IF I CAN DO IT…..SEW can you!

Make cushions, that is.I made some box cushions for our old wooden couch in the mountains last summer.

Here’s a quick “before” photo.

Blech.
We lived with these waaaay too long. No part of these cushions were salvageable.
I purchased 5″ in thick foam from JoAnn’s when it was on sale-still expensive-and cut it to size with an electric carving knife.
I didn’t realize until recovering my porch furniture cushions this summer that a better option would have been to buy thinner foam (2″ would have been fine) and put 2 layers of densified foam on either side of that for a softer, more comfortable and relaxed cushion.
Here are the cushions after:
Nicer and neater. Though, I think I should have left the wood wood. I still have to distress it. These cushions have zippers and piping. I am no expert and really tackling this project just takes some brain overload when your trying to piece the parts of the fabric and panels together. Once all the pieces are cut, zippers in their panels and piping prepared, each cushion takes less than an hour to sew.
I’ll post to the great tutorials that I relied on in another post. I just want to get this posted real quick so I can link to Elizabeth Foss’ sewing sharing post. I find these type of things so inspiring and had it not been for other bloggers posting about adventures in DIY, I would never have attempted to make these.
This summer, I’m working on my porch cushions, which I interrupted in order to make cushions for a friend. I learned something new when I took apart her previously professionally-made cushions….NO FOAM at all. Inside were just layers of densified foam….Go figure. This just proves that anything goes in upholstery.
What I hope you gain from this post is just plain inspiration. GO FOR IT! If you want any specific tips about different parts of such a project, email me or post a comment. I’ll try to help.
Here’s a photo of one of the completed cushions that I’m working on for my friend:
This is my porch couch. Notice the stain on my old cushion…I think a cat peed on them last year. But the densified foam inside is machine washable.
Here’s a photo showing the zipper and some detail on the side to protect/hide the zipper ends:
I love the fabric my friend picked out. It is outdoor canvas. I think I may have to steal the idea and we’ll have twin porches. She couldn’t find a plain fabric for the piping but found a nice stripe that coordinates beautifully.
Elizabeth doesn’t have a linky party but go check out the comments to this post to get some more inspiration.

4 thoughts on “IF I CAN DO IT…..SEW can you!

  1. Elizabeth Foss

    Oh, I wish I had the confidence to ry this. We so need some reupholstering and I really am blown away by how expensive it is….
    You have done a wonderful job!

  2. Beth

    Elizabeth,
    That’s what I thought for soooo long, too. I cringe at the furniture I got rid of due to ripped upholstery. As I have studied this, I’ve realized it’s a very messy and inexact art. When I’ve undone upholstery as the beginning steps to reupholster something, I’ve realized two things.

    1. There is a LOT of nipping and tucking. It is so forgiving and the art is truly in covering with piping or seams.

    2. It takes more time to disassemble someting than to reassemble it. Again, you do not have to be exact.
    I’ll email you. But believe me, if you can make clothes that people can wear in public (and you can, the things you make are DARLING, you can do this. That is the most important message of my post. All these cushions were straight sewing. Upholstery is tight pulling and stapling.

    I also was intimidated by the expense of fabric and the horror of ruining it. But when you start small, like with a cushion, you don’t waste too much and I maximize JoAnn fabric coupons. I might collect my supplies over a couple of weeks. It took a lot of guts to risk messing up on the project for my friend since she bought the fabric. By now, I’ve done box cushions a few times, so I knew any mistakes would be minor and could be undone with a seam ripper.

    If you click on this post (http://beinhome.blogspot.com/2010/08/thrift-store-patio-set-part-ii-cushion.html) about another set of cushions I made, I link to 3 different tutorials. If you’d like I’ll write a post for all the links I’ve studied before taking the plunge.

    You CAN do it!

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