Craft · Home Decor

Shabby Hearts – Fold & Sew Cushions

Shabby Heart - Fold & Sew Cushion via {In Our Gumboots}

Some people might suggest that this is a lazy way to create cushions but I like to think of it more as the “Mum-with-kids” version of cushion creating. It’s quick and easy and doesn’t involve a measuring tape or any subsequent adventures when kids run off with said measuring tape. The scenario is all too familiar in our household. I sit down to measure up some fabric and an eager little person claims my measuring tape to use it as a skipping rope. I retrieve it and someone else nicks off with it because it makes an excellent horse reign. Then someone wants to measure every single object in the house! Resistance is futile; they can have the tape measure! After all, who am I to inhibit the development of important measuring skills. They may need them one day… perhaps when they want to measure up a cushion?

So, I’ve wised up over the years and worked around the tape measure fiasco by mastering a simple fold and sew technique. It’s super easy to whip up a cushion this way and so quick there’s even spare time to add embellishments!

What you will need:
18” cushion insert
Fabric for cushion
Scrap fabric for hearts

First, select your fabric from a roll that is at least 120cm wide. You will only need half a meter cut from the roll for a 18” cushion insert. You should end up with a long strip of fabric approx. 50cm x 120cm {depending on the roll width}.

Fold & Sew Cushion via {In Our Gumboots}

Next, lay your fabric right side facing down on your work surface. Pop the cushion insert at the bottom of the fabric allowing for a seam allowance and fold the fabric over the top. The right side should be showing on the top. Use your eye to line up the fabric and cushion insert squarely. Trim any excess across the bottom.

Shabby Heart - Fold & Sew Cushion via {In Our Gumboots}

Cut your fabric hearts. You can do this by creating a heart template and cutting around it or by freehand cutting {for the confident cutter}. I’m a compulsive fabric hoarder so for the hearts I used scrap fabric left over from other projects.

Place your hearts evenly over the cushion and pin them to the fabric.

Shabby Heart Fold & Sew Cushion via {In Our Gumboots}

Sew around the hearts {approximately ½cm from the edges}. Allowing this distance will let the fabric fray over time giving it a shabbier appearance.

Shabby Heart Fold & Sew Cushion via {In Our Gumboots}

Place the fabric right side up and pop the insert back in place. Fold the fabric over the cushion and use your eye to line it up again {the wrong side should be facing out}. Pin down the sides and sew both edges.

Fold & Sew Cushion via {In Our Gumboots}

Next comes the zip across the bottom. I’m not going to sugar-coat it; zips are tricky! To add to the complexity, I like to use invisible zips for my cushions. Regardless of which style of zip you choose, make sure you read the package instructions carefully and check out the pictorial directions. If it still doesn’t make sense, preserve your sanity and grab yourself a ready-made cushion with a zip. Open it up and have a good look at where the zip and seams meet. My best advice is to mirror the example.

Fold & Sew Cushions via {In Our Gumboots}

Last of all you need to tidy up each end of the zip and seal the bottom of the cushion. To do this turn it inside out and sew a line from the cushion edge to the zip on both sides.

Viola! Shabby Heart Cushion created without having to use a measuring tape {at this point, mine was now being used as a cat toy}.

I love the look of the Shabby Hearts cushion so much I whipped up another one using an old blue pillow case {which was even faster than the fold and sew method!} and scrap fabric from my kid’s baby outfits.

Shabby Hearts Fold & Sew Cushions via {In Our Gumboots}
Our cat lost interest in the measuring tape just long enough to photobomb the final creation.

I’d love to see your cushion creations too. Feel free to share them below and let me know how you go with the fold and sew method.




Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional cushion maker. The advice above is simply an outline of a method that I like to use. I can not accept responsibility for any variations in the appearance or success of your own cushion creations… especially if they turn out looking like a dishevelled beanbag 🙂

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