Monday, August 22, 2011

DIY bench cushion

Before I get into today's topic, I want to thank all of my family and friends for throwing us the most amazing baby shower this past Saturday! Everyone worked so hard to make it a memorable day for us. It was just perfect and we got so many wonderful gifts for our little girl. She is so loved already! I'll be sharing pictures from the shower later this week, so come back to see those!


Ok, so here we go...
A few weeks ago (before I even started this blog) I made a bench cushion. Luckily, I took some pictures during the process, so I thought I’d share it all with you today!
I’ve been using this TV stand as bench in my foyer. We used to use it for a TV…until my husband convinced me that we should move that TV into our bedroom! I was determined to give this piece a new purpose since it was only a couple of years old and in perfect condition.


The only problem with turning this TV stand into a bench was that it didn’t look too inviting to sit on, so I decided it needed a cushion. Originally, I tried to find something pre-made, but nothing I found was the right size. Not only that, but the fabrics on the pre-made cushions weren’t quite what I had in mind either. 
I figured it couldn’t be too difficult to make my own, so I thought I'd give it a shot! I’m certainly not a professional seamstress by any means, so I pretty much just figured out things as I went along.
The first thing I needed was 2 inch thick foam. I decided 2 inches would work best for this project, but there are many other sizes out there to choose from. I found my foam cushion at Online Fabric Store. I found their pricing to be much cheaper than my local fabric stores, even with the cost of shipping factored in. I got the 2 x 24 x 54 Upholstery FoamIt wasn’t the exact length or width that I needed, but I took care of that later. They sell custom cut foam, but it’s more expensive and I was trying to do this project for as little as possible.
For the fabric, I went with this floral fabric (*sorry, it is no longer available online!*) from Fabric Guru.



It was only $5.95 a yard. I roughly estimated that I would need 2 yards for my bench cushion, but I ended up ordering 3, just in case I made a mistake! 
To start my cushion, I cut my foam to the exact size that I needed. To do this, I simply sat the foam on top of my bench and made lines using a ruler and a marker where I would need to make my cuts. The best thing to use to cut foam like this is an electric knife. I have this one




It was super easy to use. Sorry…no pictures of this step! I didn’t think it was safe to have a camera in one hand and an electric knife buzzing away in the other! 
Once I had my foam cut to size, I laid it on my dining room table and placed the fabric on top of it.


I cut the fabric leaving about an inch and a half for the seam allowance. 


I cut little strips of fabric for the sides, again leaving extra for the seams. Then I just started pinning my pieces together. 


Here it is with all the side pieces pinned to the large top piece of fabric.



Then, I just got to sewing!
Once I had the side pieces sewn to the top piece, I put it back on the foam to make sure the fit was ok.



It looked good, so then I finished the corners.


For the back piece of fabric, I wanted to make it pocket-like so that I could easily remove the cover when I want to wash it. I cut a piece of fabric that would cover a little more than half of the backside of the foam so that once I got the other side on, it would overlap so the foam wouldn’t be exposed in the middle.



I repeated the same process for the other side using just a little less fabric.
And….
Voila!

Now I can easily remove the foam when I want to wash the cover.
















In case you’re wondering, I had a little over a yard of fabric left over. Here’s a rough cost breakdown for the project:
Foam cushion plus shipping: $21.64
3 yards of fabric at $5.95/yd plus shipping: $22.84
TOTAL: $44.48 
Not bad for a completely customized cushion! Of course, I could have saved an extra $5.95 had I not bought the extra yard o fabric, but I’m ok with that…I’m sure I’ll use it again for a future project!
Have you sewn anything lately? What are some of your favorite places to shop for fabric? Let me know in the comments!


25 comments:

  1. Great tutorial and pretty fabric! Love it! :)

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  2. Love this, it looks great! I'm digging the fabric you chose :)

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  3. You're amazing Rachel! Sounds like you've taken your niche to another level! Aunt Donna

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  4. I love the fabric and thinking about buying it for my mud room bench. How has it held up and how thick is it compared to upholstery fabric? Thanks!

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  5. Thanks! The fabric has held up great. The raw edges fray a little bit when you wash it, but other than that, it's perfect! It's not quite as thick as upholstery fabric, but it does have a little bit of weight to it. Hope that helps!

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  6. Looks awesome. I will be using this idea in my kid's room

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  7. Have had problems with it sliding around the bench? I want to make one, but was wondering if I can get some non-slip fabric? Any thoughts? Thx! Natalie T.

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    Replies
    1. I think you could use this non-slip shelf liner underneath the cushion!
      http://www.walmart.com/ip/Duck-20-x-6-Select-Easy-Liner/16456557

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  8. Hi, I was wondering if you could suggest how much fabric I might need for 2 cushions, each 23 inches x 4 feet, with 3" foam? Is there some kind of online calculator that you used, or some rule of thumb?

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    1. Hi Suzy! Try this calculator:
      http://fabric-calculator.com

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  9. Rachel,
    I was going to make a cover for a friend, but how do you cut the fabric straight? The length is 80"...

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    1. Depending on the fabric you have, some people recommend clipping, then tearing it which will make a straight line. Otherwise, you can cut it against a line you trust is straight such as the edge of your table. Here are some more detailed tips that might help:
      http://thelavendertub.blogspot.com/2012/02/home-dec-sewing-101-cutting-fabric.html

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  10. Could you use welting?

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    1. Absolutely! Welting would look great! Here's a tutorial where I used welting/piping:
      http://www.rachelsnest.com/2013/09/cane-chair-makeover-part-2.html

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  11. That's incredible Rachel. Man, i need to learn how to sew. If i ever do, I may hit you up for some tips (sarah parker)

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  12. Can't help to giggle at "finish the corners". Thank you for the tutorial

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  13. Yes finish the corner for a none sewer is hard! Just took me a long time but I got it done:)

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    1. Sorry about that Jamie! I should have taken more pictures and further explained that step! I'm glad you got it done though!!:)

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  14. What a amazing DIY !! Please let me know where did you get that foam cushion from ..size and cost ?

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  15. I'm really trying to figure out the "finish the corner" piece. That's what has held me back from trying this before. :(

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