June 11, 2012

How to make an easy, elastic cushion cover

Sorry about being away for awhile. End of school, my In-Laws celebrated 50 years together, WOOT,WOOT!! 
I mean they deserve a serious WOOT, WOOT!  

So I am finally able to show you some more progress on the porch.

Below is the before. Greens and blues although the green is seriously faded because I didn't use outdoor fabric but I still like it.  But my chairs needed an update as well and I wanted something a bit different but economical. So drop cloths to the rescue. I rarely shop for my fabric on the bolt. You need to get twice as much and even with a coupon you might be spending a lot of loot.

 If I need a large amount of fabric, here's where I go first:
shower curtains
drop cloths

Lots of yardage for not a lot of moohla. Now that deserves a WOOT! Today I adjust going to show yo how to make a cover for the bed cushion. I originally made the green cushion cover with a Velcro closure. But this time I wanted an easy on/off to wash it. So I made it with an elastic edge to just cover the top and sides. Super easy off and on is right!  

Here's the skinny on how to make it plus have some left overs for pillow covers!:
drop cloth ( I used a 4' x 15')
serger or sewing machine
matching thread and scissors (they don't have to match but if they do, then you are one amazingly coordinated crafter and I am jealous!)
your cushion to use as a guide
3/8" wide elastic (enough to go around 3/4 of the perimeter)   

Wash and dry your drop cloth. Lay your cushion on top and cut 1/2 " away from the edge all the way around. So the piece above is 1/2" larger than my cushion all the way around. This is your seam allowance. 

Now cut 2 short pieces as long as the short side  and 2 long pieces as long as the long sides. These will cover the edge of your cushion.  I made mine 6 inches wide but make yours wide enough to cover the side and a little but of the bottom of the cushion plus 2" for the elastic casing and seam allowance. If you can, use the finished edge as your finished edge for these pieces. Just saves time. If you can't, don't sweat it you can finish them later with a zigzag stitch.
 Sew these four pieces together at the corners, like above. With side seams facing out, lay on your top piece. This is right sides together for you sewing aficionados. Sew around the perimeter, 1/2 " from the edge.

This is what it will look like up close when you are about to turn your corner. 

I lifted the corner so yo can see how you are to end the corner. The bottom material is your top piece and the top material are your edge pieces.

Open your side seam allowance to lie flat and sew until  your needle is in the middle of that seam. Leave your needle down in the material but lift your presser foot. Spin your material so you are now working on the next side. Take the edge material and make it lie flat and out of the way and now you side seam should line up with the next edge of the top piece.

Like this. Put your presser foot down again and keep sewing. Do this for all corners.

It will look like this when you turn it right side out.

If your edge isn't finished, either serge it or zigzag the edge to keep it from fraying. My long sides have the finished edge already so I had to serge the short sides. Apparently I was only half as smart today.  

Fold over 1/2" and sew along the edge. This will make a sleeve to thread your elastic through. Do not sew the whole thing shut or you will not be able to thread your elastic. Leave about a 1.5" opening. 

This is where I really should have thought of a clever tool to use other than a  safety pin to help me thread the elastic through the casing! Half way through this as I watched  my thumb and pointer finger become horribly gnarled and frozen in one position, I thought "HMM, maybe I should have stapled the end of the elastic to a chopstick and that would have made this go so much faster!!!!!"  My arms and hands literally ached  the next day. Makes you want to go out and start on this project straight away doesn't it! 

Be smart, use a long chopstick! I am betting I am the first blogger to say use a chopstick in a sewing tutorial. I set such great standards. We might even start using them as knitting needles because if you read this blog long enough you will find I never use anything the right way and for it's intended purpose. Well, maybe the sewing machine. I'll have to see how i can re-purpose that in another post =0)

Once the elastic is threaded, pull both ends out together and sew them well using the zigzag stitch. Now even out all your material around the elastic. It should look like this.

Try it on your cushion.

I decided I wanted to make sure that it won't come off with the random jumping on the bed that occurs so I sewed on some ties using the cut off finished edging.

Finished product!

I have two regular pillow on the bed so I just made some pillowcases out of some more drop cloth. Definitely use the finished edge here. Took like 4 minutes to cut and serge!

