23 March 2012
Sorry it’s been a bit quiet on the blog front this week, I’ve been busy with something very important and exciting, all of which will be revealed soon. In the mean time, how about another DIY project for the weekend? The boy absolutely LOVES throwing himself into piles of cushions, so I thought I’d make him some nice big cushions for the book corner in his nursery. They’re really easy to make. All you need is:
- Cushions (obviously) – I used 65 x 65cm square pillows from the bedroom department at IKEA, which worked really well as most fabrics seem to be about 150cm wide. The next size up of cushions was 80 x 80cm which would have meant having to buy more fabric as 150cm wouldn’t have been enough to cover both sides.
- Some nice fabric of your choice to cover your cushions which is double the width of your cushions x the length + about 5 extra cm all round. So if you’re going with the measurements above, you’d need about 75cm of a 150cm wide fabric. I used some plain blue fabric for two of the cushions and some gorgeous rocket print fabric for the third.
- A sewing machine (you could sew them all by hand, but it will probably take you a while)
- Some pins
- Popper buttons – for a 60cm wide cushion I used six buttons each ca. 18mm in diameter
- Needle and thread
- If you want to embellish your cushions, you also need some scraps of felt fabric and some hemming web (optional)
How to make a basic cushion cover
- First of all, if necessary you need to trim any excess off your fabric. Since you’ll be folding it in half for sewing, you won’t need to add the extra 5cm to the folded edge. So, that means for a 65cm x 65cm wide pillow you’ll want your fabric to be 140cm x 75cm.
- Next, you’ll want to tidy up the edges that will become the opening for your pillow where you’ll later sew on the buttons, so that it looks neat and doesn’t fray. At each of the narrow sides of the fabric, fold the edge under twice, about 2cm each time, then run a simple stitch along the ends with your sewing machine to keep them in place.
- Now fold your fabric in half, right side in. It should now measure 61cm (because of the edges you’ve hemmed) x 75cm. Measure out 65cm across and pin the fabric in to place so it doesn’t slip while you’re sewing. If, like me, you’re not so good at keeping a straight line if you’re sewing free hand, use a soft pencil to draw a line along each side.
- With your sewing machine, whizz along each of the two sides. Your cushion cover should now look something like this: folded edge at the top, open hemmed edge at the bottom, two sewn up sides.
- Turn your cover inside out and sew the six popper buttons in to place along your open edge (a HUGE thank you to my mum for helping to sew on all our buttons!)
- Insert cushion, do up the buttons – voila! Your very own hand made cushion cover.
Of course, you could make it even simpler by missing out the hemming and the buttons, and just sewing up all three side. Remember to leave an opening to insert the pillow, then sew the last bit by hand. That was actually my original plan, then I decided to make the covers removable so that I could stick them in the wash if necessary (which it will be if I know my little boy^^).
How to make an embellished cushion cover
Because one of the pillows had that gorgeous rocket print on it (which was fairly expensive, hence only making one cushion cover from it and the other two with cheap blue IKEA fabric), I decided to embellish one of the plain cushion covers with some rockets. The important thing is, to do this after you have measured out your fabric, so you know where to place your embellishments, but BEFORE you sew it together as it’s a lot easier to handle then. Here’s how I did it.
- First, I searched for a free rocket template on the internet and printed it off. If you’re artistic, you can of course draw your own rocket.
- Next I pinned it on to a blue piece of felt and cut it out.
- From some red and yellow felt scraps, I then cut out a circle and some rocket boosters. I didn’t use a template for these, I just did them free hand.
- To assemble the rocket, I ironed some hemming web on to the back of the circle and the boosters and cut them out.
- I then ironed the circle on to the rocket. To protect the felt from the heat, I put one of the boy’s old muslins on top. If you don’t have hemming web, you could just sew the circle on instead.
- I wasn’t planning to use the hemming web to affix the whole rocket, but I ironed a strip on to the back and then ironed that on to the right side of the fabric (i.e. what would become the outside of the cushion cover) to keep it in place.
- I then sewed the rest of the rocket in place and sewed on the boosters.
I made two rockets, one in blue and one in green, then proceeded to make the cushion cover as above following the basic steps.
The boy absolutely loves his new pillows. Here he is testing them out (and yes, as the husband pointed out, I’ve somehow managed to get rockets, a robot and a pirate all in one photo – cool nursery or what? ^^) Have a great weekend everyone!