Elastic fitted cushion cover for bench seat 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. I tried to come up with a way to make it easier, quicker, and less expensive. Stay tuned as I share “Plan B”, my DIY Bench Seat Cushion Cover Tutorial.

How about 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. 😉 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. The 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 making one yourself? Okay then, let’s get started…

DIY bench seat fabric cushion by window

Here is what you will need to begin…


Foam Cushion, 1 to 5 inches deep
Flat Elastic, 1/4″ or 1/2″ Wide
Matching Thread
Sewing Machine
Straight Edge or Ruler

Calculate the Amount of Fabric Needed

See the drawing below to help you determine the total amount of fabric you need. First, measure the width (A) and length (B) of the top surface of the cushion. Next, 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. Your fabric length will be C+B+C. This will be in inches.

Drawing Instructions to sew a DIY bench seat cushion cover

Fabric Shopping

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 and either air dry or machine dry it, depending on how you will typically care for it. 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 Fold each corner by bringing the right sides of the cut edges of each corner together. Now, sew this one and the other 3 corners too. You now have 4 nice pockets. Trim each seam allowance down to 1/8″.

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. 😊

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. Then 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 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. It does give 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 (affiliate link) and it worked great. After you have cut the batting to fit, smooth it and stretch it to fit over the cushion. You will find it stretches and forms very easily. You may want to secure it with a spray adhesive like Scotch Super 77. This adhesive holds the batting in place, which makes it much easier to put the cover on and keeps everything 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. You are done! I hope you enjoy your beautiful new bench seat cushion cover! Please let me know if you make one. 🙂

Colorful flower fabric fitted cushion cover on a bench window seat

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  • 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!😊

  • 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.😁👍🏻

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

    Thanks for your pin! Your window seat is beautiful… However I can’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! 😊

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