How to cover foam cushions

Updated February 21, 2017

People use foam cushions for many different seats, such as chairs on the patio or deck, and for dining room chairs. Some people even take cushions with them to sit on hard surfaces at their kids' sporting events. Shop-bought foam cushions work well enough for a little while, but the covers have a tendency to break down from use. You can make a new cover for your foam cushion even if you have very little sewing experience. Buy whatever fabric you wish to match the decor of your home or show support for your favourite sports team.

Wash and dry the new fabric before doing any cutting. Lay the fabric out on a large, flat surface.

Measure the thickness of the foam.

Set the foam cushion on top of the fabric. Trace around the foam with chalk and then add half the thickness of the foam all the way around. If your foam is 5 cm (2 inches) thick, add 2.5 cm (1 inch) to your measurements.

Cut out two pieces of the fabric.

Lay the fabric on your large, flat surface again with the right sides of the fabric together. Line up all the raw edges. Use pins to hold the fabric in place along three of the sides.

Sew from one of the corners all the way around the three sides. Remove the fabric from the sewing machine and trim any threads. Clip the corners 6 mm (1/4 inch) from the seam to remove some of the bulk of the fabric.

Turn the cushion cover right-side out.

Insert the cushion into the cover at the opening. Keep working until you have the corners of the foam properly in place inside the cover.

Fold under the raw edges of the cover to enclose the cushion. Use pins to hold the fabric in place. Sew the cushion cover closed using a needle and thread.


Make your cushion look a little fancier by sewing a boxed cover for the cushion. Cut two pieces of fabric for the top and bottom, and then cut a strip to go around the diameter of the cushion. If you are going to carry your foam cushion around, add a handle out of matching grosgrain ribbon and sew it into the seam when you sew the two pieces of fabric together.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
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