Elastic fitted cushion cover for bench seat tutorial

DIY Bench Seat Cushion Cover Tutorial


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.

DIY bench seat fabric cushion by window

I decided on a much easier shortcut, an elastic cushion cover. You know, like a fitted sheet for a bed? I thought this simpler approach may build my confidence and most importantly, quiet the onlookers. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 kind 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.

Make your own Bench Seat Cushion Cover

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 …


Foam Cushion, 1 to 5 inches deep
Flat Elastic 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch wide
Matching Thread
A Sewing Machine

Sewing Pins

Straight Edge or Ruler

(affiliate links above)

Related Tutorials on Bloom

Click Here  or  Click Here

Here are 2 other cushion cover tutorials on my site you may want to check out!

Okay, now back to the tutorial …

Calculate the Amount of Fabric Needed for the Bench Cushion Cover

Back to our regularly scheduled programming! 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.

Drawing Instructions to sew a DIY bench seat cushion cover

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.

Fabric and Batting Online Resources



Cutting Fabric

Once you have the fabric home, first of all, you’ll want to pre-wash it. Either air dry or machine dry it, 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.

Step by step instructions for how to make a DIY bench seat cushion cover tutorial

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.

Start to Sew

Time to sew! Let’s do one corner at a time.

Step by step instructions for how to sew and make a bench seat cushion cover

Creating the Corner Pockets

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 1/8โ€ณ.

5 Okay, 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 After sewing and pressing each corner, one at a time, insert each into your sewing machine. From the outside/right side, sew closely to the gutter on top of the seam allowance. Doesn’t that look nice? So professional. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Step by step photos for how to make a bench seat cushion cover

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!

Sewing in the 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 Cushion

Next up, the 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.

How to Add Batting to 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.

Wrapping a Foam Cushion with batting for a Bench Seat Fabric Cushion Cover

Finishing Up and Dressing your Cushion

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!

Colorful flower fabric fitted cushion cover on a bench window seat

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make a fitted cushion cover! Please let me know if you make one.โ˜บ๏ธ


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DIY bench seat fabric cushion cover in window seat with shutters







  • Jackie Fretz
    Posted at 17:53h, 18 July Reply

    L0ve your tutorial! Very easy to understand! I am going to try this out!

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 01:05h, 22 July Reply

      Thank you Jackie! I am so glad it is helpful. Let me know how it turns out!๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Amy Cherwin
    Posted at 18:20h, 29 July Reply

    Super helpful description of the corners. Thank you so much!!

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 22:18h, 29 July Reply

      Amy, you are so welcome! Good luck with your project.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  • Beth Mau
    Posted at 14:50h, 10 August Reply

    Thanks for your pin! Your window seat is beautifulโ€ฆ However I canโ€™t figure out from your pictures and your description how to do the corners. I sew a regular seam on the inside but then I do an outside seam as well? Do you have any close-up pictures? Thank you so much!

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 01:32h, 11 August Reply

      Hi Beth! Sorry that it confused you! Technically, you do not need the “outside” seam, it is just for appearance sake. It is a topstitch that secures and flattens the seam allowance on the flip side, and just makes it look nice on the outside. Look closely at number 6. Let me know if that makes sense? If not I can take a better photo in daylight tomorrow! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Stephanie Haynes
    Posted at 02:04h, 28 August Reply

    Tried it, and it looks great, so far. Was thinking I might just add the elastic at the corner and see how that works

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 05:29h, 28 August Reply

      Stephanie, that is a really great idea! Please let me know how it works out? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anna Reese
    Posted at 00:47h, 02 September Reply

    I loved this tutorial! I am a pretty novice sewer. I have always had an area of my house that I wanted a bench seat and 12 years later my husband finally built it. That meant I had to actually make the cushion and cover. I was super intimidated my zippers and piping. This worked great. I ended up using a thin quilt since my seat was so large and I had a hard time finding wide enough fabric. It was perfect!

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 01:23h, 07 September Reply

      Anna, I am so happy that it worked for you!๐Ÿ˜ Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Tracey Swant
    Posted at 21:01h, 10 September Reply

    Thank you for sharing this DIY project. I have used the calculations above to determine how much fabric I will require, but I am not sure how to figure out how much elastic is needed? Thank you.

