Make A Full Padded Chair Cushion 9

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Sewing Bee Fabrics Tutorial
How To Sew A Comfy Padded Chair Cover



Some wooden chairs are just not fun to sit on for long periods so that's why I decided to make this padded chair cover. That way, there would be no cushion constantly sliding off every time you move, and the look of the chair is still kept. It pads the main seat as well as giving you a padded back, while still allowing you to remove the foam base to pop in the washing machine. This is how I made it.

What You Will Need:

Approx 1 - 1.5m cotton depending on the size of your chair

Enough wadding to cover the back of your chair

1 foam seat pad (or 50cm x approx. 10cm foam square with the corners on or off!)

4 (preferably reasonably sized) buttons - so they can go through several layers of fabric easily


How To Make It:

First, draft the pattern for the cushion cover. I wanted mine to be removable to wash and detachable from the chair back section should I decide I only want to use one part for a while. So, I drew around my cushion, then added half the depth plus 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around. At the back, I added an extra 1 1/2 inch strip. Cut 2 of these (remembering if your cushion is asymmetrical to cut one pattern side up and 1 pattern side down!).

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics draft your own cushion cover

To make the chair back pattern, take a measurement of the width at the top and bottom of the chair back, as well as the height. Copy this onto paper then draw a line between them and add 1/4 inch seam allowance. Cut 2 in cotton. Cut 1 in wadding but minus off the height of the foam cushion from the bottom of the pattern for the wadding.

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics draft your own chair back cover

Stitching it together:
Start off making the foam seat cover first. Fold the extra fabric at the back of the cover back on itself, firstly to just tuck the raw edge under, then fold again so the excess material is in half. Sew in place. Repeat on the other piece.

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics making a cushion opening

Next, place both pieces right sides together then sew all around the rest of it with a quarter inch seam.

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics sew right sides together

Turn the cushion cover right side out, then make 4 equal marks along your open tab at the back for buttonholes. You can either match your markings on both sides, or what I prefer to do is to take into account any error of placement of the buttonholes by completing them first. I then mark on the other side the centre of each buttonhole for placement of the buttons. For more help with buttons, see our guide HERE >>>

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics sew a buttonhole
chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to sew on a cloth button

Once the buttons are sewn on, you need 2 straps (each sewn on centrally) to tie it to the back of your chair. If you have spindles, you will only need short straps, but if you have a solid back chair, they will need to join in the centre at the back, so you will need 2 long straps sewn at the ends.

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics Making the straps

To make the straps, cut the fabric to the desired length, but 3-4 times the width of the strap you want to end up with. With pattern side down, fold the edges in towards the centre and press in place. Fold in half and press again.

Using an over edge stitch or stitch very close to the edge (I like to use a zigzag over the edge), stitch the open side closed. I prefer a symmetrical look so repeat on the centre fold side also. To give a neat finish, I just tuck the ends inside to hide the raw edges.

Stitch your straps to the outer edge of each end of the back opening for the cushion cover. If your tying the straps to each other centrally at the back then just sew an end in instead. If you are tying to a chair spindle etc, then you will want to stitch the centre of the strap instead so you can tie your 2 ends together.

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics fixing in the straps
chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics finished cushion back

To make the chair back, make 2 more straps. Next, place both cotton pieces right side together and sew 1/4 inch seam around all except the bottom edge. Decide where you want your straps to go, and sew these in to the seam as you go (with the strap pointing in to the middle, and the edge facing out) so the join will be hidden. Turn it right side out and pop the wadding in.
Sew a line across the cotton at the base of the wadding as close as you can get (to stop it slipping downwards). I found that using a zipper foot got me the closest for the job.

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics using zipper foot to fix wadding
chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics stitch wadding in place tips

Next, tuck the bottom ends under so the raw edge sits inside and sew up.

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics finishing the bottom of the padding

Mark corresponding points along the bottom as to where the buttons are on the cushion part, then sew matching buttonholes here.

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics lining up the buttonholes

I decided also to fix the wadding centrally to stop it moving inside, so I used a free motion foot to 'draw' on the name of the person who the chair belonged to. In this case 'grandad'. I kept it subtle with just some standard white thread (learn how I did this HERE) but you could make much more impact with it, especially if you embroidered a pattern on first then sew just around the edges, or used an applique.

chair cover tutorial sewing bee fabrics quilting the wadding

Finally, button the top to the bottom and tie on your chair!

chair cover free sewing tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to sew a cushion

We hope you enjoy our tutorials and love hearing what you think so please leave us a comment or send me an email to

Happy Sewing!

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9 thoughts on “Make A Full Padded Chair Cushion

  • Fi Ní Neachtáin

    This is such a lovely DIY project, I really wish I could sew as I have a couple of wooden chairs that could use some padding. Lovely fabric choice too!

  • Zoe Forde

    Your tutorials are written so clearly I love them! Have always wanted to recycle material like this, so I’m bookmarking this for when I can invest in a sewing machine xx

  • Rachel

    You make this look and sound so easy. It is never something I have had to do as I don’t have a table and chair but I know my mum did something similar and she said the hardest part was choosing the pattern of the fabric x

  • Janine

    Wow you’re really good at it. I’m awful at crafting so I generally leave it up to other people. Lol well sewing is not something I would be able to do anyway. It’s amazing what you can do with an old chair and freshen it up.

  • Joanna

    This is such a fab idea I love that to making your own makes it more personal for u. Love the paytern. I just wish I had time and patience for making some myself.