Looking for an easy way to make affordable custom DIY chair cushions, chair pads or cushion covers for dining chairs? If you can’t find chair cushions to buy for your kitchen or dining room chairs in a fabric or color you like, consider making your own.
This tutorial will show you how to make dining chair cushions and covers with gusseted corners that are easy using sew and no-sew methods.
I needed to add some pops of color to my neutral kitchen chairs. These DIY chair cushion covers let me make a quick, inexpensive decor change for the seasons or on a whim.
My kitchen chairs have straight backs and the seat is slightly curved in the back, pre-made store bought cushions didn’t fit and Pier 1 where I bought the chairs didn’t make the cushions any longer that fit the chairs, so I ended up having to make my own custom DIY chair cushions.
I wanted the look of thick box style chair cushions with no piping. I am not a fan of piping since it just a place for dust or food to gather.
I also did not want the cushions to have ties that wrapped around the back of the chairs to hold the cushions on the chairs. I wanted a stream-line look and had to figure out a way for the cushions to stay secure on the chairs without using ties.
To find the right blue and white fabric that wasn’t $50 a yard took me online as well as from fabric store to fabric store in my area. I found the perfect fabric at JoAnn Fabrics in the decorator fabric area. It is made by Waverly and called Seeing Dots.
Bonus… It was on sale for $8.99 a yard, down from $21.99!!! It is part of their sun and shade collection which is another bonus since it is easy to clean spills and stains.
Once I had the fabric I had to figure out how to make the chair seat cushions with removable covers so I could easily launder them when needed.
One of my most popular posts here on my blog is how to make No-Sew Cushion Covers. I could have made these for the chairs, but since the shape of the seats were not square or rectangular, creating the cushions the no-sew way was not going to work as easily.
If you sew, I am sure you have a tried and true way to make kitchen chair cushions. My sewing skills are limited. I can sew a straight line so I came up with the perfect way for me to make the chair cushions.
I did a little of both… I used my sew and no-sew skills to create my cushions. I even took one of the tricks I used when I worked in retail display to help the cushions stay secure without the need for ties.
How to Make Easy Sew DIY Chair Cushions
The nice thing about making your own chair cushions is that they will fit your chairs perfectly. Thick foam to make the cushions can be pricy. If you want to save money, wait for the foam to go on sale at your local fabric store like JoAnn Fabrics or Hobby Lobby to save some money.
- Fabric – enough yardage for the amount of cushions you need. I needed 5/8th of a yard for each cushion
- 2-inch thick foam
- Printer paper – to make a pattern
- Scotch tape
- Quilt batting – to wrap around foam to soften foam’s edges
- Thread to match fabric
- Electric knife – to easily cut foam
- Safety pins
- Straight pins
I created my chair cushions to resemble box style cushions. I also wanted to be able to clean them and have them easy to remove. Sewing a zipper is not part of my skill set, I know my limits, instead I use safety pins or Velcro to close up a seam.
1. Tape pieces of printer paper together so you can make a pattern. You want the taped pieces of paper to be slightly larger than the chair seat.
2. Lay paper on the edge of a table and place chair upside down on the table. Use a pencil to trace around the chair seat. Cut out on lines with scissors.
3. Lay paper on seat and use scissors to trim paper if needed so that paper is the same shape and size as the chair seat. This will become your pattern.
4. Lay your pattern on a piece of 2″ thick foam. Trace around the pattern with a marker.
5. Use large scissors or an electric knife to cut the foam to size. Electric knives make the process fast and easy.
6. I don’t have a photo showing how I sewed 2 pieces of quilt batting together to make a pouch to place the cushion in.
I simply cut two pieces of batting a little larger than the cut foam and sewed them together with a zipper foot. I used this so it would go smoothy over the batting.
Batting can get caught in the sewing foot, to alleviate this, as you sew, place your fingers in front of the batting that is about to be sewn to keep it flat.
7. Turn batting pouch so seam sides are in. Place cushion in. Folding the cushion first makes placing into the batting pouch easier.
8. Cut edge of batting in line with foam. This open area is going to be the back of the cushion that will go against the back of the chairs.
If you have sewing skills, then you can wrap the batting around the foam and create a zipper in the back of the cushion. I did the back the no-sew way so I could easily remove the covers to wash them when needed.
9. Cut two pieces of fabric, place right sides together on work surface. Place batting covered foam on fabric. Place it so that there is more fabric along the bottom edge. You need this to close the back of the cushion.
10. Use marker to trace around the cushion.
11. Sew the fabric together by sewing the seam 1/4″ away from the marker lines.
12. Trim excess fabric along seams.
13. To create a finished edge on the fabric for the cushions, fold over raw edge of fabric twice and pin.
14. Sew to create a finished edge.
How to Sew a Box Corner (Gusset) on Front Corners of Chair Cushion
1. Use a marker to mark corner area of cushion. Do this on both front corners.
2. At one corner, bring the two side seams together to create a triangle.
3. Pin the seams together to make sure the seam is lined up on both sides of the triangle.
4. Sew a straight line across one inch down from the top.
5. Cut off the tip of the triangle above your seam. You have now created a gusset. Repeat on each corner.
6. Turn inside out and place batting covered foam in.
How to Close Back of Chair Cushion
Again, if you know how to add a zipper, go for it here. If you lack that skill set, closing the fabric on the back of the cushion is pretty easy.
To close the back edge of the fabric on the chair cushion, just think you are wrapping a gift box and instead of using tape to secure, use safety pins if the back of your chair has a solid back with no openings.
If you have a ladder-back style of chair that has an open back, use Velcro to close up the back since it will be hidden.
How to Attach Cushions to Chairs Without Ties
Here is where I used a retail display trick to help keep fabric the cushions from falling off the chairs since they have no ties. I used carpet tape.
Carpet tape is slightly tacky and not permanent, but has enough “stickiness” to keep the cushions from coming off when you get up and down from the chair.
I found that the more you sit on the chairs the better the bond between the tape and the cushions become.
- Carpet tape
- Lay strips of carpet tape on seat as shown, remove protective paper on one side.
2. Center and press cushion onto chair. Sit on the chair to help get make the cushion come in contact with the tape.
All done. I made 5 covers which became a small production line. It took me one afternoon to make them. Now if one gets dirty I can easily remove it to launder.
Also, when the season changes, I can change the covers on the cushions to welcome a new color scheme.
Resources: Some links may be affiliate links
- Chair Cushion Fabric – Seeing Spots by Waverly
- Kubu Dining Chairs – no longer sold – but these are similar: Driftwood Rattan Chair
- Rug Tape
I bought the table at JC Penney’s 15 years ago. It used to have a black wrought-iron base and dark walnut top. I painted the wrought-iron base white and stripped and whitewashed the top to make it fit my style of decor.
Looking for a completely no-sew way to make a cushion and cover?
Check out this tutorial: How to Make a No Sew Cushion Cover
Looking for how to make a chair back slipcover? See how these chairs look with chair back slips: