Refinishing Cushions: a How-to Guide

Here is how I refinished the cushions on my glider chair.

1. Figure out how much fabric to use
If your cushion is like mine, it will have creases that you will have to account for.  The first thing I did was lay the new fabric upside down on top of the cushion and push the fabric in to the creases.

IMG_4383Then I drew a line on all four sides of the cushion, where I would need to sew the seam.
IMG_4385Then I removed the cushion and cut out the shape, about and inch out from where I drew the line.  Then I cut an identical piece for the back of the cushion.
IMG_43882. Iron the fabric and hem the bottom.  Do this for both pieces (the front and back of the cushion).
IMG_43893. Sew the front and back together.  Only sew the two sides and the top.  You’ll need to keep the bottom open so you can pull it over the cushion.

4. Make the loops.  Instead of trying to cover the existing loops, I thought it would be easier just to tuck the old ones under the new fabric and then make my own.  I measured the old loops and then folded and sewed fabric of the same length.  I then pulled the cushion fabric right side up, opened up holes for the loops, pinned them in place, pulled the fabric inside out again, and then ironed.  It’s hard to explain; I hope the picture helps:

IMG_4393

I pushed the loops in to holes I created in the fabric and then I pinned it in place. (as shown above). After this picture was taken, I pulled the fabric inside out and then sewed the loops in place.

And now you should have something like this:
IMG_43965. Make the creases. Pull the fabric over the cushion and then pin the fabric down into the creases.
IMG_4397I then hand sewed the creases.  My cushion had a crease in the back as well, so I made sure to follow both the front and back creases as I went.  This part took some time.

6.  Sew the bottom.  Once your crease is sewn in, you’re almost finished with the top cushion!  The only thing left is to sew the bottom shut.  You can do this with a sewing machine.

7. Cover the bottom cushion
I actually don’t have any pictures of this process because I didn’t know what was going to work until I was finished.  Here’s what I did:

  • I cut fabric that would go on the top and bottom of the cushion and then I cut fabric that would fit on all three sides. Now, this is the first time ever sewed something with 3 dimensions (vs. something 2-dimensional like a pillowcase) and it took me a while to get it right.
  • For the back side of the cushion, I only sewed it to the top of the fabric.  I left it open at the bottom so I could fit the fabric over the cushion once it was finished.  Like this:
    IMG_4454

    It’s not cut very pretty, but that’s okay because it ends up hidden.  The bottom piece (that has the jagged edge) is the fabric that is for the bottom part of the cushion.  I just left it long  so it could fold up over the back.  The part I’m holding up is a piece I cut for the back edge. 

    IMG_4453

    Fold the fabric down and now the back of the cushion is covered. This makes it easy to take the fabric off the cushion and wash it if needed.

    • For each button on the cushion, I cut a round piece of fabric, pulled thread around the outside, fitted it on the button and then pulled the thread tight to tighten the fabric on to the button.  Then, once the slip for the bottom cushion was finished, I cut small slits in it and then pulled the buttons through the top.  The end result was this:

      IMG_4450

That’s it!  Sorry if any of this was confusing; feel free to leave a message if you’d like clarification on anything or additional pictures.  Also, I am no expert, so it’s okay if you come up with a different plan for your project.

 

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