Making the cushions for the bench is easy-peasy with just a few tips/warnings.
If you haven’t seen the first part of this mudroom bench DIY series, how to make the bench, click here!
For the second part of the series, making the shelves, click here!
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- Upholstery fabric – preferably waterproof or NOT dry-clean only. For this I perused the sale section of JoAnn’s Fabrics and found some reasonably priced fabric there. It can be crazy expensive, $24-32 a yard expensive, but if you just look at the sale rack and keep an eye on which colors have the best discount (each sale fabric has a colored sticker which coordinates to a % discount listed on a sign nearby) it doesn’t have to break the bank. I found my washable upholstery fabric for $4 a yard!
- Fabric scissors – if you sew at all or ever use fabric, invest in a nice pair of fabric scissors. They’ll save so much frustration – unless your frustration is that your small daughter keeps using your fabric scissors on cardboard and wood… in which case I can’t help you, nor can my mother.
- Batting – This is the money drain and I have absolutely no idea why it’s so expensive. I found some 1/2″ thick batting then doubled it up.
- Velcro with one half adhesive and the other sew on – This is how we’ll attach the cushions to the bench.
Step 1: Cut the Batting to Size
Cut your batting to fit your bench exactly. If you have an L or T ruler I recommend you use it for this to make your edges square. Also, if you have two cushions like I do, I recommend you label them – you wont be able to see the batting when you’re done anyway.
If you’re doubling up your batting, pin the two layers together while you measure and cut so they don’t slip around. Then once the pieces are cut out, baste the layers together in the 4 corners of your cushion, that way the pins don’t get left in when you put it in the casing! Ouch!!
Step 2: Calculating the size of your casing fabric (yeah, math.)
Measure the height of your batting, mine was about 1″ tall.
This is how to calculate the size you need to cut your fabric to. Another way to think about it:
Length = (length of batting) + (Thickness of batting) + (seam allowance X 2)
Width = (width of batting) + (Thickness of batting) + (seam allowance X 2)
I used a seam allowance of 5/8″ since that’s pretty standard with patterns. This made my equation:
Length = 29″ + 1″ + (5/8 x 2)
Length = 29″ + 1″ + 1.25″
Length + 31.25″
If you don’t add on the thickness of your batting or the seam allowance, your batting will get all bunched up inside the casing and the cushion will be too small.
Step 3: Cutting Out and Pinning the Casing
Once you get your fabric cut out, go ahead and pin them together.
Make sure you pin right sides together (put the pretty sides of the fabric together so only the ugly sides show) and if you’re not used to pinning for a sewing machine, take a look at how the pins are oriented in the pictures above – the head sticks out and the pin points toward the center of the fabric. Pinning this way makes it easier to pull pins out as you sew and less likely for your needle to hit a pin if you miss one.
In the second picture, notice how there are four pins at the edge closest to the camera, two sets of doubled-up pins. This is where we’ll leave a gap in the sewing to turn the cushion right-side-out and put the batting in. Doubling up pins is my favorite way to remind myself to STOP SEWING.
Step 4: Sewing Machine Sewing
Sew around the cushion, remembering to use the same seam allowance that you factored in earlier.
Step 5: Ironing
Turn the cushion casing right-side-out. Trim the corners as shown above, this will make the corners nice and sharp. Iron all of the edges down.
Step 6: Stuffing and Hand Sewing
Go ahead and stuff that cushion cover like a sausage!! Alternatively, like a taco – it’s easiest to fold the batting in half and shove it in that way.
To sew up the open edge, I used a ladder stitch. Squishy-Cute Designs does a wonderful tutorial on this!
Step 7: The Velcro
Throw those cushions onto the bench and see how they look! When you’re done admiring, peel up where you want your velcro to go (I did all four corners) and put a pin in it.
Just on the sewable side of the velcro, measure how long you want your pieces to be, mine were 2.5″, then cut the velcro up.
Whip stitch that bad boy on! Holiday Crafts and Creations has some great instructions for a whip stitch.
Lay the other half of the velcro on top of the side you sewed onto the cushion and cut it to size. From here, all you have to do is peel off the clear backing to the velcro and stick it to your bench!
If anything’s unclear or if you have comments/suggestions, don’t hesitate to comment below!