Apr 162015

Today I’d like to share with you how to make DIY custom shaped chair cushions, including cutting the foam, fabric and putting it together.

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

Late last summer, I picked up a really cute wicker settee and 2 chairs.  (I swear I took pictures of them before and during the refinish process but for the life of me,  I cannot find them!  Don’t you hate that!??)  My nieces and nephews are all young professionals, some with young families, trying to make ends meet.  So when I scored these three pieces at a bargain price, I offered them to my nephew and his wife Laura.  Laura has a great sense of style and really spruced up the curb appeal of their semi detached home located in an area of Toronto, referred to as “the Danforth”.  The Danforth is also home to Greek town, lots of great shops and restaurants and it is right on the main subway line.  All those amenities make prices high and the older homes small.  Regardless, they have a cute covered front porch and they were thrilled to have some free furniture to put out there.

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

Great curb appeal

She wanted a dark brown finish.  I planned on staining them as I had with my chairs here but when I set to work on them, I found the chairs were not wicker or rattan but PLASTIC!  Sure fooled me!  What a good fake!  So I ended up spray painting them with Rustoleum’s Ultra Cover in Espresso because it adheres to plastic.  The rich colour will look great on their porch.

She found cushions for the settee and I volunteered to make some cushions for the chairs since they were rounded and all she could find was square one. She picked up fabulous outdoor fabric for only $5 a meter because it was nearing the end of summer.  I LOVE this fabric!  I have been crushing on Apple Green for months!

Cutting the Foam

I had some 2″ foam from a big boo-boo I made a few months back when I ordered foam that was too small for the project but it was perfect for this.  Using newspaper, I created a pattern from the chair seat then I traced it on to the foam.

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

Note the cricket and hockey player photos! Hey! I live in Canada!

I had purchased this electric knife specifically for cutting foam.  It works so well. 

Note:  When cutting foam, you need to pay attention that the blade is at right angles to the face of the foam.  Otherwise you will need to trim it more to make it flat versus angled.

Once I cut the foam, I used the same newspaper pattern to cut out the fabric,
I added another 1/5 inch all the way around for the seam allowance.  Then I cut long 3″ wide strips for the sides of the cushion.

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

Top and bottom pieces cut 1/2″ wider on all sides for the seam allowance
  and then 3″ long strips for the sides (2″ plus seam allowance)

Pinning and sewing

So many bloggers show every minute detail  but since I have been sewing for decades, I just cut to the chase!

I found the centre back and with right sides together, I started to pin the long side piece all the way around.  Rather than sew together the two ends where they meet, I decided to overlap them.  I think this helped to keep the pieces taut. 

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

I pinned the side piece all the way around and overlapped the ends where they met.

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

Here is the overlapping. I did do a finished hem on the one that would end up being on the outside.

Sewing and Finishing

I machine stitched the above pieces together, trimmed the seam and zigzagged the edges because this fabric was really ravelling.

I then pinned the bottom piece on to the other edge of the side piece.  I machine stitched it and finished it in the same manner but I did not stitch it all they around.  I needed the opening to insert the foam.  I did however iron the piece where the seam should be so it would be easier to hand stitch closed.  Before I inserted the foam, I also added little ties at the back to keep it from moving off the chair.

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

Tab ties to hold it to the chair

After inserting the foam, I used a simple slip stitch to close it up! 

The entire process took me a few of hours and all the while I was listening to a recorded book, The Nightengale, by Kristin Hanna.  Fabulour book and a great way to pass the time while sewing, painting, cooking or commuting!

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

Nice pop of colour!


NIce snug and smooth edges

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

Nice rounded edges: a custom fit!

DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions

A custom fit and a great Pop of color!

I sure wish I had the before pictures!  Basically they were that yucky yellowish rattan colour.  I think this brown is really rich and will tie into their house colour and the cushions will add that great pop of colour!

So what do you think?  Nicer Than New?

Have you have made shaped, custom cushions? 
I’d love to hear from you!  It makes my day!



  33 Responses to “Tutorial: DIY Custom Shaped Chair Cushions”

  1. I just love how these turned out! I have a rocking chair with cushions I want to recover and I’ve been too scared to try it – I think I’m just a bit braver after reading your post! What a wonderful gift for your nephew and his wife!

    • Hi Erica. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. As I said, I have been sewing for decades and I am pretty good at visualizing “the plan”. My recommendation is to purchase a electric knife. I think mine was less than $15! You can also use a GOOD bread knife but the electric is better. I was fortunate to find a foam wholesaler who will sell to walk ins at a VERY reasonable price and for me they are really close by. The foam can be expensive at retail stores unless you have a coupon.

