DIY Sewn Bench Cushion

Most people who are not from the Pacific Northwest have no idea how beautiful our summers are. Summer in Western Washington is in a word: ideal. The temperature ranges from the seventies to mid-eighties, the humidity is very low, everything is lush and green, and the mosquitoes are few. This is why we chose to have an outdoor summer wedding – because we know how gorgeous it will be, and we want to share that especially with our out-of-state friends & family (local folks already know how good they have it, haha).

This means getting my parents’ yard to idyllic condition will be key. Slowly but surely we are planning our course of action. Not many things can be done far in advance, but I’m tackling the little things that can.

One small detail is a wrought iron bench, which sits under some shady boughs at one end of the property. I want to make that spot inviting. I had found a very cool length of upholstery fabric at a thrift store that I didn’t know what to do with, and my mom suggested a comfy bench cushion. Genius!

This project took very little time and was also very cost effective. Here’s what I did:

First, measuring is important. The benchseat measured 48″ long by 18″ deep. And I wanted a thick comfy cushion, so I decided 2″ thick would be good.

To get the fabric cut to the correct lengths for this end result, I would have two panels of fabric measuring 51″x21″
(Take your length and add 1.5″ to each side – the .5″ is for seam allowance)

Next, pin your 2 panels together, good sides facing each other, and sew all the way around, leaving about a 6″ opening so later you can turn it inside out and stuff it.

Once you’ve sewn the perimeter, put your hand inside the corner and lay it flat – this is how we get square corners. Here’s a little diagram I whipped up:

(you may need to click to enlarge the diagram!)

Here’s what your square corner will look like:

square corner detail

Once all four corners have been squared off, turn the case right-side-out, and you are ready to stuff it! ^_^

When your cushion has been filled (I used about 52 oz of poly-fil) the opening needs to be sewn closed. I just did this by hand – pinned the two layers together and then stitched with a needle and thread.

So at this point, I had a big mound of a cushion, so to tame it, I sewed three buttons to pinch the pillow down.
And the buttons just happened to be 3 of my own design and crafting, so it’s extra special 🙂 You can check out more of my ceramic buttons at my Jadeflower shop!

button detail

So there you have it! I can’t wait to bring my finished cushion home and try it out on that bench. Oh my mama will be so proud 😛 haha
Maybe some coordinating throw pillows are in order, too!



Filed under Crafts, projects, sewing, Wedding

15 responses to “DIY Sewn Bench Cushion

  1. Kat

    Bek, you continue to amaze me… you are so darn crafty!!

  2. I’m really psyched to try this out! I’m just starting out in sewing and I love the way the instructions are easy to understand/follow! Thanks so much 🙂

  3. jamie

    So happy to find this post! I do have a question about the seam allowance. You suggest adding 1.5″ to each side – but your starting length was 48″, so how did you end up with 53″ cuts of fabric? Where did the additional 2 inches come from? Any advice would be appreciated! 🙂


    • RebekkaFerbrache

      Hi Jamie!
      You are right!
      It should be 51″ (not 53″). That is a typo. (Embarrassing since I emphasize the measuring so much!) Thanks for the heads-up, I’ll be editing that 🙂

      • jamie

        Great! Thank you for taking the time to get back to me! I will be back with pics of my finished product (we will see how long that takes me!). 🙂

  4. jamie

    Hello again! I am stuck with the buttons! My cushion looks pretty but also resembles a long marshmallow!! My question is, how did you sew the buttons on? Do you see them from the back side? Is that where you knotted your thread? Any tips are appreciated 🙂

    • RebekkaFerbrache

      Hi Jamie!
      Yep, this cushion definitely needs buttons to tame it! 🙂
      I used heavy-duty thread (or I bet embroidery thread would work well, too) and just went in and out through the pillow and tightened it down as much as I possibly could. Having someone else press the pillow together while you get the first few passes in helps alot! I just kept threading it through the pillow and button until it felt secure.
      I only put buttons on one side and the thread is visible on the other side.

  5. thanks for the detailed diagram of the square corners! some of us need the details to get it done right! thanks for sharing your idea – i hope to do this for our bench in our hallway.

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  7. Lisa

    Could I make this the same way and stuff a foam cushion into it?

    • RebekkaFerbrache

      Hi Lisa,
      You probably could, but you’d need to be sure that your foam cushion dimensions match up with the fabric dimensions. And you’d probably need to leave a bigger opening in the fabric to get the cushion in.

  8. Eimear

    Love this esp the corner detail – trying it today, but with foam, fingers crossed! Do you think I should put a button in the centre of where each person would sit? ie two buttons total for a two person seat? Thanks. Eimear

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  11. Just made this cushion tonight for the bench in my daughters room. Thank you so much for the easy tutorial. I especially love the corners! And it only took me about 30 minutes to complete 🙂

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