Hardwood chairs are so much more comfortable when they have a cushion on the seat but when you go to the store to purchase a set, they’re often in off-the-wall patterns that would never match your kitchen decor. You can make the pads yourself without too much effort with about 3 yards of fabric and a little foam. The foam can be a half-inch thick, or most any thickness, depending upon how fluffy you want them to be. The thicker the foam, though, the harder it will be to sew the sides of the cushion.
The fabric can also be just about anything: corduroy, cotton, nylon, or denim, but try to select something that will be easier to manipulate while sewing.
Wash and dry the fabric so that when you launder the chair pads later, they won’t shrink. Lay the fabric out on a table, right sides together, and measure your chair seats. Use construction paper or something similar to make a pattern. The easiest way to make a pattern piece is to measure the length and width of the chair, mark them on the paper, then cut the paper slightly larger than this size. Place the paper on the chair and now cut or draw any curves or unique angles onto the paper.
Be sure and mark where the chair pad ties will need to be. After you’re satisfied that the one piece of paper is the correct size of the chair seat, you’ll cut 8 pieces of cloth, all the exact size as your pattern, marking the tie placement on each. The 8 cushion ties should be about 12 inches long and an inch wide, but make adjustments, if needed, according to the design of your chair.
To assemble the chair pads, first, sew the ties. Fold each side of the tie into the middle, then fold the entire tie in half, lengthways. Stitch down one side, or stitch both sides, if desired. Now put two of the cloth pieces, right sides together, under the machine and sew all the way around, stopping to attach the ties. When attaching the ties, find the middle of the tie by folding in half, and putting the fold between the right sides of the fabric, and pushing the fold slightly out past where the seam will be. Finish sewing around the cushion, catching the fold of the tie with the needle. Be sure to leave a slight opening in the rear of the cushion, between the two ties, for stuffing. Remove and continue doing all chair pads in this fashion. After all the pads are sewn, turn right side out and stuff.
The foam you purchase can be shredded or in one piece, but the solid piece will be much easier to work with and give you a smoother look to your chair pads. To use the solid piece, cut it to the size of the chair pads, then fold it in half and place it into the chair pad. Sew shut.
You can also use a strip of the fabric, or coordinating seam tape to go around the outside of the cushions. To sew the cushions in this manner, place cushion pieces with wrong sides together, and sew around them, placing ties and leaving back open for stuffing.
You can either sew around the cushion, then go back and put on the seam tape, or you can sew the cushion shut at the same time you are attaching the seam tape. When using seam tape, you’ll have to leave some extra hanging off, stuff the cushion, then go back and finish shutting the cushion and attaching the seam tape. Chair pads for the backs of your chairs can be made in a similar way.You can either