Hooked on Needles

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A Tutorial

Need a seat cushion quickly? Here's a very easy way to make a softer seat for a school room chair, or any other chair that needs a little extra cushion...

School Chair Seat CushionThis is one of the chairs I made cushions for recently. It is in my son's second grade classroom, and all 15 of the students' chairs received the same treatment as a surprise to his teacher.

So to start, I took no measurements and the only number I had to go by when purchasing my materials was the number of students! This was not a plan-ahead kind of project...it was very spur-of-the-moment! But it worked out great, so now I'll show you how I did it...

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A TutorialI figured 12 inch square cushions would be good for their little chairs so for 15 cushions, I purchased 2 2/3 yards of 24 inch wide 1 inch foam. This was enough for 16 cushions, and I had a 40% off coupon for this!

I also purchased 6 yards of flannel fabric, figuring 14 inches by width of fabric for each cushion. This fabric was already on sale 50% off!

Ribbon would be used to tie the cushions onto the chairs, so I bought 4 spools of grosgrain ribbon to match the cute monkey fabric I picked out. I wonder if the kids understood the relevance of the monkeys!

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A TutorialI cut the 6 yards of flannel into 14 inch strips. The way I figured 14 inches is 12 for the width of the cushion, 1/2 inch down each side of the cushion for another inch and 1/2 inch seam allowance on each side for another inch. If you want to make cushions like this, simply insert your measurement for the width of your cushion, add the thickness of the cushion and 1 inch for seam allowances.

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A TutorialThen I cut the foam into 12 inch squares. For 1 inch thick foam, I was able to use my rotary cutter, but anything thicker than that would require a craft knife or a serrated electric knife like what your mom used to use to carve the Thanksgiving turkey. Those are great for cutting thick foam!

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A TutorialThen I cut 4 lengths of ribbon for each cushion at 14 inches each. If I were to do this again, I would probably use a length of elastic in the front and in the back of the chair legs instead of ribbons around each leg, but as I said before, this was spur-of-the-moment planning totally on the fly!

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A TutorialI pinned the folded ribbons at the appropriate positions on each side of the fabric, then folded the fabric right sides together...

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A Tutorial...and re-pinned through both layers of fabric and the ribbon in between. If using elastic, you would use two whole lengths of elastic going from one side of the fabric to the other in positions that would make them go in front and behind the chair legs. Of course this depends on the type of chair you are making the cushion for, so you might have to be creative when it comes to the way you fasten the cushion onto the chair. But these are some ideas anyway.

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A TutorialAfter sewing up each side from fold to selvage, I turned the covers right side out over the foam pieces.

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A TutorialThen I tucked the extra fabric into the cover like an envelope so that they could be removed easily for washing.

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A TutorialHere's the stack of 15 where you can see the back side with the pockets...

Easy Seat Cushions ~ A Tutorial...and here's the same stack from the front where you can see the crease where the fabric was folded on the bolt.

So there you go...quick and easy seat cushions for a classroom full of little monkeys!

Editor's note: Before making chair pads like this using flannel and ribbon, you may want to read about the necessary remake of these pads which you can find HERE!

Happy Stitching!

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