Chair Cushion {Re-Cover} Tutorial

Happy Monday!

Today I’ve got a super fun, super quick tutorial that will help spice up your kitchen … or your workspace … or anywhere you have a wooden chair.

As I mentioned in my Spring Quilt Market post, Robert Kaufman requested {4} slipcovers to be made for IKEA’s ‘bare’ chair cushions. I couldn’t believe how easily they came together! So, I had my bestie pick up a few for me {since she’s great like that and lives within an hour of an IKEA} and she hand delivered them a few weeks ago.

We have these IKEA chairs for our kitchen table and then I have another one upstairs at ‘Cent Comm’ {where I do all my blogging/computer work}. Guess what? Some days I spend hours in that chair … answering e-mails/convos, blogging, tweeting, bookkeeping {eh-hem, wait this is what I SHOULD be doing}, editing pictures and listing items. And let’s not even get started on Pinterest. All that to say … my back side would get SORE sitting in that chair.

But now, ahhhhh … it is now SO happy.

Here’s how you can make your back side happy too :D.

Tutorial:: {Re}Covering a Chair Cushion

Finished Size: Varies per cusion {mine was 18x18x3}

– 3/4 YD Fabric {may need more or less depending on your cushion size}
– Chair Cushion
– Coordinating thread

1. Measure your cushion from side seam to side seam {mine was 18″}

2. Measure your cushion from front to back {mine was 35″}. I also cut off all of the tags and velcro ‘ties’ at this point too.

3. Measure the height of your cushion {or the gusset} at the corners

4. Determine how wide to cut your fabric:: X = # from step 1 + 1″ {mine was 19″}

Cut 1 Piece {X} x width of the fabric (i.e. mine was 19×45)
{You are cutting perpendicular to the selvedge edges.}
Cut 2 Pieces 3 x width of the fabric (i.e. mine was 3×45}

Take the larger piece and cut the length (currently 45) to # from step 2 + 1″ {mine was 36″}

5. Take the large fabric piece and fold it WST {Wrong Sides Together} and pin if needed. Stitch along both sides with a 1/2″ SA. Back-stitch and beginning and end of each seam. Press seams open.

6. Create a fold at one of the bottom corners so that the seam is running down the center (see picture). Draw a line where it is the depth of the # in step 3 and pin the corner. Repeat for opposite corner. Stitch across both lines, back stitching at the front and back.

7. Next, determine where you’d like your ties to go on your cushion {mine were 2.5″ from the gusset}

{It helps if you have a disgusting ironing board to iron on … just sayin’}

8. Prepare ties. Take one of your 3×45 strips of fabric and fold & press each short end 1/2in. Then fold & iron entire length in half WST. Unfold and fold & iron each length into the center line created by first fold. Fold in half & iron.

9. Stitch around the 3 open sides {or the entire perimeter if you’d like}. Repeat steps 8-9 for other tie.

10. Mark where ties should be placed {# from step 7 + 1/2 of your gusset #} {mine was 2.5 + 1.5 = 4}. Fold ties in half and place inside the cover piece. Pin in place. Then mark a line approx. 2″ beyond each tie.

11. Stitch from corner to the mark you made 2″ beyond the ties. I back-stitched across my ties to reinforce and back-stitched at the beginning and end of each seam. Press seams open. Repeat step 6 for two new corners. This will be a little tricker with the ties this time, but just take your time and keep the ties out of the way as you stitch your corner gussets.

12. Turn cushion cover right side out. Fold your cushion in half and gently coax {yep it takes a little coaxing} it into its new cover. Smile, you’re almost done!

13. Remember you’re smiling … because this step *might* make you want to curse. Again, take your time. Match up your open section by folding in the 1/2″ SA and then pinning together. CAREFULLY push your cushion out of the way so that you can get the open section under your presser foot and stitch it closed 1/8″ from the edge. ** Or you could hand-stitch this section closed as well. **


Tie it on your chair and look at how cute it now looks all dressed up!!

*Optional tufting*

If you’d like to created ‘tufts’ {like my IKEA cushion form had} you can do so with some needle and a thread.

1. I used button & carpet thread and an upholstery needle. Thread your needle with a double thread and tie a double knot.

2. Determine where a ‘tuft’ is and pinch layers together. Starting from the bottom, come up through the center area and then go back down about 1/8″ over, coming back down through the same point. When you go back up the second time, come up about diagonal to your first point so you can create an ‘x’ when you go back down 1/8″ over. {Hopefully this makes sense in the picture}. Make another double knot and trim thread. Repeat for remaining ‘tufts.’

**I will say I don’t think this is the best way to do this. It works, but it can also create ‘runs’ in your fabric {especially if you’re using quilting weight}. A better alternative might be using covered buttons, but I didn’t want to be sitting on buttons ;). If someone has a better tutorial for this part, please share! **

Whaaa-laaa!! Happy Tufted Chair Cushion!!

While this tutorial is lengthy and wordy {just like me} … it really is a quick project. I just like to try to give a bit more detail so sewers of all levels can join in.

I’ll be putting together a Flickr group soon and would LoVe, LOVE, lOvE, to see your creations from any of my tutorials. I’m also working on getting my tutorials tab updated as well.

Want to see more chair cushions and get inspired? Pop on over to Pinterest.


I’m linking up::

beneath my heart


  1. Very cool! thank you! I have these same cushions and chairs and the cream color of the original cushions does not mix well with a toddler in the house! LOL!

  2. Well arent you just the cat’s meow. LOVE it! Ive always had a thing for the scissors fabric. I made a custom bag for a bridal order using it; one of the bridesmaids was a hair stylist and it was a big hit:)
    Have a great day!

  3. love the fabric choice! looks great with the black chairs

  4. For the record, you can’t really feel the covered buttons when you sit down. That was a concern of mine as well, but the cushioning absorbs the buttons. At least on mine.

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