Instructions to make tufted cushions

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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Instructions to make tufted cushions
Tufted pillows with fabric-covered buttons can make an attractive accent for your bedroom. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Pillows and cushions are easy to adorn with tufting buttons. A tufting button is a button that runs through the pillow and pulls the fabric around the button down toward the middle of the pillow. On a pillow or cushion, two buttons are used, one for each side of the cushion. The twine used to secure the buttons is pulled taut to tighten the buttons together, and the result is a tuft. Several buttons evenly spaced can produce a very nice tufted effect.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Cushion
  • Pillow
  • Long upholstery needle
  • Heavy twine
  • Large fabric-covered buttons

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  1. 1

    Place craft paper on your work table. Position your cushion or pillow over the paper and trace out the outline.

  2. 2

    Determine how many buttons or tufts you want on your pillow. Buttons are typically positioned in rows. For most square cushions or pillows, a good tufting arrangement consists of three rows of buttons with two in the top row, one in the middle row and two in the last row. These buttons should be evenly spaced. Five buttons will look like the five dots on a die.

  3. 3

    Calculate your spacing by measuring the width/length of your square pillow. Halfway across the pillow in each direction will give you the centre mark. Measure from the centre mark to the side and divide that distance in half. Draw a line parallel with the side at your mark. Repeat this for each side. Where the lines cross are the locations of each of the four remaining buttons.

  4. 4

    Cover a button with a fabric that matches or contrasts with your pillow or cushion. A fabric button has two halves. The top is dome-shaped, with teeth on the underside. The bottom is circular and snaps into the underside of the top, locking the fabric against the teeth. A small round wire descends from the bottom. Stretch your fabric over the button and press the fabric into the underside teeth. Press the bottom into the top until it snaps.

  5. 5

    Thread an upholstery needle with heavy twine. Knot the doubled thread. Tie the end to the wire of one covered button. Press the needle through the cushion or pillow at the tuft mark location for one of the buttons. Keep the needle even so that it hits the mark on each side of the cushion. Draw the thread through and string on the second button. Take the needle and thread back through the cushion close to the first piercing. Bring the needle through the wire of the first button.

  6. 6

    Pull on the twine until both buttons look the way you want. Wrap your needle and twine around the button twine and tie a knot. Repeat twice and trim off your remaining twine. Repeat this process for each set of buttons.

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