Introduction: How to Sew a Stylish Pouf Floor Cushion

About: Army Vet. I love learning & being creative. I am back!
Sewing some stylish floor cushions or poufs is a fun project and kids love them! I saw some of these online selling for about $250 - see here for one made by West Elm and it looks just like the recent one I made in green! This project isn't overly difficult, but takes a bit of time - much of which is from ironing!

Materials Needed:
  • Thick home-decor fabric or outdoor fabric
  • Iron-on Fusible interfacing (only necessary if your fabric needs to be a bit thicker) *I was using a home decor fabric and still added some interfacing to make the material thicker and more stable
  • One zipper - be sure it's at least as long as the widest part of the cushion, ie: 18 inches *if longer, you can easily shorten it
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter
  • Thread: I highly recommend that you use a strong upholstery thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Seam Ripper
  • Optional: if you want to add piping, you'll need the cording & extra material to do so
  • Some type of stuffing - it is up to you, but if the chair is as large as the ones in the picture, you need some heavy stuffing material *please read what I used in the last steps of this instructable

Step 1: Cut Out Your Fabric

Cut out your fabric pieces. You'll need:
  • (2) Large Fabric Squares - for the chair I made in green, they were approximately 18 x 18 inches
  • (4) Smaller Rectangles - each piece 10 x 10 inches
Bobbin & Thread:
Make sure your sewing machine bobbin is full and your needle threaded with some thick upholstery thread or some other strong thread.

Fusible Interfacing Time:
If you want to be sure your fabric is extra stable, now is the time to iron in the fusible interfacing. Although my home decor fabric was pretty thick to begin with, I still added the interfacing and I think it made a big difference in the appearance and structure. For the larger square chair with the brown colored bottom to it, I didn't add any fusible interfacing and you can see in the photos that it doesn't look as good as the rest of the chair. The reason that one is multi-colored is because I ran out of fabric! The top portion is a very thick outdoor decor fabric. Next time, I am using the interfacing!

Ironing & Seam Allowances:
Iron every piece you cut & fold over the edges to create a seam allowance of at least 1/2 an inch on all sides. 3/4 of an inch is fine too - just be consistent on all pieces.

Step 2: Sewing on the Zipper

I decided to sew the zipper on right away and get that task over with!
  • First, take the large bottom piece and a smaller pieces which you will sew together.
  • Sew a baste stitch across (loose stitches without a lot of tension - these will be removed later)
  • Layout your zipper along the stitches - and if you need to shorten it, do so now (directions are on the zipper you have purchased - and it's simple)
  • Change your presser foot - put the zipper foot on, which will allow you to sew really close to the zipper
  • Line up your zipper with the basted seam & pin it in place (some people like to use a glue stick to glue it in place) * please see image for what it should look like
  • Carefully sew along the zipper & be careful not to get too close to the zipper teeth. Once you get to the end of the zipper, rotate your material so you can continue on and back down the other side.
  • Use a seam ripper to cut through those basted stitches - and now test out your zipper!
  • Tip: If you've accidentally sewn onto or too close to the zipper teeth, just remove those stitches & restitch a bit further away

Step 3: Adding Pockets and Handle

If you want to add a pocket or a handle, now is the time to sew those and add them to your pieces.
  • To sew a pocket - basically you'll need a smaller piece of material (this doesn't need to be exact by any means) - do the same to it as you do the other pieces (ie: fold over for seam allowance, iron & use interfacing)Sew
  •  the seams
  • Pin it onto the fabric where you want it to be located & sew it on!

Step 4: Sew All Seams

Sew all the seams. Be sure to check each corner to make sure you've sewn it fully. I personally went over the corners more than one time to be sure it was reinforced and stitches were strong. This part is time-consuming. After sewing a piece onto another one - each time - be sure to iron the seams open (see image below). This part of sewing is slightly awkward because the piece is a bit large and you'll need some space to sew it.

* Don't sew your final seam yet! See the last step!

Step 5: Final Seam & Stuffing

Before sewing the final seam, make sure you unzip your zipper! Otherwise you'll have a hard time pulling your material through the home and putting it "right side out" upon completion!

Now for the tricky part - what will you stuff it with?
I have fiberfill & other stuffing materials at home. I first attempted to use them to stuff these things, and I didn't like the results. They squished to the side, weren't stable and it was like sitting on a flattened pillow. So, this may seem weird, but I had a lot of clothes I was getting ready to donate. I actually stuffed the brown one with clothes! It made the chair comfy, stable, strong and a bit heavy. For my second pouf, the green one, I stuffed it with a folded up blanket that I had stored away. It also made the chair stable and comfortable. If you use stuffing - it will squash down and not maintain a square appearance. To circumvent that, either stuff it with something else (be creative) and/or make the pouf smaller. You can also purchase some type of thick fiberfill material to stuff it with, but it's quite expensive.

Just zip the chair up and you are done!!!

Step 6: Final Tip & Photos

Final Tip: Take your time & iron away! If you skip all the ironing, your chair won't look as professionally done. Also take your time with the zipper - it's important! Have fun and make lots of these chairs for the kids! I plan to make a few more with different colored material & different sizes!