Try this yourself / craft your very own unique cushion

Cushions really work their magic when you combine different flavours, within a common theme – a couple of simple ones, a unique shape, some with texture and a stand-out that shouts ‘wow’. For this DIY project we chose four plain cushions in a variety of base textures – linen, velvet and woven – and added a variety of features to elevate their basic beauty. You could mix and match these ideas, curate a full couch or pick one to adorn your favourite chair.


TIP: These ideas are easiest done if the cushion has a zip and inner that can be removed. Start all DIY’s by removing the inner.

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Stitched & Fringed

Add a stitched shape to the front of your cushion – be it a cross, square or zig-zag – straight-line forms are most-effective. This treatment works best with a thread colour that contrasts the base fabric.

YOU WILL NEED:
Sewing machine, thread, fabric chalk.

HOW TO:
Mark your shape with fabric chalk. Sew the lines (We sewed several lines close together to provide the impact of a fuller stitch).

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This is a useful way to use up scrap fabric, or you can buy fringing from stores such as Spotlight. We created our fringe using the selvedge edge from a length of fabric.

YOU WILL NEED:
Enough length, of fabric or fringing, to wrap around the circumference of your cushion. Sewing machine, thread, and pins. (Hand-sewing works fine too if you don’t have access to a machine)

HOW TO:
Cut your fringing to length, pin, and sew to attach. (We added each of the four sides of fringing separately, overlaid in one direction on each corner).


TIP: Adding fringing is easiest on a cushion that already has a flanged edge – you can just add your fringe over the top.

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Painted

We found this decoration the most fun. It also took the most concentration!

YOU WILL NEED:
A large square of cardboard to fit inside the cushion. Paint (We used Resene test pots for their variety of colours and affordability – you can order them online here! However, these aren’t explicitly designed for fabric so be mindful they may fade over time or with a wash). Brushes – an angled brush works well to get a defined edge, and a mop brush is useful for covering large areas.

HOW TO:
Lay your cushion cover on a flat surface. Place a piece of cardboard inside your inner (to stop the paint reaching the other side) Mark your design with fabric chalk if you wish, and paint away. (We pre-marked the edge of our large circle and free-handed the smaller shapes). Leave to dry for 24 hours.


TIP: When painting fine fabric, such as linen, remove the cardboard before drying – we hung ours on the end of a clothes-rail pole - this stops the paint sticking to the cardboard.

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Pom-Pomed

You can get really crazy and make your own pom-poms (I remember making these back in school! You’ll find plenty of tutorials online ) or buy a ready-made one (There are lots of choices, my daughter has quite a collection of those fluffy ones that come attached to key-rings ! )

YOU WILL NEED:
Pom-poms, needle, and thread.

HOW TO:
Choose where you want to feature your pom-pom (Who says it has to be in the middle, and you could add as many as you wish) and secure it with thread.


TIP: Combine different DIY techniques onto one cushion. We created our own flange on the pom-pom cushion by sewing a line around the circumference, 15cm in from the edge of the cushion.

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Embroirdered

The options with embroidery are endless only to your imagination and colour of thread.

YOU WILL NEED:
Embroidery thread and needle.

HOW TO:
Design your pattern and mark with fabric chalk, or free-form it. We chose to embroider a cushion that already had distinct lines, giving us a base design to work with. And, stitching part of the cushion produced a subtle, delicate change.


TIP: Bear in mind the shape your cushion forms when it has the inner inside – adornments work best in the very centre or outer edges.

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