Fun with Upholstery Remnants: Easy Box Cushion

Part 2 of a sewing experiment–this series begins here.

One item I have sorely needed (pun intended) to add to my reenactment kit is a good seat cushion. So, since my upholstery remnant was big enough for multiple projects, that was one I decided to tackle. We found a good-sized form at Hobby Lobby, and after some searches for directions, this is how the project shook out. (Apologies for not citing my sources, but I really don’t remember where I found them!)

The finished product
One box cushion, approx. 3″ x 14″ x 14″

What you need
One cushion form, 3″ x 14″ x 14″
Upholstery remnant, at least 1/2 yd.
Sturdy thread
Optional: Piping or other trim

There are two different ways to approach making a box cushion. One is to cut two squares just large enough to cover the top and bottom, plus seam allowance, and join them with a single strip wide enough to cover the sides and long enough to wrap all the way around. You might want to try this method if you want to add trim or if you find two coordinating remnants, using one for the top and bottom and one for the sides, or if your remnant is big enough to let you cut a seamless side strip. Mine wasn’t, so I went at it the other way (and decided to save my piping for something else).

Cut:
2x 18″ x 18″ of upholstery fabric

First, after pinning the two squares with wrong sides together, I stitched three sides closed:

Marking seams with chalk was impossible on this fabric because of the way the threads lay on the back, so I had to do the best I could with pins and rulers.
Marking seams with chalk was impossible on this fabric because of the way the threads lay on the back, so I had to do the best I could with pins and rulers.

To place the corner seams, I left the cover wrong side out and inserted the cushion. Doing so leaves a triangle of fabric at each corner, which I pinned along the line where the seam needed to go. I also placed a pin closer to the point to make it easier to keep each corner folded properly.

Like so (sorry it's blurry; my camera seems not to like having the flash off)
Like so (sorry it’s blurry; my camera seems not to like having the flash off)

With that done, I removed the cushion and stitched the corner seams.

Tacked and tied for extra security.
Tacked and tied for extra security.

Once all the corners were stitched, I measured a 1/2″ seam allowance from each seam and trimmed off the excess.

... which took more leverage with the scissors to get through all the layers than you might think...
… which took more leverage with the scissors to get through all the layers than you might think….

Then I turned the cover right side out and put the cushion back in.

... which took a good deal of squishing and scootching, but I managed it....
… which took a good deal of squishing and scootching, but I managed it….
Here's how the seams look.  Now, you may want to be more particular about matching patterns than I was, but I figured it didn't matter so much if most of it was going to be hidden by my skirt anyway.
Here’s how the seams look. Now, you may want to be more particular about matching patterns than I was, but I figured it didn’t matter so much if most of it was going to be hidden by my skirt anyway.

Lastly, I closed the final side. Et voila!

Ta-da!
Ta-da!

Cheap, cheerful, and sure to help save my back from the torments of long hours in hard chairs. 😀

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