DIY Chair Cushions for My Kitchen
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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:
Very pretty- you did a great job! Thanks for the putting the tutorial out there for us all.
Following your instructions makes it very easy! We’ll try this with my wife. Thank you!
Thank you! I especially like the no-sew gusset idea. I’ve made many pillows, but always hand-sewed the backs closed.
Hi I have not had luck making these seat cushions and think your way of doing it will help. Before wasting another piece of foam and fabric, I just want to know if you add extra fabric for seam allowance and the thickness of the foam. I made one and it came out too small. Another instructor said to add the thickness of the foam like 2″ to your fabric template so 1″ all around. I hope to get them done this weekend.
Hi Mary – To cut the right size of fabric for the cushions yes. you need to add extra fabric for the seam allowance and thickness of foam as the one instructor told you. To find the right size of fabric to cut: Measure the foam/cushion size + the depth(thickness of cushion) + 1/2″ seam allowance all around. for instance, if you cushion is 16 square and 2 inches thick, seam allowance of 1/2″ – cut your fabric to 17-1/2″ square. 16 + 2 inches(1 all around) and 1/2 for seam allowance. If you are still confused, you can always cut the fabric much larger and then size it down as needed.
Thanks. That helps and I would suggest you update your instructions to include this in the fabric cutting section. The picture and instruction cut along the seat foam/ batting.
Hi Mary – I will add this to the instructions to make it clearer. The way I show to make the covers, I did show and write to sew the fabric seam 1/4″ away from the line I drew around the foam, not to cut it on the line. You can also sew it 1/2″ away for a looser cover. Let me know if you have any more questions.
I am having the same problem with covers. I do not want ties. I have the same chairs. Does the carpet tape really work??? Thanks for feedback.
Hi Amy – The carpet tape works very well. I made my covers over 2 years ago and still have the original pieces of tape on them to hold them on. It works! :-) My cushions never fall off. I have taken one or two off to clean and placed them back on and they still stick to the chairs.
If you decide to use the tape. Once on the chair seat and you place the cushion on. Sit on the chair a few times to make sure the tape and cushion connect. Even place something heavy on the cushions overnight, like a stack of books. It will help the adhesion.
Wow, this looks lovely!
I want to make small, rectangular cushions for small stools that are about 6 inches off the ground. I dont have a sewing machine and i’ve never done anything like this. Through your tutorial, I feel encouraged to give it a try.
Since i dont have a sewing machine, i was wondering if I could staple the batting instead. And I wouldnt mind encloaing the foam completely in the batter.
Also, I wonder if i could sew the cushion covers by hand since i dont own a sewing machine. And if sewing by hand would work, what size thread to use?
I also plan on adding string to wrap around and tie them underneath. Any suggestions on how to add strings or straps?
Hi Mayu –
If you can hand sew, then I would make the cushions by hand sewing the parts together. As far as thread to use, use basic sewing thread. You don’t need anything special. I buy thread at Walmart or a fabric/craft store. Stapling will work. You could also use fabric glue and sticky Velcro as I did to make a pillow. You can see how I made it in this post: https://inmyownstyle.com/large-no-sew-pillow.html
I also have another no-sew idea for a stool. You can read about how I made this in this post: https://inmyownstyle.com/howto-make-nosew-kitchen-stool-covers.html
I don’t know if you will see this since it has been several months since you posted but I wondered if the tape had damaged your chair seats in any way. I would like to try your method but don’t want damage to occur.
Hi Linda –
Thanks for asking. The tape has not damaged the seats one bit. The tape is only slightly tacky/sticky, but has grabbing power. Since adding the cushions, they have never fallen off either. :-) I am super happy with how the tape has worked. I am not sure what the surface is of your chairs. Mine are made of sealed woven reeds. If you are not sure about your surface, try a little bit of the tape on an inconspicuous spot and see how it holds on and put some weight on it. After a few days remove it and see if it left any damage.
OMG! Love your idea. I was shocked to see you have the same chairs as mine. The only difference is mine have a wooden piece along the top of the back of the chair with an oval hole for your hand (to pull in and out from the table). Thank you for a great simple chair cover.
Hi, could you advise how to fix the Velcro to the back of the cushions please? Do you sew them in …. if so, any tips?
Hi Jan – I used Velcro with adhesive to attach the cushions to the chair. When you first apply it, it won’t seem like it will hold, but the more you sit on the cushion the stronger the bond becomes. Make sure the chair is clean and dry before applying the Velcro. You can by adhesive Velcro at any fabric store or Walmart.
I love the look of crisp blue and white, Thanks for the directions for the cushions. Love the pattern and color!
Was a actually on line looking for tape to put on ties for existing dining chair cushions , could not find the colour i wanted when I came across your tutorial, talk about heaven sent. I am certainly no needle woman but I love to see what folk can do in that art, The rug tape certainly appeals to me, what a clever idea. I am going to have a go, I live in West Sussex UK , see how far your talent was spotted. Thank you.
