 3 girls, very close in age. Annie hit the nail on the head with what she wrote with her advice. I would like to add a couple of things to her list.
        Always be consistent.
        Try not to raise your voice, no matter how angry you are, the softer your voice is, the harder they actually have to listen to hear you, unless they are in danger. ( try it, it works!) A child only responds to only one out of 10 commands, so try to be patient.
        There is no such thing as a bad child, just a bad behavior or bad manners. Always praise the right choice or behavior when it is noticed, so often a child only hears what they do wrong.
        Say I love you to them at the end of every day, and as often as you can during the day.
        They are little for such a short sweet time, enjoy every minute of it. Cathy

        1. moira | | #14

          'A child only responds to only one out of 10 commands, so try to be patient.' I can't accept that as being OK - who gets to choose which of the ten he's going to respond to? I'd say, if you don't expect your child/ren to do what you say, then don't bother saying it. Otherwise you're only training them to be very selective in what they hear.I believe the most valuable thing you can give to your children is the love you and their mum have for each other. That's where they find their security - of course this will be contentious and for some folks, impossible. But to your children it's way up the list.And yes, enjoy every minute. Write down the funny bits - they'll make great reading when they're grown up!

          Edited 8/14/2008 8:31 pm ET by moira

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #15

            Studies have proven that statistically to be true. Children respond to only one out of 10 requests or commands given to them at a very young age. That is why a parent must be consistant and firm on rules and expectations from a young age. Patience is required because a parent has to repeat the request/command/instruction so many times. It is not a matter of the child choosing which of the 10 he/she responds to, it is the matter of having to repeat/insist 10 times. Getting louder with each request only increases the noise level, not the compliance level.

            I agree with your point about parents showing love and respect for each other to be important to children. Cathy

            Edited 8/14/2008 9:21 pm ET by ThreadKoe

          2. moira | | #17

            I can see what you're saying, and agree that the parent needs to repeat or insist where the child doesn't obey, and you're right about volume and noise levels - but I do think the onus is on the parent to make sure that what he/she says is heard and attended to. Many times things are said with no expectation that the child will pay heed, and that's where the child learns to hear what he wants to hear.All this from some settee cushions! Lou, are you still following this thread? As far as that's concerned, I'd let them play with the cushions at certain times, but they need to know when that time ends. No need to come up with sewn-on contraptions to make them do what you ask! (I've 4 grown-up kids so I'm speaking from some experience. Cushions make wonderful houses and castles and hidey-holes - let them enjoy them!)Lou, you are still reading! You sound like a pretty good dad and husband and it's lovely to hear someone being receptive to others' advice instead of 'knowing it all'. Mind you, nobody knows your children like you do, so remember that!Here's a link that might give you some interesting reading on family life.http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/bio.html

            Edited 8/15/2008 5:07 am ET by moira

          3. loucarabasi | | #18

            Moira, I just want to raise my kids the best I can- I can be a typical guy sometimes but when it comes to my boys I have no problem being humble and asking for advice.

            thanks Lou C

            Heres a picture of the men in question

            Luke left, Matthew on right

            may need to resize (dont know how to do) sorry

          4. rodezzy | | #19

            Two handsome young man.

          5. MaryinColorado | | #28

            They are handsome and healthy looking!  Thanks for sharing the photos of your precious miracles. I did licensed childcare and taught preschool in my home.   It seemed the children responded to visual cues much quicker than verbal.  I didn't want to constantly say "no" all day so we mostly redirected thier attention to other things.  With routine and repitition and lots of laughter, we had such fun.  (6 preschoolers from 6 am to 6-9pm five days a week.)  Field trips in the winter were rough with all those snow suits and boots.  We taught them to swim too.  Six years later I went back to school and became a nurse, which was much easier but not as much fun! 

