A great gift that I made some friends of my family a couple of years ago for Christmas was cushions. This was something I really enjoyed doing, and actually one of the first craft-like things I really got in to. More than that, the people I made the cushions for really liked receiving them. For the scatter cushions that I made, I actually went out and bought fabric, and this can be a good way to do things, if you want a very specific design, and bits of fabric can actually be quite cheap if you get some cut-offs (scrap pieces) at a shop, but another way to make this craft very cheap is to recycle an old shirt that you don’t wear any more. You probably like the pattern anyway, because it’s your shirt, so why not get more use out of it!
Begin by finding these things:
An actual cushion to go inside the cover – this needs to be just a tiny bit smaller than the body section of your shirt, and can be bought from department stores and some craft shops.
A Needle and Thread or Sewing Machine
Step 1: Measure the width and height of the cushion. Then add about 1cm to each and draw these new measurements onto the shirt body in the chalk. You can then connect up your measurement marks into a square. You should draw this same size square on both the button side of the shirt, and the on the back side.
Step 2: The button fastening of the shirt already is now going to become the button fastening for the cushion cover, so you should decide how you want to position your square on the button side of the shirt based on how you want your cushion to open. You can have the buttons slightly off-centre, or right down the middle. Now cut out your two squares.
Step 3: Making sure to undo one of the buttons, turn your two squares inwards, so that the sides you want to be the front and back are facing each other. Now pin them together around the edges of the square before sewing around the edges. This will really be a lot quicker and neater on a sewing machine, but if you don’t have one, you may have to do it by hand. However, the more you get into sewing and crafts like this, you may wish to consider investing in one, since it will make it so much easier.
Step 4: Now pull the cushion cover the right way out, which will be a lot easier considering we opened one of the buttons earlier. You can use a pointy object like a pencil to push the corners right out, and then, as long as the fabric permits, iron your new cushion cover. All that’s left to do now is actually place the cushion inside.
Other ideas for improving your cushion cover design are to add frilling around the edges of your cushion or sewing other shapes of material onto the cover. Once again, the ability to personalise a gift like this is what makes it so special. The ones I made for my friends actually work as a perfect example of this, since one of my friends was, at the time, particularly obsessed with a certain type of food. So as an in-joke, I sewed the logo of the particular brand on the front of the cushion cover, and my friend loved it. By making your own cushions, and other items for your home, people who visit will be impressed not only by the skill that went into the craft, but also that fact that everything is completely unique.
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