Luckily we have design tool skillz, woodworking skillz even nunchuck skillz but alas no sewing skillz...so we've had a bare naked plywood bench for quite some time, not exactly the comfy couch we envisioned.
Recently we got a great donation of a bunch of egg-crate style packing foam, nearly the perfect size for our bench....it had to be trimmed a touch and in this video you can see us using a quite dangerous Hot Wire and a more effective band saw to make the foam the right size and shape.
During Thanksgiving I spent some family time with mom and she showed me just enough sewing tricks so I could make covers for our new couch cushion foam.
This Instructable documents the steps required to sew cushions of your own
Materials needed for Couch Cushions
- Foam - a club member works in a manufacturing plant where large chunks of foam are normally just thrown out...perfect! (price = $0)
- Material - a local fabric store is going out of business, we found denim fabric remnants luckily cut to nearly the size we needed, discounted since they were remnants, discounted even more since the store was going out of business and discounted even more because some had slight flaws, also perfect! ($37.80)
- Thread ...one spool of blue thread (~$2)
- Velcro - 19"x 5/8" or 1", we needed 8 pieces and this rounded up to 4 yards ($6)
- Sewing machine - we obtained one from craiglist...but it was missing the presser feet...so this is where Mom came in
- Scissors - hey you kids, where are my good scissors ?
- Tape Measure
- Chalk Wheel - optional, but very handy I had never used one of these before but worked great!
- Straight Edge
- Seam Ripper - ok, I admit it, there was that one seam I had to do over
- Straight Pins - not essential, but handy for keeping material aligned while sewing
Step 1: Measure and Cut Material
Our known elements were the foam pads, 19"x24" - 8 per couch
When we found remnants, the material was 59" from selvage edge to selvage edge (no not a selfie or salvage, see the pictures for details on what selvage is), sold by the yard, most were already cut to about a yard, but a few were > 43"
So we came up with a plan to group 2 foam pads together the long way to make one cushion. For most of the cushions we needed seams on all edges, but for 3 of them we doubled the material over and only needed 3 seams. If I were buying all new material I would have used the 3 seam technique for all the cushions. But I'll describe the 4 seam technique here.
After measuring, I used a straight edge and a chalk wheel to mark the material
To cut out sections a large nice flat table is handy, for us the kitchen island was the best spot
For our situation we sewed two remnants together and then measured the width and length of the folded in half cover...we needed the cover to be 51" long and 21 1/2 wide. Measuring them this way allowed me to cut the two layers at the same time.
Step 2: So Sew!
Steps to finish the cover:
- Pin the other long edge with straight pins. Pro Tip: If you place the pins perpendicular to the seam it will be easier to remove them as you sew
- Sew with a straight stitch along the long edge and one of the short edges. We left the selvage edge as the edge to be closed by Velcro, less chance of unraveling. Pro tip: use back stitching feature of the machine near the beginning and ending sections of any seam.
- Insert one of the cushions to make sure you have the correct fit
- Sew with a straight stitch the "soft" half of your Velcro to the edge of the cover you consider the top. Align the Velcro on top of the material and sew as close to the edge as possible.
- Sew with a zig zag stich the other edge of the soft velcro, the goal here is to use a zig-zag stitch to sew half on the Velcro and half off to seal the edge of the Velcro
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the rough piece of Velcro - also sewing the velcro to the outside of the material
- Insert the other piece of foam
- Seal the cushion by folding the soft edge over and onto the rough edge.
Optional: For our couch we decided to use some of the extra foam and extra material to cover up the bare plywood. This was simply a matter of cutting material to shape and using a staple gun to hold the denim in place.
Thanks for checking out my Instructable. Good luck on all your Projects!