Tag Archives: sewing

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜› haha
Maybe some coordinating throw pillows are in order, too!



Filed under Crafts, projects, sewing, Wedding

Totally Custom DIY Save-The-Dates

It’s official! Our Save-the-Date cards have been posted. This is the first real wedding “deadline” on our way to the big day. And I think we met this hurdle quite well! We wanted to send them out by the middle of January, and by gosh, we have! (Well, to be honest, we have a few stragglers that still need addresses, but who’s counting?)

Because M is the official graphic designer of the house, he was in charge of the design (with plenty of me nagging him about it…). The first step was figuring out a layout/paper-design. We found inspiration from these examples:


We loved the crisp lines and use of visual layering in the top photo, and I loved the sewn detail and charm of the bottom picture. (top photo from StyleMePretty, bottom photo from 100LayerCake)

We wanted to avoid glue (which is messy and tedious), and we wanted to have multiple layers of paper in our colors. We did lots of brainstorming, tried out a few ideas, and M designed the beautiful text and a central monogram.

Rather than just show you the finished product right-out, I’m going to take you through the step-by-step (which we did about 70 times…haha) But you can scroll to the bottom if you want to cheat πŸ™‚


Supplies: Navy blue cardstock cut to 4.25″x5.5″, white stipple paper with text cut to 4″x5.25″, green 2.5″ paper strips, Fiskars corner punch, ruler, x-acto knife, cutting surface (and later, sewing machine and green thread)

slits for the green paper

We decided to thread a strip of green paper around the blue cardstock, and through the white paper. So we needed slits in the white paper–centered and cut to just bigger than the paper strips themselves.

M's design in raw form

The beautiful text and monogram that M designed.

Punch those corners

A corner punch tool can make dramatic changes to a simple piece of paper.

M got in on the punching too

Punching out 280 corners turned out to be hard on the hands! πŸ˜›

Top layer with corners punched out

What a difference the decorative corners make!

Folding green strip over blue cardstock

Next, the background must be assembled. The green paper strip gets folded over the cardstock for a snug fit.

Folded and ready

Threading the paper strip through the pre-cut slits

Next, the green strip is threaded into the slits of the white top piece, through the top, and the bottom.


We could easily have used glue or double-sided tape to secure the paper components. It looks pretty good just as it is! But we decided to take it a step further…

To the sewing machine!

Sewing took the most attention to detail. Making sure the card pieces were centered, I sewed lines parallel to the card edges. When I got to a corner, I would stop, lift up the foot, and pull about 4 inches of slack thread out (you’ll see why), then rotate to the next side.

all sides sewn

I left plenty of slack thread at the corners, because we wanted 4 separate lines of stitching (not joined together) for a really clean look on the front.

snip those thread loops

So, to clean up the front, I snipped the thread loops at the corners, then flipped over the card to bring all the threads to the back. To do this, you just give a little tug on the back-side threads, which makes a little loop appear. By pulling on the loop, the front thread gets pulled to the back.

all threads on back-side

All that is left is tying off the threads on the back and snipping off the excess!

Our Save the Date card

While these cards took plenty of time to make, M and I had fun working together on them through the whole process, and we hope the recipients like them as much as we do!

Most importantly, I think the cards reallyΒ  feel like us. And it’s the first clue (we hope) to our guests what to expect in July.


Filed under Crafts, DIY, paper, projects, tutorial, Wedding