How to make boat seat cushions

Written by tim anderson
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How to make boat seat cushions
Enjoy custom boat cushions. (boat image by pearlguy from

Whether you are purchasing your very first boat, renovating one you have had for years or simply need a change in terms of decorations, occasionally you will need to replace or create new boat cushions. Shopping in a store means being limited to colour and style selections, while making your own allows you to be as creative or as basic as you choose to be. With the right tools and just a little bit of time, you can create custom boat cushions that are both comfortable and appealing to the eye.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Foam rubber
  • Naugahyde
  • Tape measure
  • 1 ½ inch strapping
  • Utility knife
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine and thread

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  1. 1

    Measure for and purchase your materials. Allow for a little extra material just in case, and either measure the space for your cushions with a tape measure or use the old cushions as a guide (if applicable) to determine how much material you will need. Purchase foam in sheets which you can then cut down to size on your own. (You can also salvage the old foam if the pre-existing cushions are in good condition, and simply remove/replace the old covers.)

  2. 2

    Purchase the Naugahyde material to use as a cover for the foam of the cushions. Take into account that the sides and seams will require additional material, so you should measure each cushion cover several inches long in every direction to make sure you have enough material. Purchase the 1 ½ inch straps which will be used to attach to the underside of the cushions in case of emergency, during which they can be used as flotation devices.

  3. 3

    Cut the material. Cut the foam rubber and Naugahyde down to size with the utility knife. Remember to allow extra for the seams and sides with the cover material. Take the scissors to cut the straps between 10 and 12 inches, depending on personal preference, allowing two pieces for each cushion.

  4. 4

    Make the cushions. Turn the Naugahyde inside out and use the sewing machine to sew three of the four sides. Attach the straps as you see fit. Place the foam rubber (or old cushion) into the cover material and fold the remaining seam over for a clean, smooth finish. Sew the remaining seam with the sewing machine to complete the cushion.

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