Embroidery Library

Seat Cushions for Summer Fun

Whether you are sipping lemonade over a relaxing evening chat, or hosting a rip roarin' neighborhood barbeque, add extra comfort and pizzazz with these snazzy new seat cushions.

Coordinate colorful floral designs with vibrant fabric, and add secure ties to match!

Supplies needed:

Foam chair pads
** Four  9 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch pieces of canvas fabric
** Three 18 x 20 inch pieces of canvas fabric
** 6 yards extra-wide bias tape
** Cut-away stabilizer
** Spray adhesive
** Air-erase pen
** Button (optional)

** Needle and thread for some hand sewing

Designs Used:

Crocus Floral Square
** Tulip Floral Square
** Daffodil Floral Square
** Snowdrop Floral Square

Measure the area of the back and seat of the chair to determine the size of the back and seat pads. 

We are using precut high-density foam pieces that are sized at 2 inches thick x 15 inches wide x 17 inches long. 

You can purchase foam at any fabric store and have it cut to the exact size you need.



We drew a rectangle onto a piece of paper to help us chart the measurements and calculations. 

Measure the thickness, width, and length of your foam. Add the measurement for the thickness to the width and the length measurements. Then add 1 inch to each measurement for a seam allowance.


In this example, with a piece of 15 x 17 inch foam, we added a total of 3 inches to both our width and length measurements (2 inches for the thickness and 1 inch for the seam allowance).
The total calculations are 18 x 20 inches, as shown on the left.

Divide the total length and width measurements by two and divide the rectangle into four sections. Each section of our rectangle measures 9 x 10 inches. 

To allow for seam allowances for each of the four sections, we added an additional 1/2 inch.  So, we will cut the fabric for each of the four sections of the front of the back pad as
 9 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches.


We cut our four sections from three different colors and prints of fabric, and coordinated the colors with each section.

Measure and divide each side of the fabric rectangles by two. Draw lines connecting the marks. The intersection of the lines is the exact center of the fabric.

We are placing the designs in the exact center of the fabric squares. When constructed, the designs will be in the upper and lower corners of the pad. 

Print full-size paper templates of the designs using embroidery software. Cut around the templates for easier placement. 

Poke a hole in the center of the template and align it with the center mark on the fabric.  Make sure the design fits well within the shape. Allow at least 1 1/2 inches excess between the edge of the fabric and the edge of the design

Spray a piece of cut-away stabilizer with adhesive and smooth the fabric on top.  Hoop the fabric and stabilizer together by aligning the marks on the hoop with the lines on the fabric.

Attach the hoop to the machine, align the needle directly over the center point on the fabric, and embroider the design.

Repeat the embroidering process for all four sections.  After the designs have finished, carefully trim away the excess stabilizer.

Position the four sections where you'd like them to be.

Lay the sections, right sides together, one row at a time. Lay the right sections over the left sections. Pin along the right hand sides only. 

Sew a 1/2 inch seam along the pinned edges only.

Lay the top row over the bottom row with right sides together. Pin along the top edge only.

Lay the previous seams open on both rows.

Sew a 1/2 inch seam along the top pinned edge only.

Press all the seams open.  The front of the back pad is complete!   

To prepare the ties, sew the bias tape closed along its entire length (6 yards).

Sew a seam as close as possible to the open edge of the bias tape.

Measure and mark eight
26-inch lengths of the tape.

To secure the ends of the tape, sew a zigzag stitch on each end, and on each side of the eight marks. Then cut the tape at each mark.

Cut a piece of fabric for the back side of the back pad.  This piece is exactly the same size as the embroidered front side piece. So, for our pad, we cut an 18 x 20 inch piece of fabric. 

Lay the back fabric right side up. Fold four lengths of tape in half and pin the folded ends at each corner. Angle the tape into the center of the fabric, and pin the folded end a couple of inches away from the corner so the pins will not get sewn over. Pin the loose ends of the tape at the center of the fabric to keep them from being sewn over as well.

Lay the front embroidered fabric piece, right side down, over the back piece fabric and lengths of tape. Pin along the top and sides.

Sew a 1/2 inch seam along the pinned edges only. On the bottom edge, start the seam about 2 inches from a bottom corner. Stop the seam on the bottom edge, about 2 inches from the opposite bottom corner. 

Sew back and forth over each corner and folded lengths of tape to reinforce them.

Turn the cover, right side out and insert the foam. 

Close the opening by turning the open ends of the fabric in about 1/4 inch. Using a zipper foot, sew a seam as close to the edge of the fabric as possible. Press the foam down as you go to allow the fabric to move easily under the needle. 

You can add a button to the center front for added interest.  The back pad is now complete.

The seat pad is assembled  similarly to the back pad.  We chose to use one whole piece of fabric for each side of the seat pad. 

Cut the front and back fabric to size. Our seat pad is the same size as our back pad so we cut two pieces of fabric at 18 x 20 inches. Lay the back fabric right side up, add the bias tape ties as you did before, add the top fabric right side down and secure with pins.

Sew a 1/2 inch seam around the bottom corners, the sides and the top as you did before. 

Turn the cover right side out, add the foam, fold the corners of the open ends over 1/4 inch and sew the opening closed. 

And there you have it!  A cheerful, sunny look for new outdoor decor.

You can spray the pads to waterproof them.

Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

You'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you don't have it, you can download a free copy by clicking on the icon below.

Get Acrobat Reader


Products used in this Project: