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It's a Cushy Life -- Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Chair Cushions

Updated on January 28, 2012

Hardwood furniture is a beautiful addition to your home furnishings, but it isn’t always comfortable. Soften your seating with these instructions to make chair cushions that will match your table linens or continue your decorating color scheme.

You will need tracing paper, a pencil, a ruler or tape measure, straight pins, scissors, 1 inch thick foam pads and the fabric to cover the cushions. You will also need a sewing machine, thread to match your fabric and hand-sewing needles. You can use almost any kind of fabric, but cotton fabrics are the easiest for a novice to begin.

Making Your Pattern
1. Lay a sheet of tracing paper on the seat of the chair. Run the side of the pencil lead around the edge of the chair to mark the shape on the paper. You may also use tailor’s chalk for this.
2. Measure 1 1/8 inches outside the line you drew on the tracing paper. This will be your cutting line; it allows for the thickness of the foam and a 5/8-inch seam allowance. If you are using a thicker foam, add half the thickness to the seam allowance and measure that distance from your original line.

Making the Cover
1. Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together.
2. Pin the tracing paper to the fabric, taking care to pin all the way through both layers of material.
3. Cut the pattern and fabric on the outside line you drew on your pattern.
4. Remove the pattern, replacing the pins as you go, so that the fabric pieces remain joined with right sides together.
5. Machine-stitch the pieces together on three sides, using a 5/8-inch seam allowance.
6. Trim the seams closely and clip the corners to allow them to lay flat.
7. Turn the cover right-side out.

Assembling the Cushion
1. Insert the foam pad into the cover.
2. Fold the seam allowances at the opening to the inside of the cover and pin it closed.
3. Hand-stitch the remaining side of the cover closed.
4. Embellish your cushion with tassels at the corners, if desired. If the cushions are for visual appeal, rather than for sitting on, you may also embellish with buttons, appliqués, or embroidery to make them unique.

Add ties to hold the cushions on the chairs. Cut two strips of matching fabric, 2 1/2 inches wide by 18 1/2 inches long. Fold each one lengthwise, with the right sides together, and stitch along the long side and one short side. Turn each tie right side out and close the turning opening. Fold a strip in half and pin the fold inside the back of the cover, about 1/3 of the way across, before sewing the cover together; do the same with the other tie, about 2/3 of the way across.

If you put a zipper in the back seam of the cushion cover, you may remove them for laundering. You can also use hook-and-tab closures to make them removable.

With these instructions to make chair cushions, you can redecorate any time you want, for just pennies!


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