      It really was easy and the longest task was slip stitching the closing. On the other hand the best feature is it FITS the chair seat!

      Be sure to come back and tell me how you did and if you have any questions, email me… no problem!

  2. This is truly amazing looking! I would love for you to share this at my link party Making Memories Mondays going on now! 🙂

  3. Love the fabric and love the tute! thanks for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle! My dining room chairs could use new cushions but I get terrified every time I think of doing it myself. Doesn’t sound too hard now!

    • Hi Kristina & Millie. I am happy you liked the tutorial and thanks for taking hte time to drop by and comment! I hope to hear from you again soon!

  4. Joan, what a brilliant tutorial, and these look fantastic for something that really is quite easy once you’ve got the hang of it. Gorgeous fabric too. It rather reminds me of Marimekko fabric…are you old enough to remember it? Very stylish at one point in time, and hideously expensive at it’s peak! Thankyou for sharing this at Five Star Frugal. Hopefully it will be a light bulb moment for many a DIYer! Mimi xxx

    • Hi Mimi! Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my custom cushion tutorial. It was a fairly simple project. I could have added piping but my nephew’s wife said not to bother. You are right, it is similar to the Marimekko fabric of days gone by! Have a great week!

  5. This came out so beautifully – I totally needed this tutorial cause I’ll be making new cushions for the deck before summer gets here!

    • That’s great Terri Anne! Without piping the task was pretty easy. Cutting the foam is kind of fun too! Thanks for dropping by to comment!

  6. This turned out so cute! I should have you create my chair cushions! 🙂

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  7. Thanks for the inspiration..I have one to do Myself.I’m here visiting from Talented Tuesday.Smiles.Cindy

  8. The chair cushion is so striking on that dark frame.

    • Thanks Stella Lee! The espresso colour is really rich. I really liked the way they turned out. Thanks for dropping by to comment. Have a great week!

  9. Wow! I have always wished I knew how to do this. In all honesty, because the foam pad would need to be tailored to fit I wrote it off as “impossible.” Thank you for showing me that it can be done! Pinned 🙂

  10. Joan, these are perfection! And I love how you updated the chairs, they look brand new!
    Thanks so much for sharing on Something to Talk About!
    Pinning 🙂

  11. […] from Nicer than New is sharing a fun tutorial: DIYCustom Shaped Chair Cushions! The DIY is spot on and I know you will […]

  12. Looks very nice! Thank you for sharing on Idea Box link party!

  13. These are great chairs! So cute and the pattern is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your DIY project at Inspire Me Mondays!

  14. Hey Joan, I just wanted to let you know that you are one of my 2 features tomorrow on Something to Talk About!
    Have a great day!

  15. […] DVD Case Coloring Kit 2. Scented Sidewalk Chalk 3. License Plate Coat Rack 4. Custom Shaped Chair Cushions 5. Hot Wheels Pin Cushion 6. Table Turned Potting Bench 7. Lazy Susan Coffee Station 8. Painted Mug […]

  16. […] Custom Shaped Chair Cushions 5. Hot Wheels Pin Cushion 6. Table Turned Potting […]

  17. I love the green fabric with the color of the chair. Thanks for sharing with us at Motivational Monday!

  18. […] DIY  Custom Shaped Chair Cushions by Nicer Than New […]

  19. […] DVD Case Coloring Kit 2. Scented Sidewalk Chalk 3. License Plate Coat Rack 4. Custom Shaped Chair Cushions 5. Hot Wheels Pin Cushion 6. Table Turned Potting Bench 7. Lazy Susan Coffee Station 8. Painted Mug […]

  20. Absolutely nicer!! Love it!

    • Hi Christine! Thanks for dropping by to comment. I just love the fabric my niece selected and the best part is she gave me the extra yard or so. Score!

  21. […] Custom Shaped Chair Cushions 5. Hot Wheels Pin Cushion 6. Table Turned Potting […]

  22. […] weekend – they are always too short aren’t they?! Here’s a great project from Nicer than New that shows you how to make custom sized cushions, always a handy […]

  23. […] DVD Case Coloring Kit   2.  Scented Sidewalk Chalk  3.  License Plate Coat Rack 4. Custom Shaped Chair Cushions   5. Hot Wheels Pin Cushion    6. Table Turned Potting Bench 7.   Lazy Susan Coffee […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com