Beautiful as usual Diane.
Thanks Elaine. :-)
I’m so happy to see this!! I’ve been wanting to make cushions for my oak pressed back chairs, but I did not want to add ties to keep them in place. This would be perfect!!! Thanks for a great idea!!
Hi Euna – I wasn’t sure if the tape would really work on the wicker seat, but it has very well. I am happy that I found a way not have ties that would have changed the look of the chairs.
Your dining area is looking lovely!
I love this idea. I can’t sit for a long time on a hard chair without a cushion!
Hi Diane! Love the look–and I hope it’s ok to say that as soon as I saw that table I thought “Ina!!!!” lol! It reminds me of her kitchen in East Hampton before she started the Barn—I know you love here too and that look is totally on point! Thank you for the updates, always love to see what you are doing because your taste is impeccable. Hope you have a wonderful summer!
Hi Marianne – Thanks for the nice note. I always called the style I like easy and breezy. Recently we had friends over for brunch and their daughter and son-in-law came along. When they toured the house, they said… your house is so Hampton’s Chic. That made me smile big time. :-) I hope you have a wonderful summer. Thanks for reading. XO
Beautiful! I’ve never made chair cushions before. Why do you put the foam in batting?
Hi Marie –
Putting the foam into batting or wrapped around the foam, softens the square edges of the foam. Without the batting, the cushion would look like a block. Does that make sense?
very nice Diane, the fabric made the chairs pop…good job…Millie from http://frugaliciouschick.blogspot.com
Hi Millie – Thanks – I am glad that I waited to make the cushions until I found just the right fabric. Getting it on sale really cinched the deal. :-)
diane they came out gorgeous…great job my friend.
Thanks Millie :-)
Diane, here are a couple of tips for future reference. When cutting foam with an electric knife, spray the blade with silicone, Sprayway 945, find it at JoAnns, not WD 40, cuts like butter! When sewing thick, bulky fabrics, spray your needle and fabric so your needle will glide through the thicknesses, won’t harm fabric. Great stuff. When sewing your batting together, place a layer of tissue paper over the batting, your foot won’t get caught. Tear away the paper.
Hi Lorie – Thank you so much for sharing your sewing knowledge!!! They are just what I needed!!!! I will add them to the post. I think my limited sewing skills came about in Junior High when the Home Ec teacher was a total bore and we had to make ugly skirts that we would never wear. :-) I rebelled and shut down when she would not let us make what we wanted. :-)
Wow your kitchen hits a home run!. The blue makes it so summery. I wish I could sew, about the only things I have made are curtains and a very full shower curtain. Never thought of putting the shelf liners under the seat chairs. I do use it under door mats to keep them from slipping.
Great job, Love EVERYTHING that you have done.
Hi Dee – Thanks. I wanted to make the kitchen as close to my dream kitchen as possible since it is the heart of the home and where we spend a good amount of time. I am like you, straight line sewing… curtain panels, shower curtains I can make, anything with zippers or fancy pleats…not so much.:-)
Beautiful! Does it make me a bad person that i thought “I know how to sew a zipper!!!”
Can’t do all those other magical things you do, but that one thing…
Hi Kat – :-) You rock!!!! I think I have my Junior High Home Ec teacher for my lack of knowing how to put in a zipper. That is one skill that I have never mastered.
So pretty and fresh, and the flowers just finish it off. Can’t wait to see the guest room makeover too.
Hi Joan – Thanks. I just finished putting the finishing touches on the guest room and bath. Will be taking photos and posting next Tuesday. :-)
I love all your ideas. Could you tell me where you purchased your blinds?
Where did you get your blinds? I Iove all your ideas.
Thanks Donna – I bought the blinds at JC Penney. I wrote a post about them. Here is the link to the post: https://inmyownstyle.com/2016/06/affordable-window-shades.html. The blinds are called: Woven Wood Blinds. Here is the link to them: http://bit.ly/2rvWvUH
Love the chair cushions! Such a fresh feeling with the blue and wicker.
And thanks for the link to the no sew project. I am so going to use
Hi Mary – The no-sew way to cover a cushion works perfectly when you are covering a square or rectangle. I just used the method in the guest room. I will share it next week.
I love the color blue and the shade you chose is the perfect pop of color your dining set needed. So pretty!
Hi Susan – Thanks. I seem to be leaning to blues lately. I think I may paint a piece of furniture in my foyer using the color too.
I love the look of crisp blue and white, but don’t have a single bit in my house! Love the way yours is looking, Diane.
Thanks for the directions for the cushions. Love the pattern and color!
Hi Sharon – Thanks. After making over the hallway of darkness using navy and white, I am really liking the blue/white combo. I am sure you will see me using more of it in the future.