Make Cushion Covers – The Easy Way!

How to make an easy cushion cover for an ottoman using decorative fabric when you lack sewing skills.

Did you notice the word “Slip” is not in front of the word “Cover” in the title of this post?

I can’t call the colorful new cushion covers I made for the pair of ottomans in my family room – slipcovers, since they are actually more like loose fitting tablecloths.

It is not how I intended to make them, but when I was asked to be part of  a campaign that JoAnn and Waverly are holding this month using their new fall fabrics, I took the challenge to get creative.


I was sent a mystery box of 2 yards of fabric. When I opened it, I found the pattern Groovy Grille in the color Confetti inside. I loved it and knew it would look perfect on the ottomans.

My initial plan was to make real slipcovers with piping and pleated skirts, but 2 yards was not enough fabric to do that.  Since the fabric was perfect for my color scheme, I had to think out-of –the-box to make 2 yards work. Since that is what the campaign is all about, I went for it.

I used the two yards with none to spare.   I am calling them “cheater covers” as they may not be made the “right way” – but they work for me… perfect in their imperfection.

I am not a seamstress, but I can sew a straight line on my 1957 Singer that I will never give up.   It gets the job done.  Simple  – no bells and whistles – just a machine that keeps on – sewing on!  I made white slipcovers for the ottomans a few years ago and will still use these, but now I have options and can easily change them when I am feeling the need for some color and pattern.

My friend Toni was over after I made them and told me my family room is now ready for that beach house I want some day.  Smile

Ottoman Cushion Before:

Cushion-Cover making tutorial

I bought the ottomans many years ago. They are quite versatile and I move them around quite a bit to use as extra seating.  I am also experimenting with different paints and colors to give them a color update.  More on that soon.

How I Make Ottoman Cushion Covers Using Decorative Fabric


1. Since I knew I would eventually be washing the covers, I washed the fabric in hot water to shrink it so that the cover will fit even after it gets washed.  If you don’t shrink the fabric before sewing, the cover won’t fit after you wash it.

To figure out the yardage needed:  I placed the fabric over the cushion and let it drape down evenly on all sides.  I would have liked it to hang longer, but this is where the selvage to selvage side fell. The other side was a bit shorter, but if I fudged it, I knew I could make it work with a little trick.

I removed the fabric and cut in in half.  One yard for each cushion.

2.  Place the fabric wrong-side down on the cushion making sure it is centered and bring the fabric at each corner together as shown in the above photo and pin it.


3.  Sew each corner to create a seam.  Cut excess fabric and press seam open.


4. Turn cover right side out and place over cushion.  You can see how the side edges do not match up because I was only working with a yard of fabric for each cushion.


5.  When I turned and pressed the bottom to create a hem, the selvage sides looked fine, but not the cut sides – too short.

The easy FIX!  Decorative trim!


I compare decorative trim to caulk and what it does when you have to fudge over all the bad cuts you made on the crown molding corners that don’t match up.

Decorative trims hide all your mistakes or an uneven hem.


6. After pressing the fabric under to make a hem, I pinned the pom-pom trim to the front edge all around the cover.  I folded the short fringe sides under too and pressed them so they would be at least stitched secure.


7. I took the cover to my sewing machine and sewed the hem and trim on.  I do know enough about sewing to place my pins vertically, not horizontally so you can easily remove them as you sew.


A date with the iron and the cushion cover is done.  Now that the covers have trim on them, I will spot clean them and then use a home dry cleaning bag that you put in a dryer to clean them.   This will save the color from getting too washed away on the fabric, too.

Shhhhh! don’t tell anyone the hem under the trim looks pretty bad!  They will never know.

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  1. Pretty handmade cushions and pillows can be a true decoration of your interior. If you give some attention to nice cuts, interesting decorations and let your imagination fly, you can have a piece of unique home décor with your own style and spirit. A detachable cushion cover is a great solution as well, because you can take it off for cleaning or replace with another one that suits your mood better at a certain moment. Being a designer of your own home is amazing.