            There were eight years between my children, so I had a built in "mothers helper" which really made my life easier.  You might look for an older child in the neighborhood or through Girlscouts/Boyscouts who could wear the boys out a bit for you.  My 17 yr. old grandson is a camp councellor for younger kids during the summer through the local rec center.  Someone like that might be available during the school year.   Mary

  6. damascusannie | | #8


    My first post was parenting advice (I'm afraid I totally missed the request not to post it) so I've deleted it. Please accept my apologies. I am afraid that all of us who'vev been there, done that, feel the same way about the subject and that we aren't going to be much help to you. I'm in the final years of raising seven kids, all very close in age and including a set of twins and I just took the couch cushions back from them when we wanted to use the couch.

    I do second the suggestion that you get some cushions for the kids to play with and teach them which ones are theirs. Children (even little oens) are trainable and like to have things that are theirs and theirs alone, especially twins, who are often expected to share everything.

    1. rekha | | #9

      You can't isolate parenting issues from the current issue.

      Common sense says either put the offending items, in this case cushions, in storage till the twins are a little older, or join in the play with the children and alleviate the angst.

      Edited 8/14/2008 2:56 am ET by rekha

    2. loucarabasi | | #10

      Annie, Ok I'll take your advice on parenting (you have seven kids and set of twins) then bring it on!!!  What advice can you give us on raising twins?

