There is something so special about presenting a hand-made gift to those you love. I love to bake and hand over tins smelling of cinnamon or sugar – but I know that these treats are devoured quickly! So why not grab your sewing box and make this lovely applique cushion? It will last much longer than a batch of your favourite muffins!
This DIY cushion is much faster with a sewing machine however, if you don’t have one, hand stitching will do just fine! Have a play about with fabrics, colours and words – this is a gift you can make magnificently personal!
What you will need (this tutorial makes one 35 x 35cm cushion cover):
- Sewing machine (not necessary, but hand stitching will be required!)
- Iron, ironing board
- Fabric for the front and back of cushion cover – I have used cream cotton drill (1 front piece 37cm x 37cm, 2 back pieces 37cm x 30cm, 37cm x 25cm)
- Fabric for word applique – I have used white woollen felt (use something tightly woven or a felt for best results)
- Thread, needle, pins, tape measure
- Paper print out of your chosen wording in correct size
- Scissors for fabric and paper
- Cushion insert (for a plump cushion, go one size larger than your cushion cover)
What to do:
Step 1. Using paper scissors, carefully cut out each individual letter from your sheet of paper. You can use any words you like, and the font is only restricted by what is on your computer – let your creative juices flow!
Step 2. Pin each letter onto your chosen applique fabric. Once they are secure, carefully cut out each letter with fabric scissors.
Step 3. Once you have cut out each letter, lay down the square piece of fabric that will be the front of your cushion cover, right side up. Place your letters in your chosen design, and if necessary with your design, measure to make sure they are sitting evenly and at equal distance from the edge of the fabric. Pin your letters securely onto the fabric.
Step 4. Once you’re happy with your design and your letters are pinned onto the fabric, thread your needle and begin to stitch on the shapes (watch out for pins!) I have used a simple running stitch and the same colour thread as my letters, but if you fancy making the stitching a design focus, there are many different stitches that would look gorgeous – and the colour options are endless!
Step 5. Once your letters are sewn onto your fabric, grab the two backing pieces. Fold one long edge of each twice (to tidy away raw edges) and press with your iron. Use your sewing machine to run a straight stitch along these two edges (or hand stitch if you haven’t got a sewing machine).
Step 6. Lay the front of your cushion cover down, right side up. Place the larger backing piece directly on top of the front of the cushion, right side down and hemmed edge towards the centre of cushion. Then place the smaller backing piece of fabric on top of this, right side down and hemmed edge towards the centre of cushion. Pin all three layers together.
Step 7. With a 1cm allowance, run a straight stitch around the outside of the square. If you don’t have a sewing machine you can hand stitch this step, it will simply take a little longer.
Step 8. Once you have sewn around the edges of your cushion cover, trim all of the rough edges off. Using the opening at the back of the cushion, turn the cover inside out. Give the cover a good press with your iron and pop in your cushion insert.
Think of all the words and shapes you can now embellish on your household goods! And remember, if the thought of making a cushion cover is a tad overwhelming simply nip out and purchase a plain one, it will look just as lovely! But why not give it a go? You just might have a seamstress lurking inside of you!
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a pretty and easy idea; these would make lovely gifts for your bridesmaids – or even a “Mr and Mrs” cushion!
About Nicola Goring – I’m Nicola, the florist and crafter behind rubyandjoy. I’m a gardening, fabric loving, mint tea drinking, brownie baking, book obsessed maker! I love a good adventure having just moved back from five years in Scotland (with my lovely Scottish husband).