5 simple steps to make your own cushion

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Make your own cushion - beaded cushion.

Cushions are a simple and effective way to inject colour and personality into your interiors.  They also make a beautiful personalised gift.  If you’re a bower bird like me and have a box full of ribbons, bits of fabric, odd buttons and sparkles, here’s a way you can put them to creative use.

Claire-Louise, renowned West End costumier who runs The ThriftyStitcher has kindly shared her 5 simple steps to making your own cushion.  She’s also giving 10% discount on all her classes (see end of blog for details).

The following steps will make a 33 cm square cushion cover.  You can adjust the pattern to any size you require.

Step 1 – Cutting it out – front
For the front part of the cushion, either make a paper template/pattern, or draw a 36 cm square directly onto your fabric. If you want to make several cushion covers, or match a pattern in your fabric then itʼs a good idea to make a paper template or pattern.

Make your own cushion - cushion pattern. This opens a new browser window.

Step 2 – Cutting it out – back

To cut the back section of your cushion- make a rectangle that is 36 cm high and 26 cm wide. 4 cm of the width forms an overlap.  This can be anything from 4 cm to almost the full width of the finished back section. Without the overlap the pad will poke out. Another 4 cm of the width forms the hem of the exposed back edges.

Step 3 – Personalising your cushion
Apply all the decoration to the front before attaching the front of the cushion to the back. This is the stage where you can get really creative.  Raid your fabric box, look for trims and ribbons, lace, buttons, anything to personalise your cushion.  If you have any clothes you’re about to throw out, think about using a portion of the fabric, the buttons, etc creating a design that’s full of memories, an heirloom.

Make your own cushion - treasured collectables.

Look through your collection of special finds & see what you can use.

Making your own cushions. With decorative embellishments. This opens a new browser window.

Making your own cushions. Adding your personalised decorative embellishments.

Step 4 – Hemming the 2 back sections
Turn up and press a 4 cm hem along the longest edges of your 2 back panels.  A machine stitched hem is alright for this, but on sheer or delicate fabrics then a hand sewn hem may be required. You can also add decoration onto the back sections, this must be done before making up the cushion.

Step 5 -Finishing touch
There’s a few steps here, but they’re all really easy…

Lay the 2 back sections over one another with the right sides facing down. Pin the centre line ensuring the 2 rectangles now make a 36 cm square.
Lay the front part of your cushion with the right side facing up.
Then lay the 2 pinned back sections on top of the front with the right sides together.
Pin around all 4 edges and machine together. Finish the raw edges with a zig zag.
Turn your new cushion through to the right side, taking care to make sure the corners are square.

Make your own cushion - pink & green cushions. This opens a new browser window.

Making your own cushions. Created from fabric remnants and trims.

Special Offer
If you feel you’d like to get some help, there’s help at hand as Claire-Louise regularly runs classes through her company The Thrifty Stitcher.  Not only do you receive expert help from an experienced theatrical costumier, she also includes a vast array of fabrics and trims to make your personalised cushion.

As a special offer to all my readers Claire-Louise is giving a 10% discount.  All you have to do is enter the code KARENHALLER when booking your place on any of her classes. Booking offer ends June 30th.

Enjoy getting inspired & creative!

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  1. Claire- louise Hardie on April 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Hey Karen,

    thanks for the opportunity to contribute to your delicious blog. I love how you’ve presented my guide to cushion making, fancy re-writing all my stuff.
    Am enjoying dipping into your blog, really beautifully presented, and I love all your tips.

    Lol cl x

  2. admin on April 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you Claire-Louise for contributing to my April newsletter. I feel very lucky to have a contribution from one of London’s top theatrical costumiers!

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