DIY Bench Seat Cushion Cover Tutorial
Sometimes just getting started is the hardest part. Am I right? There is a project that I put off for years, much to the dismay of my patient husband. A cushion cover for a 9-foot long window seat in my office. It was very obviously naked for a long time. I originally envisioned a beautiful corded cushion cover with a zipper. That sounded nice, yes, but this baby is big, and quite frankly the thought of making it overwhelmed my brain. I was paralyzed. So, I came up with a way to make it easier, quicker, and less expensive. Following is my “Plan B”, and also for you, my DIY bench seat cushion cover tutorial.
I decided on a much easier shortcut, an elastic cushion cover. You know, like a fitted sheet for a bed. This simpler approach could build my confidence and most importantly, quiet the onlookers. 😉 So here you have it. The solution is not as fancy, but you can play with fun fabrics and add an assortment of pillows to enhance the look.
This type of cushion cover can be easily removed for washing, which makes it kid and dog-friendly. I think it looks great too! Someday when I get back to Plan A, I will let you know. Are you interested in learning how to sew a cushion cover for a bench? Okay then, let’s get started.
Make your own Bench Seat Cushion Cover
Here is what you will need to make a fitted cushion cover.
Sewing Materials Needed
(affiliate links above in blue)
Explore More Cushion Tutorials
Okay, back to the tutorial …
How much Fabric is Needed for the Bench Cushion Cover
See the drawing below to help you determine the total amount of fabric you need. Firstly, measure the width (A) and length (B) of the top surface of the cushion. In addition, measure the depth of your cushion. Take that number and multiply it by 2.5. (Depth in Inches x 2.5 = C) Add this number (C) to the measurements on all 4 sides around the rectangle. Now you are ready to add up the numbers that equal your fabric dimensions. Your fabric width will be C+A+C. The fabric length will be C+B+C. This will be in inches.
Shopping for Fabric
Next, the fun part; you need to find some fabric you love! When you are ready to shop, make sure to consider how often your seat cushion cover will get used and how much traffic it will get. A safe and reasonably priced option is mid-weight cotton. I found mine at Hobby Lobby, with a 40% coupon from their web site. As a result, it was very reasonably priced.
You can also buy fabrics at other shops, big and small, or online, I’ve listed some great options below.
Decorating Fabric and Batting Online Sources
Cutting the Fabric
Once you have the fabric home, first of all, you’ll want to pre-wash it. Either air dry or machine-dry, depending on how you will typically care for it. Above all, it is important to have any shrinkage happen before you start sewing because if you don’t the seat cushion cover may not fit properly after washing. Now cut the piece of fabric based on your measurements.
1 Lay your cut fabric down on your work surface with the right side down. Center the cushion on top of the cut fabric. With a straight edge or just eyeballing it.
2 Cut the corner square out/off of your fabric.
3 Next, cut the remaining 3 corners too.
Starting to Sew
Time to sew! Let’s do one corner at a time.
Making the Corner Pockets for the Cover
4 After cutting the “squares” out of each corner, fold each corner into itself by bringing the right sides of the fabric (newly cut edges) together. Now, pin and sew each of the 4 corners closed to create “pockets”. Trim each seam allowance down to 1/8″.
5 Time for a little bit of ironing. Make sure to set your iron to the correct heat for your fabric type. On each of the 4 corners, press the seam allowance to one side, from the right and wrong side of the fabric, to ensure the seam is laying nice and flat.
6 When you are done sewing and pressing each corner, insert each into your sewing machine, one at a time. From the outside/right side, sew closely to the gutter on top of the seam allowance to finish. Doesn’t that look nice? So professional. 😊
7 Insert your foam cushion in the cushion cover and lay it on your work surface upside down. We want to assure that all of the fabric tails on the bottom of the cushion are fairly equal. Sometimes they are already perfect, but if you are like me, they are always slightly off! Does this only happen to me?
8 Trim any sides that are uneven or unnecessarily long but don’t overdo it. We need some length to hold on to the cushion!
How to Sew in Elastic
9 Press a 1/4 inch fold under, all the way around the cover. Time for elastic. You’ll need to use a zigzag stitch because that will stretch with your elastic, not break as a straight stitch would. Set your machine to zigzag, and set the stitch length to 2.5mm. On the underside of the fabric, place the elastic over the raw edge of your fabric that you had folded and pressed earlier. The elastic will cover up and protect the raw edge so it does not fray as much over time. Pick a starting point. Stitch forward and back a short distance, to reinforce the stitch. As you sew on top of the elastic, pull the incoming elastic straight, as much as you can. Sew all the way around to your starting point. After that, sew back and forth over the spot you started to secure it again.
10 Nice work! Your cushion cover is ready!
Finding the Right Foam Insert
Next up, the foam cushion. This is where most of your cost will come in. They are kinda pricey, but the good news is you can recover and reuse them for years! There are many cushion options, but for this type of elastic cover, most importantly you will need something with a little more heft and weight to “hold” on to the cover without curling up and caving in. I am using a 4-inch depth piece of foam for my bench seat cushion cover, but I think 2- 3-inch depth would work also if the fabric is not too heavy.
Adding Batting to a Foam Cushion
Batting is optional, but it will soften the square edges of the cushion. Most importantly, it gives the finished cushion soft and smooth finished edges and improves the overall look.
You’ll need to cut the batting to fit and wrap around the foam, just on the top, front and back. In other words, you do not need to cover the bottom of the foam. I used my sewing scissors for this too and it worked great. After you have cut the batting to fit, smooth it and stretch it to fit over the cushion. It stretches and forms very easily. Secure it with a spray adhesive like Scotch Super 77 (affiliate link). This adhesive holds the batting in place, as a result, it’s much easier to put the cover on and everything is more secure when the cushion is in use. See the photos below for reference.
Finishing Up your Cushion Cover
You may want to do a final pressing of the cushion cover before you put it on the newly wrapped foam. It should be as easy as making a bed. Wa-La. Done!
I hope you enjoyed learning how to make a fitted cushion cover! Please let me know if you make one.☺️
For More Information
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