How To Make Cushions
Cushions can add a touch of comfort to even the hardest of wood furniture. Learn to make your own cushions!
Cushions can add a touch of comfort to even the hardest of wood furniture. Today there are cushions for dining table chairs, patio chairs, benches, boats, and much more. Basically there are two kinds of cushions that can be easily be made at home. One is called the knife edge type which is thick at the center and tapered at the edges. The other is the box edged cushion which has a uniform thickness throughout the cushion. Both of these cushions come in various sized thickness to fit with all types of situations. The knife edge type cushions are used for many things from throw pillows and sofa back cushions to huge pillow beds. Box edged cushions are used as seat and back cushions for dining furniture, rocking chairs, patio furniture, window seats, hope chest lid covers, seat cushions for sofas, desk chair pads and much, much more.
If you know how to sew, cushions are simple to make. Knife edge cushions are usually filled with a central single piece of foam that occasionally will have loose foam pieces on either side while box cushions have one or more fitted single piece of foam inside. One of the nice things about making your own cushions is that you can pick a fabric that will compliment the room colors you have chosen to decorate with.
To begin you will need to decide the size cushions you are making. To do this measure the area that the cushion will cover. For long areas, decide if you will use one or more cushions to cover the area. After all the measurements are taken you will want to add two to three inches to each measurement. When all your measurements are totaled you will know approximately how many yards of fabric you will need to make your cushions. You can also buy a pattern for cushions and purchase your fabric according to the directions. If you are working without a pattern, you will need to decide how thick your cushions will be. It is easier to make this decision if you are looking at the foam cushion pieces.
When covering a knife edge foam cushion you will need to cut two pieces of fabric the dimensions of the foam. Next, stitch piping completely around one piece of the fabric 1\2 inch from the edges. Piping can be purchased at a fabric store but will need to be covered with the fabric you have chosen to match your cushions before you attach it to the cushion cover. With right sides facing, you will then need to stitch a seam 1\2 inch from the edges all the way around but leaving one side open. Be sure the piped piece is on top and slightly round your corners as you sew the piping on and sew the two pieces together so it fits the shape of the cushion. Clip the sharp pointed edges of the the fabric off and turn the cushion cover right side out. Press the cover with an iron and then insert the foam cushion. Since it is much easier to slip the foam cushion in and out of the cover when you wash it, you might want to make a light weight inner cover of plain, light weight fabric. The open area can be closed with a slip stitch or if you prefer you can add a zipper.
A rectangular box edged cushion is made by cutting two pieces of fabric the dimensions of the top of the foam and adding one half the size of the cushion's depth. With this type of cushion you will need a zipper in the open side and it should be sewn in first. Leaving the zipper open, sew the two pieces together starting at one end of the zipper placket and ending at the other. When the foam has been inserted, pin the corners to fit snug and then remove the foam. Sew the area you have pinned and clip off the excess fabric. Turn the cover right side out and insert the foam. When you are using loose filling the cushion can be made any size or shape you would like. It is best to contain the filling in a light weight fabric inner cover that is stitched on all four sides. Then simply slip this inside the cushion cover. Loose filling can consist of foam, down, feathers, polyester or kapok.
Chair backs and seats that tie at the edges can be made by pinning the ties in the corners before you stitch your cushion cover together. You can cover the piping by using long strips of fabric folded over the piping and pinned prior to sewing. For a fluffier cushion seat or back you can sew small bags of loose filling the size of your cushion and insert them in the top of the seat or front of the back piece. These can be tacked in areas to give them a quilted appearance or you can cover your own buttons and attach them for a more finished appearance. Large cushions, such as those you would toss on the floor for casual sitting, can be made using loose filling as well. Larger cushions, like most loose filled cushions, will need an inner cover in which to place the loose filling. The outer cushion can be made with the corners square and should be about 1\2 inch to 1 inch smaller than the inner cushion. This type of cushion is wonderful for a child's room or den where family members might lounge around watching television.
When you already have existing cushions such as chair seats and backs or even sofa cushions, you can easily change the cushion color or fabric and cover wear by simply re-covering them with a newly made cushion cover. For sofas and love seats you will want to match the fabrics if possible. When this is not possible bring fabric samples home until you find one that fits into the color scheme of your room.