Time: 1 – 2 hours
I dislike sitting on bare chairs. My butt just doesn’t agree with them. They hurt. For this reason, every single chair in my house has some kind of chair cushion on it. Sometimes I will even stack layers of cushion together because one is just not enough.
Recently I got a pair of white metal bar stools that matched our kitchen counter. Unfortunately, being metal bar stools, there is no cushion. For awhile I would lay another chair cushion on top of the stool before sitting down. This worked well…until my 18 month old started learning how to climb stools. His technique included first shoving off the cushion, then grabbing the sides of the seat before wiggling and pulling himself up.
I KNEW I had to get a chair cushion with ties as soon as I saw my toddler’s new climbing conquest. My butt will not give way to the whims of an 18 month old. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any thick chair cushions that I liked, so I decided to make my own.
For these cushions I used a 2″ thick cushion foam from Joann’s and they are MUCH nicer than the thin 1″ chair cushions you can buy from Ikea. I also made Velcro ties so it would stay nicely in place when attacked by a toddler. (My toddler has now mastered the art of climbing cushioned bar-stools, but at least the cushion stays on).
Since the cushion covers had rounded corners (to match rounded corners of the bar stool), it didn’t matter that the foam was a piece of square because they rounded out nicely inside the cover. This was perfect because it would have been impossible to cut perfectly rounded corners on a 2″ foam. I also found this handy video about how to cut cushion foam. Apparently bread knife is the answer! Who knew!
Clear ruler/Pencil/Paper – for drawing pattern
Bread Knife – for cutting foam
Making Pattern for DIY Bar Stool Cushions:
Trace seat of chair/stool you want to make chair cushion for on a piece of paper.
LEFT: Pattern traced for barstool seat
RIGHT: Add 1/2” Seam allowance all around pattern with ruler
Measure circumference of seat pattern with measuring tape (make sure to measure the traced pattern, not the pattern with added seam allowance). The circumference of my chair was 45”. Since the foam I chose is 2” in thickness, you will need to add 1” (for two 1/2″ seam allowances) to both measurements. This means you will cut a piece of fabric 46” x 3”
Cut pattern out on fabric
Mark notches at midpoint and quarter length of [SIDE PIECE] by clipping with scissors. Make sure quarter length is measured 1/2”(seam allowance) from edge of fabric.
Clip corners of [SEAT PATTERN] (red notches)
How To Make Ties for Bar Stool Cushions
Sew Velcro tie at 1/4”seam allowance (yellow dotted lines)
Flatten Velcro tie with seam in the middle and stitch end (red dotted line)
Turn Velcro tie to right side by inverting end in with scissor
LEFT: Use loop turner to invert the entire Velcro tie to right side. I do this by slowly and gently pushing with end of loop turner*
RIGHT: Front and back view of Velcro tie turned to right side.
*Depending on the thickness of your fabric, you may be able to use the loop turner to hook onto the fabric and turn it to the right side. However, I wasn’t able to do that with the fabric I chose because it was heavyweight.
Tuck ends of [VELCRO TIE] seam allowance in and sew at 1/8”
How to Cut Cushion Foam:
Mark dimension of seat cushion on front and side of foam. Use a ballpoint pen or marker.
Cut foam with bread knife, following guide lines that was drawn. Use a repeating slicing motion instead of sawing motion.
Front and side view of cut foam.
How to Sew Bar Stool Cushion:
Stay stitch both pieces of [SEAT PATTERN], indicated by black dotted line
Note: Stay stitching helps prevent fabric from stretching, especially around the curves. This is important when you are sewing a curve to a straight edge. I generally put the stitch length on highest (on my machine it’s a 4) and sew at 1/4″ from edge of fabric. As I sew the stay stitch, I keep one finger behind the pressor foot and gently press down on the fabric as it runs through the machine. This will cause the fabric to slightly bunch up where you hold your finger, so as to prevent stretching.
Pin [SIDE PIECE] to [SEAT PATTERN], matching notches on [SEAT PATTERN] to notches of [SIDE PIECE]. Sew at 1/2” seam allowance.
Sew ends of [SIDE PIECE] together at 1/2” seam allowance
Clip curves at all four corners.
Cut [VELCRO TIE] in half and baste to other piece of [SEAT PATTERN] at midpoint of each side (black dotted line). Make sure wrong side of [VELCRO TIE] faces right side of [SEAT PATTERN].
Sew [SEAT PATTERN] to [SIDE PIECE], leaving one side open (red dotted line) and turn to right side.
Place seat cushion onto chair.
From underneath chair, determine how much overlap is needed for [VELCRO TIES]
Use pin to mark where Velcro ties overlap and cut 2 pieces of Velcro (loop and hook) that matches length of overlap.
Sew Velcro loop and hook onto opposite ends of ties
Gently push foam into seat cushion through opening.
Hand stitch close opening using invisible Ladder Stitch.
Tah-dah! Finished! No more achy butts from sitting on hard stools. Let me know in the comments below if you plan on making one (or a few) for your chairs. Happy Sewing!