Saturday 31 May 2014

Make All The Things! Felt Cushion / Pillow Tutorial

Last weekend my To Do list read "MAKE ALL THE THINGS!!!"

I took this a bit literally, and decided to decorate a cushion with this exact phrase ... to help me remember to make more time for being creative, to not let admin take over my schedule, to do more making and less faffing about worrying about what project I should start next... and, well, just generally to encourage myself to make all the things.

Here's the finished cushion...

... I love it! Honestly this cushion makes me smile every time I see it, it's an awesome addition to my studio. 

To make your own, you will need....

- A plain cushion (pillow) cover.  I used a canvas cushion cover bought at H&M (affordable and available in lots of different colours, hurrah!) that measures 40 x 40 cm (16 x 16 inches).

If you want to you can, of course, make the cushion cover from scratch. There are plenty of cushion-making tutorials available online or in sewing books :)

- Felt in a constrasting colour to your cushion (you'll need two or three sheets/squares of felt)
- Sewing thread to match the felt, and a contrasting shade for tacking
- A needle and pins
- Sewing scissors (I used embroidery scissors, which are great for cutting out felt shapes)
- The templates provided at the bottom of this post. If your cushion is larger or smaller than mine just enlarge or shrink the templates as needed.

To decorate the cushion...

1. Use the templates provided to cut out the felt letters. 


2. Arrange the letters on the front of the cushion cover (or the fabric you'll be using to make your cushion) and carefully pin them in place. Note how I've left space around the edge of the letters, to allow for the 3D shape of the cushion.

Take care not to pin the front and back of the cushion cover together when pinning on your letters!


3. Use a contrasting shade of thread and large stitches to tack the felt letters in place, removing the pins as you sew. The tacking stitches will hold the letters in place and make the cushion much easier to handle (no getting pricked by pins when sewing!). Make sure you don't sew through both layers of the cushion.


4. Use matching thread and whip stitch to sew the felt letters to the cushion cover. This is nice and easy if you're sewing onto fabric-to-be-turned-into-a-cushion but sewing on the front of an already-sewn-together cushion can be a bit fiddly so take your time... and, again, make sure you're sewing through just the front layer of the cushion!


5. If you're making your own cushion, now's the time to take your appliqued fabric and follow the cushion-making instructions. If you've used a ready-made cover like me, all you need to do now is add the cushion insert and ta da...


... one slightly bossy cushion to put on your sofa to remind you to make stuff! :)

Click on each template sheet to view it in another tab or window. Make sure you're viewing the image at full size, then print it at 100%.


This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many crafty cushions as you want for yourself and as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial / share my templates on your site. Thanks!

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Lilyshaw said...

Lovely make and really straight forward tutorial, thank you!

Unknown said...

I have been making some cushions amongst other things but keep losing focus on what to make next. Think I might have to make me one of these to remind me!

Unknown said...

I really love this so much, it makes me smile! I don't really have somewhere near my workspace to put a cushion, but I am seriously considering making a wall hanging for next to my desk!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Lilyshaw - Thanks!

Elizabeth - Yup, losing focus is something I've really been suffering from lately. I find it especially tricky keeping motivated with "personal" projects when they're squeezed inbetween my freelance deadlines. Gotta do more making :)

Rebecca - Thank you! A wall hanging would be great, or maybe you could sew the letters onto some nice fabric (maybe something with a small print like a ditsy Liberty-esque floral?) and stretch it over a canvas to make a picture?? You know, I may have to do something like that with another phrase I like the idea of it so much. *Adds this to endless list of things I'd like to make*

Sum of their Stories said...

Love it. I too would like to Make all the things!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks Julia! Here's to lots more making all round :)

Pops de Milk said...

This is great, I'm definitely going to make one. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

unmitigated me said...

It would be nice to credit Allie Brosh from Hyperbole and a Half, as you likely adapted her "Clean All the Things!" for your project. It's very cute, tho.

"This is Why I'll Never Be an Adult"

Bugs and Fishes said...

Ah, I thought this was just one of those "internet-y" phrases people used, like "I can't even" - nice to know the original source, thankyou! x