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 02:57h, 11 September Reply

      You are very welcome Tracey!๐Ÿ˜ I’m so sorry that I don’t have a perfect calculation. I would suggest measuring the outside of the cushion and my guess is that it would be approximately half of that length, due to the elastic contracting. I always err on the side of caution and buy a little extra though!๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Mel Taylor
    Posted at 01:19h, 13 September Reply

    I just made this for a bench for the waiting area of my office. It worked great, but the sides of mine kind of gapped away from the cushion instead of having a nice clean line. I think I cut the fabric a little too narrow (I was working with a fabric piece just barely big enough for the foam), so I just added three pieces of elastic across the back of the cushion to pull the edges in taut. It’s hard to describe, but basically the fabric is on one side, the foam is in the middle, and there are elastic straps running across the back. It’s a bit trickier to put the cover on and off, but it works, and it’s an easy enough fix. Thanks for the tutorial, and I just wanted to share in case anyone else needs to fix the same issue.

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 15:58h, 13 September Reply

      Mel, thanks for sharing your experience! That sounds like the perfect solution and a great way to make the fabric smoother and more secure on the cushion. I would love to see it. I just need to figure out how people can upload their project pictures so we can all learn and enjoy.
      I’m so glad you tried the tutorial and made it work for you. Thanks!โ˜บ๏ธ๐ŸŽ‰

  • Rachel West
    Posted at 21:18h, 07 June Reply

    This is simple and beautiful! Thank you!

    • cindy
      Posted at 15:54h, 08 June Reply

      Wow, thank you so much!๐Ÿ’–

  • Kim Murphy
    Posted at 08:23h, 23 July Reply

    Thank you so much for giving us the option of adding elastic to a seat cover. I would not have thought of that! I absolutely love your โ€œshe spaceโ€! Itโ€™s beautiful and the colors are perfect!

    • cindy
      Posted at 15:40h, 23 July Reply

      Kim, my pleasure. I hope it helps you! Thanks SO much for your sweet note, it made my day!๐Ÿงก

  • Amal Alim
    Posted at 23:28h, 27 July Reply

    Thanks for the tutorial, very instructive. I am not sure if I missed how to measure the elastic or it is not in there. Please advise me how to measure the elastic, Many thanks.

    • cindy
      Posted at 05:09h, 28 July Reply

      Hi Amal! The length of your elastic will depend on your cushion and how far your fabric will wrap around underneath your foam insert. To be safe, I would purchase enough to go around the perimeter of your unfinished ends. See photo number 7, for reference. You will be stretching the elastic as you sew, so you technically you will need even less.๐Ÿ˜ƒ Hope this helps!

    Posted at 02:09h, 01 August Reply

    Followed your tutorial and it was easy-peasy to understand. Thanks much, I am making covers for my recliner fabric sofas and want them to fit like a glove.

    Thanks so much

    • cindy
      Posted at 03:47h, 01 August Reply

      Suwarna, that is fabulous news!๐Ÿ˜ƒ I am so happy that it helped you. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Marilyn
    Posted at 19:29h, 07 September Reply

    Cindy, could you please share where you purchased the foam cushion for this project, or recommend a good resource.

    • cindy
      Posted at 00:54h, 08 September Reply

      Hi Marilyn, I bought the Airtex High-Density Foam from JoAnn Fabrics. It looks like it is still available in 3, 4, and 5-inch heights. Hope that helps.โ˜บ๏ธ Let me know if you make a cushion cover!

  • Laura M Noble
    Posted at 23:00h, 15 September Reply

    Cindy how do I curve my corners so it will work on my rounded edge cushion?

    • cindy
      Posted at 02:34h, 16 September Reply

      Hi Laura! There are 2 ways you could go here. The first & easier approach would be to follow the original instructions, but before sewing in the elastic, you could “try it on” over your insert. If the corners are too baggy you could take additional fabric “in” on the corners.
      OR… For a better fit, you could cut 2 pieces. 1) Cut your top fabric piece to match your cushions top, curved corners & all (plus a seam allowance). 2) Next cut one long strip (or joined strips), plus a seam allowance for the total height (the sides & portion that wraps around the bottom edge of the cushion.) Then with right sides together, sew the top piece to the side piece, all the way around. Close the side piece in the back if possible so it does not show. Now just continue to sew in the elastic.
      Hope that makes sense!? Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

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