FAQ: How To Sew A Seat Cushion Cover With Piping?

How To Sew A Box Cushion (With Piping and a Zipper)

How to sew a box cushion is a great way to completely update the look of your room (or deck) without spending a lot of money. You don’t need any special sewing skills to make box cushion covers, though you will probably want to invest in some extra sewing machine feet.

What Is A Box Cushion?

Box cushions, also known as raised cushions, are typically used as chair seats, but they can also be found in easy chairs, side chairs, benches, swings, and other items. The inside is usually foam wrapped with a layer of polyfill.


Zippers by the yard with zipper pulls* are easier to work with than pre-cut zippers because you can cut them to the exact length you need.

Option 1 – Replacing Existing Cushion Covers

If you have cushions with covers already on them, the easiest thing to do is use the old cushion cover as a pattern for your new cushion covers by carefully ripping the old cushion cover apart with a seam ripper.

Option 2 – New Cushion Covers

To determine the width and depth of the top and bottom fabric pieces for new cushions, measure the length and width of the cushion to be covered, then add one inch to each of those measurements for the final cutting length and width.

Step 2 | Cut The Top and Bottom Fabric Pieces

Mark the center of the back and front of the cushion for both fabric pieces if your fabric has a pattern. If your fabric has a pattern, make sure it is facing up from the front when you sew it.

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Step 3 | Measure For The Gusset

Because the joining strip (or gusset) will be cut in two pieces of fabric, you’ll need two length measurements and two width measurements. Measure the depth of the cushion foam plus 2 inches, for example, 3u2033 2u2033 = 5u2033.

Step 4 | Cut The Gusset

If your fabric has stripes, make sure they line up with the stripes on the front of your top and bottom pieces by matching the center mark you made on your top fabric piece to the center of the gussett. If your fabric has stripes, make sure they line up with the stripes on the front of your top and bottom pieces by matching the center mark you made on your top fabric piece to the center of the gussett.

Step 5 | Add The Zipper and Sew The Gusset Together

Sew the zipper into the two short pieces that were cut in half, following our step-by-step instructions on how to put in a zipper HERE. Cut a 1/2 inch seam along the inside of each gusset piece.

Step 6 | Attach The Piping (Optional)

Pin the piping to the right side of the top and bottom fabric pieces, then sew it in place with the basting stitch on your machine. Clip notches in the raw edge of the piping to make it fit around the corners more easily; it should then wrap around the corner without pulling.

Step 7 | Sew The Top Of The Cushion To The Gusset

Sew the top piece of fabric to the gusset with a 1/2 inch seam through all thicknesses, and use a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying all around the unfinished seam edges. Zip closed and you’re done! A brand new cover for your box seat cushion!

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Why is piping used on cushion covers?

The most common term for cording on pillows is piping, but whatever you call it, the end result is that the product improves seam durability and overall pillow strength. Trim your cushions and pillows with a matching or complementary fabric.

What size piping is best for cushions?

A continuous length of piping 5cm longer than the perimeter of the cushion pad is required to make the cushion. For example, a 46cmx46cm cushion pad requires a piping length of 189cm. You will also need a strip of fabric 5cm wide and the length of the piping cord (it may require joins).

How do you make cushion covers step by step?

  1. Step 1 | Cut The Fabric. Determine what pattern you want on the front.
  2. Step 2 | Insert The Zipper. Hint #1: Make sure your zipper is at least as long as the width of the cushion form.
  3. Step 3 | Add Piping Or Trim.
  4. Step 4 | Sew The Cushion.

What is welting on a cushion?

A welt is a decorative ridge around a cushion that is usually filled with a thin rope to help it keep its shape. It can be made of the same fabric as the cushion or a completely different fabric and color for a decorative embellishment.

How do you sew with piping?

HOW TO SEW PIPING u2013 A Step-by-Step Guide to Sewing Piping

  1. Step 1 u2013 Basting the Piping. Machine baste the piping facing inwards, matching the raw edges, on the right side of your fabric.
  2. Step 2 u2013 Sewing Piping in a Seam. Pin the second piece of fabric with right side down and raw edges matching.

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