      Thanks Lou

      1. damascusannie | | #12

        Encourage creative play. Get them "toys" that stimulate their imaginations. At this age, cardboard boxes, blankets or sheets, blocks, trucks and cars, baby dolls , stuffed animals. They want to make noise, so make some noisy toys that won't drive you nuts--a handful of beans in a cottage cheese container with the lid taped on with duct tape is pretty good and it can double as a drum. Give them some rubber spatulas to use for drumsticks. Train your ear to recognize good noise, bad noise (loud thuds are almost always bad) and the ominous silence that means they've just attempted to load a cookie in the DVD player. Noisy kids are usually not getting into trouble, it's when they get unnaturally quiet that you've got a problem! Let them help you with simple chores. Have a cleaning song (we used the one from "Barney"). Teach them that when mom and dad want to watch TV, that it's time for the couch cushions to go back on the couch and play with something else. Be ready for them to protest loudly and teach them that that's not acceptable behavior. Rough house sometimes: be the elephant they ride, run through the house as airplanes, roll on the floor. Kick a ball around in the backyard. Get them a sandbox, and some clothes that they can get REALLY dirty in. A kid should be able to make a mud-pie without it becoming an international incident. We had play clothes and good clothes and the kids knew the difference.Read to them every day. They'll love Dr. Suess because of the nonsense words. Mercer Mayer is also great. Don't expect them to listen through a whole book at first. However, this is the time to begin teaching them to sit quietly, so when they start fidgeting, tell them to sit still and read just a little further, then let them go play again. Gradually, they'll learn to sit for longer periods. Never forget that your kids are individuals, not clones. Avoid calling your children "the twins" when you talk about them, use their names to reinforce the fact that they are not two halves of one whole, but rather two distinct individuals. Buy them different clothes. We sometimes dressed the girls alike when they were babies and for holidays I often sewed matching outfits for the whole shebang, but after they got to the age of about three, we were usually pretty careful to dress them completely differently from each other. Sometimes they liked to dress alike, but we always let them choose. Put away the fragile things that you don't want them to break. It's only for a little while and if you don't, you'll go nuts trying to protect your stuff from their curious fingers. Leave out a few unbreakable things that don't matter much and teach them to leave them alone They need to respect other people's belongings. If you can, make sure they take a nap every day. They won't want to, you'll have to be firm, but they absolutely need it. I let the kids watch "Mr. Rogers" after lunch and then laid them down. The routine never varied and there were very few arguments from them, ever, it was just part of the daily routine. They need this time of peace and quiet as much as you do and if they don't get it, they'll be cranky, hyper monsters in the evening simply because they are over-tired and running on adrenaline just to keep going. If they aren't getting an afternoon nap, then plan to put them to bed early in the evening. My niece's son goes to bed by 6, because he doesn't get a nap during the day, and he sleeps until 6 or 7 the next morning. Learn to let some of the housework slide when YOU are tired and cranky. The dishes and the dust and that basket of laundry are NOT an international environmental crisis, no matter what your mother might think. If it bothers her, she should be helping you, not pointing fingers.Be alert for the signs of maturity that will let you know when it's time for new rules or dropping old ones. When they are six, they can still play with the cushions, but should know to put them back when they are finished with the game. A two-year-old shouldn't pour his own milk on his cereal, but an eight-year-old can. Give them chores to do. Even at age two, they can learn to put away their toys with help from you.If you can afford it, get a sitter once a week and go out with your spouse and do a "grown-up" thing together, like you did before you became parents. You need this time together when you can hold an uninterrupted conversation. Decide TOGETHER how you are going to discipline your kids. If you disagree with how your spouse is handling something, discuss it where the kids can't hear you. If they get the idea that you two aren't on the same page, they will quickly learn to divide and conquer. Any time they ask you about something, be sure to consult with your spouse before answering. Always ask "What did Mom say?" and then CONFIRM that she really said it! While it might not seem like a big deal for your kid to have a cookie, it IS if Mom has said, "No more cookies today, because you were naughty." Never forget that your role is to be their PARENT, not their friend. This means making tough, unpopular decisions at times. Don't get rattled the first time one of them says, "I HATE YOU!" First of all, he doesn't. Second, at that point in time, you most likely aren't feeling too fond of the kid, so why shouldn't he feel the same way about you? I can remember actually saying to one of my kids after such an outburst, "Really. Well, what an interesting coincidence, because while I still love you, I don't much like you right now, either!" I'm pretty sure you won't find that in any parenting books, but it let my daughter know that I couldn't be manipulated that way. My girlfriend burst into tears the first time her son said, "I hate you" to her and he's made her life a misery ever since, because at that point he knew that she was so insecure that she wouldn't risk losing his "love." He's now a lazy, disrespectful, obnoxious teenager. His mother keeps hinting that my husband should hire him, to teach him how to work, but Jeff won't do it--he can't afford to have someone like that on the crew. What they have raised is someone who will probably never hold down a decent job because he won't take orders from anyone. Above all, enjoy your children, laugh at the funny things they do, let them "help" whenever you can, and discipline them with firmness tempered by love. They really will grow up much, much faster than you can imagine. Annie in Wisconsin, USA
        ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
        ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
        See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannieEdited 8/14/2008 10:58 am by damascusannieEdited 8/14/2008 11:00 am by damascusannieEdited 8/14/2008 11:04 am by damascusannieEdited 8/14/2008 11:12 am by damascusannieEdited 8/14/2008 11:18 am by damascusannie

        Edited 8/14/2008 11:19 am by damascusannie

        1. loucarabasi | | #16

          Thanks Annie, Pretty good advice. I'll foreard it over to the wife. We've had some curve balls thrown at us over the last few years. When my wife was 28 weeks pregnant with the boys she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. She declined treatment til the boys were born (amazing women)The docs decided to deliver the boys at 35 weeks and start treatment right away. Matthew took the high road and Luke took the low road, He was in the nicu in bad shape,but by the grace of god He pulled through with no problems. My wife(Steph) never complained about her sickness.She  has been clear for about 1 1/2 years now(no real reason to return) and now life goes on and we put that in the past and look ahead. I do worry about her stress levels on accasion. I dont want it to trigger anything. I worry but I cant let her know- If she see's me worry then she'll worry (you know us guys). Your advice is appreciated! Hope you don't mind me asking ?'s in the future about the boys.

