Sewing Blog

Create Comfort Anywhere: How to Sew a Floor Cushion

A big cozy floor cushion is much like a giant pillow, perfect for lounging on, piling up for a nap or for use as a pet bed! I can tell you from experience that the minute you put it down, a pet is going to find it quickly! I love the idea of whipping up a bunch of these and filing a corner of my home with them like one big slumber party. But you can also play it simple and make one for a specific occasion or purpose.

Ready to make a cushy floor pillow for yourself? Let's learn how!

how to sew a floor cushion

You can learn how to sew perfectly lovely pillows with step-by-step instruction from expert sewist Linda Lee in her online class Sew Luxury Fabrics: Pillows. You'll learn to make four different pillows with elegant flanges, perfect piping, smocked velvet and more in this fun, online class!

Sign me up! >>

cut fabric pieces

Step 1: Cut your fabric.

First you will need to decide what size and shape you want yours to be. I made my cushion approximately 27" x 27" x 5". I say approximately, because I cut the pieces to this size, then sewed it from there, making the finished size ever so slightly smaller than those cut dimensions. You can choose whatever you like!

If you want to follow what I did, here are the pieces you will need:

  • Two 27 x 27" squares (one for the top and one for the bottom)
  • Three 27 x 5" rectangles (for three of the four sides for depth)
  • Two 27 x 3" rectangles (for the fourth side that will have a zipper in the center seam)

finish fabric edges

Step 2: Finish the raw edges.

After you cut your pieces, you will want to finish all the edges of the fabric prior to assembling. I used my serger machine to finish the cut sides, but you can use a zigzag stitch or a 3-step zigzag stitch. Just be careful not to cut anything away in the process and to have your stitching directly on the raw edge to prevent the fabric from fraying.

installing-zipper

Step 3: Install the zipper.

You have a few choices in how you could close the opening in your cover, but I prefer to use an invisible zipper. First, I love the idea that I could change it out when it gets dirty so I can wash and dry it. This is especially helpful if it is going to be used for pets or children. I also like that this option allows me to make a few covers and swap them out as I like! If you prefer, you could also leave the opening unsewn and then hand sew it closed, but this would be a permanent closure.

If you choose to instal a zipper, use the two 27 x 3" pieces and instal an invisible zipper in the center of the 27" length. Use a 1/2" seam allowance so the finished piece is 27 x 5" after installing the zipper. After inserting the zipper, use a regular zipper foot to close up the rest of the seam on either side of the installed zipper.

For lessons on how to install the zipper, check out the free class, Mastering Zipper Techniques with Sunni Standing.

sew-short-seams

Step 4: Sew the side panels.

Place two of the side panel rectangle pieces right sides together, lining up the short ends. Sew together at a 3/8" seam allowance. Repeat with the other two side panel rectangle pieces. Continue by joining the remaining sides so you have one long loop with all four side panel pieces sewn together.

press-seams

Step 5: Press seams.

For all the seams that you sewed in step 4, use your iron and press the seam allowances open so they are flat. This will be really helpful in the next steps where we join the top and bottom layers to the side panels, so it's not just for looks, it's also going to make the next few steps much easier!

sew piping to side seams

Step 6: Sew in piping.

This part is entirely optional, but sewing in corded or flat piping can really elevate a floor cushion and I love the way it defines the shape. If you want to skip this, move ahead to the next step. For either corded piping or flat piping, sew the trim to the top square so your 3/8" seam allowance stitch will hit the trim in the correct location. If using corded piping, the stitch on the trim should be about 1/16" shorter than the 3/8" seam allowance so the final stitch will land just to the inside of the stitching on the trim. For flat piping, place the trim in a position so about 1/4" of the fabric will show when sewn at 3/8" seam allowance. Stitch in place around the top pillow piece and repeat on the bottom piece as well.

sewing-first-side

Step 7: Sew first sides to top.

Place the cushion top on a table with the right side up. Lay the side panel strip on top of it, right sides together, lining up one side of the side panel strip with one side of the pillow. Pin in place. Stitch together using a 3/8" seam allowance, but leave the first 3/8" and the last 3/8" of the seam un-sewn. Repeat with the opposite side of the pillow and side panel.

piping sewn into seam

If you're using piping or any other decorative detail, that is now sandwiched between the layers and sewn into the seam.

sewing-second-side

Step 8: Sew second sides to top.

Repeat step 7 with the other two sides. This time, when you start and stop your stitch in the corner, your stitching will line up directly with the stitching from step 7, closing up the corners.

open zipper before sewing

Step 9: Repeat!

Repeat both step 7 and 8 on the other side of the cushion with the remaining square piece. Important: Open up the zipper in the side panel prior to sewing so you can get into the cushion after stitching!

finished-floor-cushion

Step 10: Stuff the floor cushion with whatever you prefer!

The best options are large pre-made pillow forms, cut foam, or stuffing it with anything from polyfil to fabric scraps. Note that if you choose to use a pre-made pillow form, they rarely come with a boxed side as this is sewn, and the form will not fill out the cushion fully. Foam or filling it with polyfil or scraps is the best way to go from my experience.

Now, place on the floor and wait for everyone in the house to fight over it!

Project notes:

The shape and size of your floor cushion is entirely up to you! I made my cushion similar to a traditional pillow shape, with a square top and bottom and paneled sides, but you could make yours like a cube, a circle, or whatever you desire! The possibilities are endless!

I also installed an invisible zipper into one of the side panels and sewed flat piping into the top and bottom seams to give the cushion more texture and polish. It's super easy to make, is much cheaper than buying a pre-made version, and yet looks really professional! Don't you love it when DIY projects look as good as the ones at the shops?

 

One Comment

Gena Mullin

Thank you for the tutorial. I would like to make a similar cushion with box sides, but I would like to have rounded corners on the top and bottom. Do you have instructions on how to figure the measurements for the side panels.
I do sew, but everything that I have made up to this point has been perfectly rectangular.
I would appreciate any suggestions as to where I can go to get help, or a great book for designing such things.
Thank you.

Reply

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