How to Make Your Own Cushion Covers

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How to Make Your Own Cushion Covers

Making cushion covers can be fun, frugal, and gives a chance to display a bit of creativity. Even beginners to sewing can create their own as this is surprisingly easy to do. Homemade cushion covers can be a great way to make unique presents for people, as well as decoration in the maker’s own home. New cushions can be one of the simplest and cheapest ways to brighten up a tired room, and a vast amount of sizes and colours of materials are available. As well as being cheap, there is a much larger selection of fabric material available than there is ready-made cushions. Many cheap ready-made cushions have the cover sewn on rather than being removable, so the item has a limited life span. By using removable covers stuffed with inner cushion, changing the design when the mood strikes is easy. Purchasing offcuts from fabric stores on eBay is a cheap way to accumulate lots of options for covers.

Equipment for the Job

  • Offcuts of material, large enough to cover the inner cushion
  • Inner cushion
  • Pins
  • Embellishments, e.g. ribbon, buttons, beads
  • A sewing machine or needle and thread (the latter will take a long time)

Time It Will Take

The time needed will depend greatly on the skill of the creator. It can take up to an hour.

Step by Step Instructions to Make a Basic Cushion Cover

Cut the material into three pieces. For a cushion that is 40cm x 40cm, one square size piece of material (44cm x 44cm), and two rectangles (44cm x 30cm) are needed. 2. Pin the pieces together. The two rectangles (the back of the cushion) should slightly overlap the square (the front of the cushion). 3. Stitch the material together. 4. Attach a ribbon or other embellishment to the split between the two rectangles on the back. This is the seal for a cushion (and easier than adding a zip). Fold the ribbon over and pin it to the rectangular material, then stitch it on. Do this with at least three bits of ribbon/embellishment on at least two or three points on the cushion. 5. Insert the inner cushion and tie up the cover. This cover is easily removable and can be washed.

Making a Cushion Cover Without Sewing

It is possible to make a cushion cover without the need of a sewing machine. Place two identically sized pieces of fabric on each side of the inner cushion so that the corners are pointing together. Then simply tie the corners of both sides of fabric together. This effect can look quite Far Eastern in design with the right material.

Making a Cushion Cover Without a Zip/Ribbon ties

In order to achieve this, make the rectangle pieces of fabric slightly larger than normal so that once the inner cushion is placed inside the fabric, the two flaps can be folded over to secure the cushion inside.

Adding a Zip to a Cushion Cover

1Adding a zipper may seem daunting, but by following the simple steps below, it should be easy, especially for more experienced users. 1. Use a zipper that is at least as long as the width of the inner cushion to ensure it can be opened enough to fit the inner material. Also use fusible tape, an iron, scissors, and a sewing machine.

  1. Find a piece of fabric that is the length of the zipper and the width of the cushion, and cut the strip in half lengthwise so that there are two long strips. Iron fusible tape to the zipper (on the front side with the teeth). Allow to cool and then remove the paper backing from one side. 3.
  2. Turn the zipper over so the side with the actual zipper is facing into the fabric, and line it up with the edge of one of the strips of fabric. The fusible tape should hold it in place.
  3. When sewing with the machine, make sure to use a zipper foot attachment.
  4. When sewing, unzip the zipper slightly so the zipper pull does not get in the way. Line the needle up to the side of the zipper teeth, but not too close. Where the sewing is done should be on the edge of the strip of fabric that was lined up with the zipper.
  5. Once a certain amount of sewing has been done, the zipper can be rezipped up, so the whole material can be seen in order to finish.
  6. Once done, repeat the same process on the other side of the zipper with the second piece of fabric.
  7. Once both pieces of fabric have been sown onto the zipper, the fabric on the top side of the zipper should be top zipped to finish on both sides.
  8. The zipper piece can now be sown into the back of the cushion cover.

Adding Piping to a Cushion Cover

Piping cord is often used to give a neater edge to a cushion cover, and looks very professional. The cord comes in different sizes and materials and is purchasable where fabric material can also be found. The three main types of piping cord are:

  • Paper Braided Cord
  • Cheap, cannot be washed
  • Synthetic Piping Cord
  • Mid price range
  • Cotton Twist Cord
  • Most expensive, can shrink in the wash
To work out the length of cord required, measure around the circumference of the inner cushion and also give a generous extra allowance.
  1. Create fabric strips (4 is best) and insert the piping cord into each strip. Fold the fabric strips over and pin in place.
  2. Using the zipper cord on the sewing machine, stitch the fabric into place along the edge of the cord.
  3. Place the main pieces of fabric for the cushion together. Fold one side back and insert the piping between the pieces of fabric. Make sure to place the cord side innermost.
  4. At the corners of the cushion, snip the piping fabric to allow it to bend.
  5. Once all the piping is fixed in place, Trim to cord to size, fold excess fabric over and join the edges together.

Top Tips

  1. Don’t make the cover fabric too much bigger than the cushion itself. Once sown, this will lead to wrinkles in the fabric. The fabric should be tight against the cushion inside.
  2. To ensure the edges of the fabric do not fray, zig-zag along the fabric with either the sewing machine or a pair of pinking shears.
  3. For the beginner, practice on some cheap fabric first.

Where to Find Cushion Cover Fabric on eBay

In order to find cushion cover fabric, first head to the eBay homepage. From there, using the category list on the left hand side of the page, first click on Home & Garden and then Home & Garden again from the drop down box. This then opens the Home & Garden category. From there, on the left hand side again, click on Furniture & Living and Home Decor from the drop down. This then opens the Home Decor page. Fabric for cushion covers can usually be found either in the Cushions or Other Home Decor categories from the left hand side.


Using the steps above, it is entirely possible to create unique homemade cushions at a fraction of the cost of buying them in a shop. The varieties of fabrics, colours and sizes are almost endless, so any design can be created. Using a bit of creativity, embellishments can be added to give each cushion an individual flair. Homemade cushion covers can be used to brighten up any home in need of a boost, and even make great presents for loved ones. Each cushion cover can be as individual as the person who makes them.

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