          Thanks again, Lou C

          Keep us in your prayers

          1. damascusannie | | #20

            WHOA!! You all went through a really tough time. Our twins were born at 30 weeks so I know all about the NICU. One of our twins is at about the same stage in her battle with Hodgkins as your wife is. Karen is doing great, with no reason to believe that the cancer will recur. I cannot imagine going through chemo while your babies are in intensive care. Give Steph a big hug from a mom who survived raising twins, and tell her to hang in there!BTW--your troubles are just starting! The girls are gonna be busting down the doors to get at those handsome boys in a few years! Annie in Wisconsin, USA
            ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
            ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
            See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie

            Edited 8/15/2008 10:44 am by damascusannie

          2. loucarabasi | | #23

            Whoa, back at you! We will Keep Karen in our prayers. Steph said thanks for the hug.


          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #21

            Hey Lou, my prayers are with you. My girls were all 32 wk gestation, and a drunk driver tried to wipe my husband and two oldest girls off the face of the earth when they were 4 & 5. I understand the stress and worry you are going through. Nothing seems so precious as that as what was almost lost. The one thing that the psychologists said that was a great comfort to me was that my children and husband were secure in the knowledge that they were loved unconditionally, and that home was safe. Despite the upheavals, stress, pain, insecurity of finances and everything else that was thrown at us, they felt loved, secure and safe. Is that not the best that can be provided for anyone? From the pic you provided, it looks like you are certainly on the right path, they are beautiful, God Bless, Cathy

            Edited 8/15/2008 11:39 am ET by ThreadKoe

          4. loucarabasi | | #22

            Thanks Cathy, I worry constantly about my family being safe. My wife says I need to calm down! We struggled for 7 years to get pregnant and now its here !!! A priest asked me one time (who can you describe the love you have for your boys). I said "you know when you start dating someone and you get those butterflies? With my boys it never goes away. I'm really not a sappy guy,its just when I talk family it comes out.

            Its a funny thing when you go through all this stuff, That some out there is having it worse. You have to count your blessings.


          5. MaryinColorado | | #27

            God bless you and your family!  May the miracles last a lifetime!  You sound like a wonderful loving family.  Mary

        2. MaryinColorado | | #26

          Excellent advice!  We loved those same books!  Also the Serendipity books.  I still give them as gifts decades later. 

          An older neighborhood or friends child is often alot of help for young parents.

          When my daughter was about 8, my friend would have her "practice babysit" so she could work in her large garden and have some time doing what she loved without constant distraction.  Another friend took her along on vacations to help with the younger kids. 

          My grand daughter loves babies and toddlers, when she was too young to babysit, she loved going to neighbors homes and playing with their little ones.  She'd also read to them.  The parents appreciated her help so much, they'd take her out with them to dinner, buy her little gifts, and invite her to family functions, have her help with parties, etc.  When  she got older, they had the "perfect" babysitter, all trained in thier routine and rules. 

          1. damascusannie | | #29

            Your grand daughter sounds like my youngest. When she was about 5, we "lost" her at church. After scouring the building, I stopped and thought, "If I were Rachel, where would I be?" Ding! In the crying room with the babies--and sure enough there she was. She can't wait for one of her married sister to provide her with a niece or nephew to babysit.

          2. MaryinColorado | | #30

            That's a new one, instead of the future grandparents putting preassure on a couple to have children, it's the future auntie. 

            Allie is always in demand for babysitting.  She'd be quite wealthy if we weren't so particular who she sits for and when.  I imagine she will lose interest soon as she just started high school and there are so many activities and the boys are already circling....oh dear, the grandkids grow up fast too! 

