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Instructions for covering a foam cushion with fabric

Updated April 17, 2017

Do-it yourself projects can help you achieve home improvements quickly at a lower cost than paying someone else. One of the easiest projects to do on your own is covering cushions. This is a simple project that, in some cases, requires no sewing at all, although any sewing that is required is very basic and can quickly be learnt.

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Measure the Area to be Covered

You’ll need exact measurements of the area being covered to prevent sagging and overhang off the edges of the seat. When you choose your fabric, make sure to add 2 to 4 extra inches for seam allowance. It’s always better to have too much fabric than too little.

Decide on the Thickness of Foam

The thickness of the foam you will use will be determined by what it is being used for. If you are covering cushions for dining room chairs, you don’t want the foam to be too thick because sitting on it will feel uncomfortable. If you are covering an outdoor bench with spacing between the boards, a thinner foam works best so that the surface with the cushion feels fully supported.

Make a Pattern

Your cushion will help you make the pattern for the fabric that will cover it. Trace the foam on newspaper or any other type of paper. Add 2 inches on all sides for seam allowance. Make sure to measure the cushion from the floor to the top surface as well as the diameter to get the most accurate measurement before you begin sewing or covering. If you are using a thick foam cushion, it will look better to make a separate pattern for the sides and sew the bottom, side and top pieces together.

Staple Gun or Sew?

If you are attaching cushions to chairs with a base, like a dining room chair, you can avoid sewing and simply cover the cushions over the top pulling the fabric taught as you staple the excess underneath the board.

If your cushion pattern is made up of multiple pieces like a top and bottom, or a top, bottom and sides, you will need to sew all of these pieces together.

If you are sewing removable cushion covers that you can toss in the washing machine when necessary, adding a zipper enclosure is a good idea. Use the zipper to determine the length of the pattern piece. You will need to account for an additional ½ inche of fabric for the ¼-inch seam allowance once you attach each side of the zipper.

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About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Kimberly Gail has worked as a freelance web copywriter and content provider for more than six years. Her work has been featured on eHow and Travels.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Alabama.

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