Make: Easy envelope cushions

I love cushions, they're a quick way to update a room, relatively cheaply, and they make everywhere look cosy and homely. My husband hates them. He thinks they are pointless. He spends a good deal of time removing cushions from from the place he's about to sit down on and throwing them on the floor. I spend a good deal of time picking them up off the floor and arranging them on their allotted piece of furniture. And so we continue, man and wife in a constantly battle of cushions - till death do us part (unless the cushions get us first). 

So I'm sure he'll love this post and the fact there are two new cushions on the spare room bed. In my defence they replace two old ones and he never has to sleep in the spare room (unless of course one day the cushion flinging goes too far, in which case spare bed it'll be).

Lots of people will tell you that you can make these cushions in 15 or even 10 minutes. And you can if someone else measures and cuts out your fabric, winds your bobbin, threads your machine and if you don't think you'll ever want to wash the cushion cover and therefore don't need to take measures to stop them fraying in the wash.

But you know me, I like full disclosure over a snappy sell. So these envelope cushions will take you nearer 30 minutes each - but that's still pretty quick if you ask me.

To make your own you will need:

A cushion insert (don't buy the cheap ones from Ikea - they aren't worth it, they make pathetic cushions and they disintegrate pretty quickly. Look for feather filled ones instead or ones with a decent amount of padding that isn't going to clump and flatten. Dunelm do a great range of reasonably priced cushion inserts.)
Fabric of your choice - how much depends on the size of your cushions.
Coordination thread


Measure your cushion and add 3cm to that measurement for seam allowance (1.5cm seam on each side). Cut out one piece of fabric to these measurements to be the front of your cushion. For the back pieces measure a piece of fabric that is the same width, but 12cm longer, cut this piece in half so you have two back pieces the same width as the front piece but that overlap on the back to form your envelope. Apologies for the lack of step by step pictures, they just didn't come out right.

Put your sewing machine on the zig zag setting and sew along the top edge of one of your back pieces and the bottom of the other (check your patterns are in the same direction when you do this).You're not sewing anything together here - the zig zag stitch, which should overlap the edge of the fabric slightly, helps to stop the fabric fraying if you need to wash the cushion cover in the future. This is known as overlocking

Fold over a 1.5cm hem on those zig  zagged edges and iron flat. Switch your machine back to straight stitch and stitch down the hem to give a neat edge. These two edges will form your envelope opening on your cushion.

Lay your front piece on the table with the right side of the fabric facing up. Then lay the two back pieces on top, right side down, lining up the edges with the top and bottom of the front piece. They should overlap one another in the middle. Pin into place. 

Using a straight stitch sew around all four sides of the cushion leaving a 1.5cm hem. Turn the cushion right side out to check that you have sewn it up correctly. Then turn it inside out again and trim the corners to take out the bulk of the fabric - take care not to snip out your stitches.

To secure the seams and any lose threads pop your machine back onto zig zag stitch and overlock your seams to stop them fraying. 

Turn the right side out again, give it a good press and stuff your cushion in. It should be a snug fit to give your cushion a good shape and feel. And you're done.