          3. damascusannie | | #31

            Rachel would love to babysit more, but there just aren't any little kids in our rural area, and the one family that does have them has grandparents close by and they just take them there. Annie

  7. Susan -homedecsewing | | #24

    I think you could hand sew 2 ten inch long ties to the bottom corners of each cushion. then the same to the sofa in the same spots. Use a curved upholstery needle to attach. Hope this helps. Susan

  8. MaryinColorado | | #25

    Twin 2 year old boys!!!  Whew!  Have fun keeping up with them!  Soon they will be onto a new adventure and the couch cushions will be forgotten.  Enjoy this special time.  We tried everything with ours, what seemed to work the best was buying them special cushions or sleeping bags or mini quilts that were just for them.  (Bean bag chairs are fun until they leak all over. 

    I have a large heavy round coffee table that turns round like a merry go round.  I bought special cushions so the kids could sit at it to play games.  One day my grandson was laying on it with his legs locked at the edges while the other grandson pushed him round.  After years of raising kids, I didn't see that one coming.  Everything has "jungle gym" potential, but they learn through play, right? 

    We put special bolts in the third floor windows when our son was growing up for safety so they would only open a few inches.  When our son was about 8, he took them off and climbed out the window, walked in the back door several times and back up the stairs before and repeated it several times before I realized what he was up to.  Sometimes just keeping them safe and healthy is a full time job!  Mary

  9. ellaluna | | #32

    Hi Lou,

    Not to get back on topic (lol) but what I would do is buy D-rings, snap hooks (like these: http://www.createforless.com/Blumenthal+Strapworks+Swivel+Snap+Hook+1+Black/pid4604.aspx), and webbing (the kind you see used for tote bag straps, you can buy it at most fabric stores).

    Then I'd thread some webbing through the snap hooks and staple it to the frame of the couch at the back; thread webbing through the D-rings and sew them to the cushions (I would probably use 2 per cushion, one on each side) and use that to clip the cushions to the couch.

    Although the spring hooks are pretty easy to unclip, the snap hooks I linked to above are tough for ME to work, so I would hope they could deter 2-year-old hands!

    Good luck!

  10. MaryinColorado | | #33

    I have some concerns about the safety of putting straps on things, kids stick their heads through things and could choke.  That's why so many bunk beds and mini blinds, etc have been redesigned and recalled.  Please remember safety first! 

    1. loucarabasi | | #34

      Hi Mary, Thank you for your comments- I decided to leave the cushions alone and just deal with it. In the mean time they forgot about the cushions and did move onto something else. I'm coming here for more parenting advice. I am humbled when it comes to raising the boys- We just wanna try and do whats right. We do notice that all these little quirks (will soon pass).

      Keep the faith, Lou

      Thanks everyone

      1. tourist | | #35

        Going back to the idea that small children only respond to one in ten instructions. I work with one year olds, so essentially have one year old quadruplets during my work day. (Gosh - am I ready to go back to work after my summer holiday? That sounds scary! *LOL*) Anyway, if you listen to yourself talk to small children you will find that you are giving instructions, making requests and such pretty much non-stop. "Come here, don't touch, time to clean up, be nice, no hitting/biting/grabbing, time for lunch/bed/a diaper." If someone spoke to me that way, I would probably only respond to one in ten as well:-) I suppose the trick is to find ten ways to say the instruction you really want done at the moment and just keep saying it until the message gets through!I am on the side of giving them their own cushions to play with and make the couch cushions a super-deluxe treat for "special" days. Since you choose what is "special" it could be rainy days, or Thursdays or whenever you decide you need a break. :-) And to go along with the safety thing - do be sure you TV is anchored and un-tippable. Enjoy those boys. They are adorable!

      2. MaryinColorado | | #36

        I pray for health and happiness in your life, enjoy your blessings!  Mary

      3. damascusannie | | #37

        Lou wrote: I decided to leave the cushions alone and just deal with it. In the mean time they forgot about the cushions and did move onto something else. LOL! Of course they did! They're two! I TOTALLY forgot to mention the REALLY short attention spans and how quickly they lose interest in things at that age. One day, their whole world is focused on couch cushions, the next it's like couch cushions don't exist. Hope you've had a great weekend.Blessings!

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