How to Make Chair Cushions

Learn how to make cushions that keep your chairs stylish and your butt comfy!

Patio chair cushion


  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Butcher paper
  • 1"-thick foam
  • Marker
  • Electric carving knife
  • 1 yard outdoor fabric
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • 2 ½ yards piping
  • Sewing machine with zipper foot
  • Thread
  • ¾"-wide Velcro, approx. 20"
  • 1 yard cotton ribbon


  1. Measure seat of chair. Cut piece of butcher paper to that size to use as a pattern. Place pattern on a 1"-thick piece of foam. Trace around pattern with a marker. Use an electric carving knife to cut out foam being careful to keep knife vertical.
  2. Add 3/4" to length and width of chair seat measurement, and make a second pattern using those dimensions, rounding corners slightly. Fold fabric so that it is doubled and place pattern on top of fabric. Pin in place. Cut out. (Tip: If using a patterned fabric, be sure to position paper pattern exactly where you want it.)
  3. For piping: Place one piece of fabric on work surface, right side up. Starting along back edge of cushion, pin piping to right side of fabric so outer edge (tail) is even with outer edge of fabric. At corners, make small cuts into tail to allow piping to lay smooth around curve. Work around perimeter of fabric, then cut piping so there is 1" excess. Push casing back and cut piping cord precisely where ends meet. Pin casing so it curves off edge of fabric. Sew piping to fabric using zipper foot.
  4. Place this piece of fabric on work surface with back edge (edge where ends of piping meet) closest to you. Cut ribbon in half so there are two 1/2 yard pieces. Fold one piece in half and position so fold aligns with back fabric edge, about ½" in from right corner. Pin in place. Ends of ribbon will extend towards fabric. Pin to piping. Repeat on left back corner.
  5. Trim Velcro so it will fit between ribbons. Cut Velcro in half down its length, so it measures 3/8" wide. Save one piece for another cushion or discard. Unscratch Velcro. Position one piece of Velcro along edge of fabric, on top of piping tail, from ribbon to ribbon. Pin in place, making sure that it butts closely to piping cord. Sew in place (a mini zig-zag works well, but you can use a straight stitch also).
  6. Place second piece of cushion fabric on work surface, right side up with back edge nearest you. Position other half of Velcro along edge so it corresponds to first piece. Sew in place.
  7. Pin two pieces of fabric together, wrong sides out, so that Velcro and all corners align. Using zipper foot, begin sewing at end of Velcro and continue around, stopping at other end of Velcro. Be sure to keep needle very close to piping cord.
  8. Turn right-side out. Insert foam, adjusting until the foam sits properly in each corner of cushion. Also adjust the tail of piping so it is pointing down —this will make piping pop up. Close by marrying Velcro.