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Drag Up a Seat -- How to Make and Use Patterns and Directions for Large Floor Cushions and Pillows

Updated on April 12, 2012

Providing ample seating during a party can be problematic. With these instructions on how to make large floor cushions, however, you can solve the problem while adding decorative elements to your room. Cushions are also a quick and inexpensive way to redecorate your room without a lot of fuss and mess.

Fabrics and Equipment
Most fabrics will work well for large floor cushions, but some will hold up longer than others. Corduroy, poplin, denim, fleece and twill are especially suited to the purpose, as are fabrics designed for outdoor decorations. Satin and velvet make beautiful decorative cushions, but they will show wear more quickly than other fabrics.

For heavier fabrics, you may need a special presser foot for your sewing machine; check the owner’s manual to be sure.

Regular thread will work satisfactorily, but you may also use heavy-duty thread or monofilament line, if you choose.

Square or Rectangular Cushions

In addition to your fabric, you will need a tape measure, quilters’ pins, tailors’ chalk and a sewing machine for this project. You may fill your large floor cushion with fiberfill stuffing or with a piece of foam.

Fold the fabric so that the right sides are together. Pin the edges to keep the fabric from slipping.

Decide how large you want your final cushion to be. Measure and mark those dimensions on the wrong side of the fabric. If you are using fiberfill to stuff your cushion, mark a line 5/8-inch outside the original measurements. If you plan to use foam, add half the thickness of the foam shape plus 5/8-inch and mark it outside your original marks.

Cut through both fabric layers on the outside lines.

Pin the edges together and stitch around three sides, using 5/8-inch seam allowances and removing the pins as you go. If you will be using fiberfill, stitch the fourth side except for about 6 inches. If you are using foam, leave the fourth side open.

Trim the seams to 1/4-inch and cut the corners at a diagonal, taking care not to cut too close to the stitching. Turn the cover right side out and iron the seams lightly.

Fill the cover with stuffing to the firmness you like or insert the foam shape. Pin the opening together and hand-stitch it closed.

Round Cushions

For this project, you will need a pencil, some twine and large tracing paper sheets, in addition to the materials listed for the square large floor cushions. If you cannot find paper as large as you want the cushions to be, use muslin to make the pattern.

Decide how large you want the final circle to be and add 5/8-inch to the measurement. (If you are using foam, again, add half the thickness with the 5/8-inch.)

Measure a piece of twine to match half the diameter of your finished cushion, plus enough to tie around a pencil. Tie one end of the twine around the middle of your pencil.

Tape, pin, or hold the other end in the middle of the tracing paper or muslin. Stretch the twine straight and use the pencil to draw a circle on the pattern material.

Trim close to the circle if there is an excessive amount of paper or fabric outside the circle. Pin the pattern to the cushion fabric that you have folded with right sides together.

Cut out the cushion pieces. Remove the pattern and pin the cushion pieces together again.

Stitch around the circle with a 5/8-inch seam allowance, leaving an opening for turning and stuffing.

Trim the seams to 1/4-inch and turn the cover right side out.

Stuff the cushion and hand-stitch the opening closed.


The simplest embellishment is to attach a large button to the center of the large floor cushion, stitching through all of the layers.

You may also stitch through all the layers with six strands of embroidery floss or coordinating yarn and tying it in an overhand knot.

Add tassels to the corners of the cushions.

Fringe, pom-poms, or piping to the edges of the cushion add interest; add them by pinning the trim between the right sides of the fabric before stitching the pieces together.

You may also add beads, embroidery, or crewel designs to the surface, too.

These large floor cushions will provide comfortable seating for guests or a soft pillow for watching television while adding color and pizzazz to your decorating theme.


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