Friday, July 13, 2012

DIY Bench Cushions

MUST get better at writing posts... There are several things that I've meant to make posts from, and just never ended up getting around to it!  Maybe I'll do those one of these days, too... We'll see! ;)

For today, though, I'm really going to do it! Here's a little "how to" on the bench cushions I FINALLY got around to making today.  Most of the reason it took so long for me to make these (even though I got the foam a few MONTHS ago) was that I just hadn't found the right fabric to cover them with!

Enter Target and their curtain panels.  Love them.  Found some on sale, so I went for it - hoping that one panel would give me enough fabric to cover both cushions.  Actually, I hadn't even considered that it wouldn't be enough...until I laid out the fabric and cushions as I started the project.

Ideally, I'd have more fabric to work with, but in all honesty, anyone who comes to our home is only going to see one side of the cushion, so if the underside isn't perfect (or completely covered, even)...who cares?! Not this gal!  But seriously...dont' peek at the underside of my cushions. They may not be covered... Just assume they are :)

OK. on to the project! I'll describe these steps as best I can for those of you who are wanting to do this yourself.  Forgive me if I am terrible at it - I've never done this before either.  I basically looked at a bunch of DIY's online, but didn't find any I really liked, so I made it up as I went on this one.  If it turns out terribly... well, at least it was less that $25 that I wasted, right? ;)

To begin:

Materials -

Foam ($2)- this stuff is RIDICULOUSLY expensive at JoAnn Fabric, the only stinkin' fabric store we have in Denton (other than Hobby Lobby...), so I was PUMPED when I found TWO strips of two inch, dense foam at Denton SCRAP a few months ago.


WHAT?! Yes. that's right.  I said ONE dollar each.  This is easily $75.00 worth of foam if I paid full-price at JoAnn... Booyeah!

Fabric ($20)- As mentioned before, I got one 84" window panel from Target to use as my fabric. It was on sale (The other one in the pic is going to be used for pillows...and maybe some napkins??)

Straight Pins (free) - already had them.  Always best. "Free ninety-nine", as my father-in-law would say.

Thread (free) - again. already had.  Probably should have gotten some thread that actually matched the fabric, but I didn't really plan on making any visible stitches that would be visible from the top side of the pad, so I wasn't too worried about it. Just went with brown since it was close, and everything in our house is brown anyhow, so at least it matches...right?

Sewing Machine (free)- already had. LOVE that I have a working sewing machine.  By far the best Christmas present in a long time.  Thanks, Mom! ;)

Fabric Scissors (free) -Everyone should have a pair on fabric scissors.  Never let anyone use them on anything BUT fabric.  It ruins them.  No one likes a dull pair of fabric scissors.  No one. Trust me.
Again, wonderful Christmas present from the Mom! She was on a ROLL this year... ;)

Electric Bread Knife (free) - already had. Thanks, Dad!  What do you need this for, you ask??  To cut the foam. Only way I know to do is properly... if you don't have one of these, you'll want to google search a good way to do it. It's harder than it would seem!

Iron (free) - I should have ironed the fabric before I started pinning, BUT I forgot, and by the time I realized it, I was too lazy to have to start over... so I waited until after sewing to give it a quick once-over.

And the fun begins:

 1. Trim foam to the size of your bench.  As I did this, I realized that one of the foam pads I had was shorter than the other... bummer!  BUT luckily, the excess I cut off the edge of one of them worked to lengthen it.  Don't know how well this will hold up in the end, but I basically gave my foam a really sketchy looking sew-up job to make them the same length.  For 2 bucks, it works for me!
top one is too short! BOO! :(
cutting extra foam from the sides to add to the end.
quick-stitching my extra foam to the end.
 2. Lay out your fabric, and cut your pieces for the top, bottom, and all four small sides leaving at least an inch for seam allowance and pinning.  the more fabric you leave, the easier the pinning. trust me. I learned that the hard way.  Plus, you can always trim the excess when you're done pinning.

cutting my fabric pieces
 3. Let the pinning commence!  MAKE SURE YOUR FABRIC IS WRONG SIDE OUT!!!  There is NOTHING worse than to be finished pinning (or better yet - SEWING) and to realize you did it with your fabric facing the wrong way... SO bad.

Pin your pieces together in lines as straight as you can get them, and as snugly as you can get them.

 Now, for my bottom side, I didn't cover the whole thing at first because I'm running low on fabric and am too cheap to spend another 20 bucks for just a little bit of fabric...So I'm waiting to cut all of the necessary fabric for the other cushion before finishing the bottom, here...

More Pinning
What's this guy doing here??  Well, as you can see, he was supervising the whole thing.

Pinning Complete! 
Another shot of my "after pinning was done"
4. Sewing.  Now, just CAREFULLY (so that your pins don't come out) remove the cover, and sew following your pins! It's just a bunch of straight lines. easy peasy!

5. When I was done sewing, I ran a warm iron over it to get the "folds from packaging" lines out of it.

6. Turn your cover right side out, and slip in your foam! VOILA!!

It's not as great as I was originally hoping, but really... for under $25, and for NOT having to sit on that hard bench anymore, it was a steal!

Anyhow... hope this was helpful for you! Next, I will be making those cute rust/white curtains into some pillows for the living room! Excited for that bc it's going to be SO EASY! :)

Happy sewing!

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