Sewing DIY: Bench cushion


A few weeks ago I took my mother-in-law to SAS Fabrics (she’s from IL) and was pretty sad that I had no projects in my mind so I left empty handed.  Then a few days went by and I realized I did have a couple projects I could tackle – seat cushions!  I went back to SAS the next week and was SOOOO excited to fill my basket up with fabric and piping!

Since we had custom cabinets and shoe shelving made in our laundry room, it was hard to find a cushion that were the exact dimensions and I knew foam can be quite pricey so I just waited.  I contemplated buying an $80 Pottery Barn cushion and cutting it shorter to make it fit – ah!  So glad I didn’t and after hanging around the fabric store this idea popped into my head – DIY bench cushions made from two pillow forms!


I bought the toile fabric for $3.99 a yard at SAS Fabrics, and two 20×20 pillow forms for $7.99, and two buttons for $.25 each.  Total around $20!

Want to make one? Let’s get started.

First, make sure pillows fit in the spot.


Measure the area.

  • Bench area: 17.5″ x 32.5″
  • Add 1″ due to puffiness of pillow (height)
  • = 18.5″ x 33.5″
  • add .5″ for sewing the seams
  • = 19″ x 34″ final size

Cut fabric to size. Using Fiskars rotary cutting set.


Face printed side to each other.  I wanted the print to face the same direction too because if I were to flip the cushion my finishing seams would still be in the back.


Decide where your open seams will be, side or back.  I decided two in the back.

Start sewing all the way around – but remember to allow 2 openings for the two pillows.

I have a serger but for this project I wanted to stick with my sewing machine.  I used the zig zag in the middle of two straight stitches.  This makes sure there’s still a straight line when I turn it inside out but also secures the fabric a bit more from fraying.  It’s a great alternative if you don’t have a serger.  You can also use pinking shears on the fabric instead of a straight cut and on your sewing machine run a straight stitch.


Using a fabric marker (it disappears after a few minutes) mark the middle and sew a few inches above and below it just to make that opening secure and easier for you.


Flip inside out.

Iron – see the difference it makes?

pillow-cushion-custom-sewing-diy-project-toile-print-116 pillow-cushion-custom-sewing-diy-project-toile-print-117

I wanted to sew the edges for a cleaner edge.

Remember to leave two openings open, but do anchoring stitches at the openings.


Lay flat and measure the middle – it may not be where you made the first mark after sewing.

This is where you do the middle seam to separate the pillows.



pillow-cushion-custom-sewing-diy-project-toile-print-120 pillow-cushion-custom-sewing-diy-project-toile-print-121

Sew closed.

Add fabric covered buttons.  I made my own.  I watched this tutorial here.

Place in the middle using a really thick string, double or triple if you must. I used a 3″ needle too and so it would go all the way through.


On other side I used a clear button.

Squish both sides so you can flatten the pillow a little.  It helps to have the top button have string left so you have it to tie down really tightly.


All done!


The No-Sew method would be to get two pillows and use a ribbon to hand stitch both together on both sides!


Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *