January 27, 2012
Hey! Remember when I redid our office? And I promised to share details on how I made the cushion in the window seat? Yeah, so I completely forgot about it… sorry, man. LIFE. BUT HERE YOU GO!
Disclaimer: I do not sew, and I am really not all that crafty. I went into this Make A Cushion thing hoping for the best and fearing the worst. And the only reason I did it at all is because the window seat was a really weird size and to order a custom cushion would have probably cost me my marriage, so I opted to make one. I have no idea if I did it the best way possible (probably not!) and you may have a better method and are laughing at your computer screen at my ridiculous idea of Making A Cushion. But this is how I did it and it worked pretty well, at least for my purposes. It’s not a high-traffic room and nobody really sits on that cushion much anyway. If it were in our living room or something, my guess is it might not be holding up so well by now. But hey. It looks cute and it was easy and relatively cheap to make so I call it a WIN.
Okay! On to the tutorial!
The cushion is made of this fun, green foam stuff.
You can find it at the craft store and, as I found out, it comes in a dizzying array of shapes and thicknesses and it comes in different sized rolls and packages and ZOMG MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED. I had to do math in the foam aisle at the craft store and let’s just say it involved lots of sketching and scribbling on the teeny tiny post-it note I had with me. I finally settled on a few pre-cut/measured squares and decided I would just cut the extra squares to fit.
What did I cut them with, you ask? A bread knife! Worked great. I cut the pieces and fit them together like a puzzle, then glued them all with Gorilla Glue. Simple.
And underneath the foam you’ll see the batting. This is where I really wasn’t sure of the best thing to buy. I went with a roll of basic batting, middle of the road price and thickness from what I could see in the aisle of quilting stuff. I grabbed it and ran to the checkout. (I was still a little shaken up from my Math Incident in the green foam aisle.)
I dabbed some Gorilla Glue on the batting like so. Very precise and neat, as you can see (SNORT. I had this crap all over my hands by the end. DON’T BE LIKE ME. WEAR GLOVES OR SOMETHING.)
But really, it doesn’t have to be neat and clean. Just get some glue on the edge (you could use just about anything, I’d guess- fabric glue, etc. Or even double-sided craft tape? That would definitely be less messy!) and fold your batting up over the foam.
I did the same thing for the other side, then folded it up to meet the first side.
Obviously it doesn’t quite reach, but it doesn’t matter, really. This is the bottom! Once I added some glue to other two ends and folded them like I was wrapping a present, the top is just fine.
(You’ll see some rips in the batting there. I had a false start on my methods. Ignore those. Also, I ended up going back to the store and getting a second package of batting because one layer just wasn’t enough cushion-y softness. I just did the exact same thing with the second layer- glue, fold, voila!)
Now the fun part! Covering the whole thing in the pretty pretty fabric. Once the glue was dry, I laid out my (ironed!) fabric on the floor and placed the cushion on top, lining everything up so that the seam would be on the bottom.
The first thing I did was make a clean seam on the top edge of the fabric. I ran a bead of fabric glue along the underside, then folded it under. Then I put another bead of glue along the underside of THAT edge, then pressed that whole thing down onto the cushion.
See? Clean seam. Probably not necessary since it’ll be covered up, but all the ragged edges were driving me bananas.
I let the glue dry a bit on that first edge that was attached to the cushion. Then I flipped it over so I could make sure it would all wrap around okay when I did the next edge.
Starting to take shape! Yay!
Flipped it back over, and made another clean seam with the fabric glue- this one’s important because it will be on the outside.
Then I ran a bead of fabric glue all along that edge…
…and then folded it all over!
Okay. Now. This is like showing the internet a picture of me in my UNDERPANTS, because… well. It’s not very pretty. But it doesn’t matter. I folded and tucked the other edges over and under a few different ways, trying to avoid too much bulk and make it clean and neat. Then I glued the crap out of it.
Ugly. BUT LOOK.
One final secret: I stuck a few of these velcro-doo-dads on the bottom, just because immediately Maggie picked the cushion up and tried throwing it around the room and NO WAY MAN. And now it doesn’t move around when she climbs up there, either.
And just a fun add-on: I had extra fabric when I was done making the curtains for the room (using the No-Sew Method I found at Young House Love) and after I did this no-sew cushion I got a little crazy and decided to try covering a pillow with the fabric, using nothing but fabric glue and a prayer.
IT WORKED. I didn’t take any pictures along the way because I SERIOUSLY did not think it was going to work. But basically I just bought a pillow form at the craft store and followed instructions similar to these. Except instead of using a sewing machine, I used glue. And mine is permanent- I didn’t think ahead about making a nice flap so I can remove it and wash it. But since this particular pillow is just for show in the office, it’ll work. I love that little pillow.