chair cushions

An often overlooked part of the chair building process is the cushions. As with a lot of other woodworking projects, whatever your building isn’t always made of wood. Cabinets can have glass doors, the mounts you made for a shelf may be glass, and the cushion on your chair is fabric. Yes, there will be some sewing required, but no it’s not the end of the world! It’s actually a pretty easy and straight forward process, maybe you can even enlist the help of your significant other for this part of the project.

We’re going to start out by getting the dimensions of the fabric you’ll need. Take the width of the chair and add six inches to it. This is the width you’ll be needing. Now, measure the length and multiply that by two and add an additional six inches. That will be the length you need.

For the comfort aspect, I’ll be using a 2” thick piece of foam as the actual cushion to my chair. You can use something slightly thicker if you want, but you’ll have to adjust your measurements accordingly. Draw out the dimensions from above onto your piece of foam and cut it out with some shears.

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Next we’re going to cut the fabric to size. Snip the dimensions you need from the roll, leaving about 1/2” extra on all sides. You’ll see why in a minute.

Now place your cushion in the very center of the fabric (on the side that isn’t supposed to face up) and draw a line all the way around it. Fold a corner in half diagonally so it forms a mitered edge with the right sides. Now you’ll need to sew a perpendicular line against the raw edge of the fabric. You should start against the marked line and stop shortly before you get to the edge. Repeat this at every corner. Lastly, pin the last three sides of the bottom to the sides that are shaped like darts.

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While making cushions for your chair isn’t exactly the most manly aspect of the project, it is one of the most important parts. Pick out a good material that matches the rest of your house, fire up the sewing machine, and get started. With the right fabric and foam, you should be able to make something like will last years to come. I recommend researching the fabric you use, and pick out a nice stain free one.