    1. Lydia Cottrell says:

      I wanted to thank you for sharing this idea. I have some outdoor ottomans that my father gave me quite a few years ago. The cushion covers bit the dust after the first year or two. I have limped each year along, as I an not a seamstress to cover them. I dont have a lot of extra money to throw into it. This year I began my yearly task of rejuvenating my old outdoor furniture. These cushions have plagued me every year! I lost my father in November so I was determined to make them nice in honor of my sweet daddy. I prayed the Lord would give me a good idea that I could actually do! A few days later I ran across your idea on Pinterest. I have not been feeling well this week, so I was able to make them in 24 hours. They are beautiful and I am so grateful for the idea. I even had the same color green pom poms!!! I don’t have the ability to share a picture here but wanted to say thank you. Have a great spring and summer and my God richly bless you.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Lydia – Thank you for the nice note. It makes me happy to hear that my post showed you a way to cover your cushions in an affordable way. I like to think that perhaps your daddy guided you to find my post. XO I hope you enjoy the new covers on the ottomans for many years.

  2. knotnstitch says:

    Lovely idea and execution.

  3. Susie@homemaker-mom says:

    O my gosh I think I can do that! Thanks for showing me & making it easy! I am a challenged at sewing. LOL

  4. Chris Woakes says:

    Nice alterations and creativity. You really made this effortlessly. Good job done. Simple but decorative fabric for cushions. Thanks for sharing this post.

  5. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    I love it….. so cute and sassy! And you make it sound so very easy. Again, a winning combo. And my favorite colors makes it a hit with me for sure. Thanks so much for the great instructions to do such a fabulous makeover so easy.

  6. I love your blog! I look forward to reading and getting great ideas from your blog.

  7. Pam Rodriguez says:

    Awesome and adorable! Nice work!!

  8. Great ottoman…great cover! Never thought of trim as caulk, but you are so right…so maybe I can “sew”! Never heard of dry cleaning bags…have to investigate…thanks! ;)

  9. these are really pretty… did a great job.:)

  10. Thank you, Diane! I have a leather ottoman that took a beating in a Dog-Chase-Cat game. And often they consider it ‘base’ ! I can’t seem to sew a straight line, but I might be able to fudge it with your simple how-to! I think you just saved some critters lives ;)

  11. Jann from Newton Custom Interiors says:

    Very nice, and I love the fabric!

  12. Hi Diane, love what you did for your ottomans! This fabric is so very pretty! I’m assuming it’s Home Dec fabric, hope I can find some! Is the pompom trim also a product of Joann’s?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Patti – Yes the fabric is home decorating fabric. The Pom-pom trim in also from JoAnn Fabrics. I forgot to mention that in the post. I will put it in.

  13. Michelle J. says:

    I think you came up with a fabulous idea for recovering your ottoman cushions! So easy to remove and clean them when needed. Love it! Nice pop of color too. Great Job!

  14. What a pretty cushion cover! great job. Love how functional it is to clean and you can change covers with the seasons. Love it!

  15. Melissa Belanger - A Teaspoon of Happiness says:

    I love the cushion covers! They’re perfect and they go really great with the ottomans’ texture. How did you clean/revamp the ottomans themselves. I love that they look brand new. Did you stain them or something?

  16. wow.. I so needed this sort of tutorial for my own ottomans..

    thank you.. yours is so pretty~!

  17. My favorite kind of project: quick and easy. Plus it looks fabulous.

  18. Wow, this is such a great trick for creating an ottoman cover! LOVE it!

  19. Nita{ModVintageLife} says:

    Oh….love this! I just posted my Waverize It project. Love your’s. My fabric was too big to do anything in the house so I went outside! #Waverize

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nita – Thanks. I will hop on over right now to see what you did with your fabric.

  20. I love the fabric and love that you can remove the cover to wash it!

  21. Mary Alice says:

    Fab idea! I really admire your creativity.

    As a sewer, I have to tell you that it’s not a good idea to sew over the pins. You can still hit a pin with the needle when going over the pin, so it’s always best to remove the pin just before you sew over that space. This prevents damage to your needle and to your machine.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary Alice – Thanks for the tip. I will remove the pins from now on. :)

  22. Desiree @ The 36th Avenue says:

    I love that you can wash it as often as you want! Great idea! I am pinning :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Desiree – XO With a dog and a cat that love to sleep on the ottomans – cleaning them is a must :)