Added ties to close it up and DONE!

Now on to some pillow covers.  The material on the left is a shower curtain and the right is a king size sheet set. Shower curtain cost $3.00 at the Goodwill and the sheets were $5 at a yard sale. Buy it when you see it because you never know when you can use it. I just got the sheets but I have had the shower curtain laying around since winter. Trust me. You will use it.

 I layed my pillow on the material and cut out my drop cloth back first. Then used that square as a pattern to cut out the shower curtain material. Do this with the right side facing up (white geometric) because the shower curtain already had a tan liner and if I had to flip it to make it right sides together the liner and material would have come apart. So i pinned it in place with right sides together and then cut it out and then I was able to just take it to the serger and stitch as is. Leave about 8" open so you can stuff your pillow form inside.
Pin your edges inside and hand stitch the opening closed.

Not sure I like the blue with the tan but until I find some black and light tan print material, it will have to do. 
What I do like is it is relaxing, easy, and looks sa-weet!
I am currently working on the chair -re-dos and a rustic element to add to the sitting arrangement. I am seriously hoping it turns out like I envision it in my mind. So check back and I will eventually show you the whole thing, you poor patient dears!

Always being renewed,

Please see the link party page to see where I link arms with those blissfully beautiful bloggers that host every week. So gracious they are. Todays Creative Blog vif187 all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {5/1} Home Stories A2Z  
We Would Love For You To Join Us Each Wednesday...

My Repurposed Life


  1. Looks great! Love the choice of fabric for the pillows!

  2. Great idea to snag pillow cases, sheets and stuff at yard sales and thrift stores and I love the new look! Thanks for sharing this at the [what's shakin' link party}!!

  3. Looks great but unfortunately I'm absolutely helpless at sewing! :-(

  4. I enJOYed your post. Just exactly what I needed to see. I've been putting this off because I can't decide on fabric. A drop cloth would be the perfect thing to use. Thanks for the idea.

  5. Great transformation for next to no cost!!! Looks like a relaxing place to spend time. Thanks for sharing @Threading My Way.

  6. Very nice, please link it up with me today at Wow Us Wednesday.

  7. Great idea, Kim. Sort of like a custom fitted sheet - only cuter! Somehow, you make it look easy, but with my sewing skills (or lack of) it might be not so easy...LOVE that old crib settee! Looking GOOD!

  8. Being a beginning sewer, this was a great tutorial, Kim! Thank you so much for making it seem so easy. :) I JUST may have to haul out my old machine and give it a whirl! Your daybed look so sweet! :)

    xoxo laurie

  9. Love this idea! Anything that means you don't have to add a zipper gets a triple whoot in my book. ;) x Julie

  10. Good ideas for ways to save money -- the drop cloth and the recycled fabrics, and the idea of going "backless." I found you at Addicted2Decorating's linky, where I also added a blog post about making pillow covers. Thanks for sharing.

  11. This is awesome. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I am glad it is linked up to my party so that I can go back and use it to make a cover and pillow covers! I love the drop cloth! Thank you for sharing at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  12. Great idea! And thank you for sharing the tutorial! Love your porch!

  13. You did a great job! I like your chair. Is that an old crib that you turned into a patio chair? That's cool!
    Thanks for sharing at Passion Parade link Soiree :)


  14. Hi! I found you on Homespun Happenings and am your newest follower (I'm a newbie too :). I wish I could sew because I love the way this looks!

  15. WAY TO GO Kim!!! Such a great way to customize the mattress and the pillows!

    Thanks so much for sharing at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you link up this evening! :)

  16. Your porch is unbelievably gorgeous! Your house is beautiful too :) Such great deals on on that fabric!

  17. Love this! Super idea to re-purpose. Thanks so much for stopping by Creative Thursday last week. I couldn’t do these parties without you. Can’t wait to see what you link up this week. Have a great week.

  18. Wonderful tutorial and the porch looks great too! xo

  19. Awesome ideas! Thanks so much for sharing!!

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  30. Ok. I am late tonthe party but nonetheless excited to find your post. I am a beginner seamstress (if I can call myslef that) in desperate need of cushion slipcovers due to wear and tear caused by my precious dogs. Wish me luck :) and thank you!


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