This is sponsored content from Lewis & Sheron Textiles
For months, I have been aching to re-do my dining room chairs. The rush weave, while very lovely in a natural, earthy way, were not the most comfortable. Just a few minutes in the seat, and you’re shifting around uncomfortably, the backs of your legs deeply lined from the cords digging into your skin.
Originally, the plan was to completely recover the seats, but as the hubs and I settled into our new home, the more they started to grow on me. I also began developing a taste for layering textures, which is ultimately how I decided to create a fluffy cushion in a soft, ultrasuede fabric. The look I was going for was simple and clean, but with a hint a glam (read tufting). I wanted them to be overstuffed, sink-in-your-seat comfy, encouraging guests to kick back and stay for a while.
There were several pros to making these cushions myself. For one, the size and shape of my chairs made it nearly impossible to find the perfectly tailored fit I wanted. Also, the mass-produced store-bought cushions all felt so cheap. They were thin and floppy, and the fabrics were lack-luster. I decided to scope out the inventory at my favorite source for quality textiles, Lewis & Sheron, and they quickly sent me some samples so I could find the perfect shade of neutral. When my bolt arrived, the fabric seemed to cascade off the roll. It felt so smooth, almost creamy, and I knew I’d made the right choice.
Of course, making your own chair cushions can take some time, mostly because you have to make several of them at once. But once you get into a rhythm, it goes pretty quickly. The finished product was better than I could have imagined. They’re truly one-of-a-kind; the sort of thing you’d find in a high-end custom-decorated home.
- High-quality fabric (I estimate about a yard per cushion, depending on the size of your chairs. I had about 6 yards total, just in case I made mistakes, which I did. I used just about all 6 yards.)
- Matching thread (tip: match your thread using one string from the spool, not the entire spool.)
- 1.5″ thick foam
- Supreme Poly-Fil (This gives the cushions the down-like sinkability. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby, and used about 2.5 bags for 4 cushions.)
- Quilt Batting (This softens the sharp angles from the foam from being detectable through the fabric)
- Cover Button kits (I used 7/8″ buttons, 8 per cushion– 4 in front and 4 on back.)
- Poster Board
- Tracing Paper
- Sewing Machine
- Straight pins
- Safety pin
- Sharp serrated knife or electric carving knife
- Large needle
- Ruler or tape measure
- Using your actual chair seat as a pattern, trace the outline on a large piece of poster board. Cut it out.
- Using the poster board cut-out, trace the same outline onto a piece of tracing paper. Measure 1 inch out from your traced line and lightly sketch your seat shape, so your tracing paper pattern is one inch larger than your seat on all sides. The 1-inch measure allows for a 1/2″ seam allowance and room for the foam and stuffing. Cut out your tracing paper stencil and fold it in half lengthwise. Reserve the poster board stencil for later.
- Fold your fabric, right sides facing in, and line up your tracing paper so that its fold runs along the same line as the fold in your fabric. This ensures your seat cushions are symmetrical on both sides. Cut out your fabric around your tracing paper pattern. Each cushion requires 2 of these cut-outs, so repeat this step for each cushion you’re planning to make. For 4 cushions, I had 8 cut-outs.
- Pin 2 pieces of your fabric together, right sides facing in, and sew a straight seam along the outer edge of 3 sides, leaving the back edge (the edge where you will eventually put your ties) open.
- For tailored corners, bring the two side seams together at each corner to create a triangle. Sew a straight line across one inch down from the top.
- Turn your cushion right side out and iron out any wrinkles, focusing especially on the seams so they lay flat. Set aside.
- Using tracing paper, cut out a strip measuring 2″ by 24.” This will be the pattern for your ties.
- Pin the strip pattern to your fabric and cut out. Repeat this, 4 per cushion.
- Fold both edges of your fabric ties in toward the center lengthwise, like bias tape. Fold again in half, and iron the ties flat using the highest setting safe for your fabric. Sew a straight seam down the open side of your ties. Tie one end of each tie into a knot. Set ties aside.
- Using your poster board stencil, roughly sketch the shape of your cushions on the foam. Cut out each shape using a serrated bread knife or electric carving knife. It’s okay if the edges are rough, you won’t be able to tell when they’re stuffed inside the cushion.
- Wrap the foam in the quilt batting, trimming off any excess.
- Insert the batting-covered foam into the open edge of your cushion and maneuver it until it fits perfectly. I had to trim the top and sides of my foam to make it a perfect fit.
- Stuff the poly-fill between your foam and the batting until your cushion has just the right amount of cushiness. Tuck the raw edges of the fabric on the open edge under, then pin folds together to close up the cushion. Insert ties where you want them to go (with the knotted ends facing out), and pin in place, as well. Sew the opening shut, using a straight seam.
- Prepare your cover buttons according to package directions. Measure where you’d like them to go, and lightly mark on your cushion with a pencil. Repeat this on the opposite side of the cushion using the same measurements.
- Thread your needle using heavy-duty nylon thread, and push it through one of your pencil marks, making sure it comes out though the mirroring pencil mark on the opposite side, leaving a tail of thread behind. Run the needle-end through the loop of your cover button, then re-thread it through the cushion, as close to the pencil mark as possible. Knot the thread on the side without the button, pulling as tightly as possible to create a tuft. Use the long tail on the non-buttoned side of the cushion to tie on another cover button, securing tightly with double knots. cut threads and tuck any loose ends under the botton. Your cushions are now reversible! Repeat this process for each covered button (I did a diamond-pattern, 4 per side, per cushion).
- Tie cushions onto your chairs, step back, and admire your handiwork!
Best of all, since the cushions are removable, I can change them out seasonly or depending on my mood. Perhaps my next project will involve one of these…