Seat cushions with Rugs & Rags

Published: Thursday, 29 March 2018


I don't like throwing out things. 

No, I'm not a hoarder. In fact, I always think of myself as a major purger when it comes to unnecessary stuff. I tend to be mindful when I make purchases. I don't usually buy things that I don't really need, and I make a point of regularly donating and/or selling things that aren't useful to us anymore. 

Except when it comes to fabrics.

We all have a weakness, right? The thing is, I work with fabrics, it's my job. I sew lots... TONS of products every week. When I'm not sewing orders for customers, I'm making things for myself, my daughter and everyone else I know.

I always keep a trash can by my desk, and let me tell you... fabric scraps add up way faster than you think. In my ventures towards zero waste (or becoming "waste conscious") I can never bring myself to throw them out. Can you imagine all of that ending up in a landfill? Not on my watch. So I keep them. Bags full of tiny little clippings that are good for almost nothing. ALMOST. 



But as they say, when there's a will there's a way. And I had the will to turn all this "trash" into something purposeful. To give these seemingly useless scraps a chance.

Also, I needed cushions for my sewing chairs because the seats are too low and I am too short (lets be real).

When using fabric scraps as filling, you'll need a thick cushion cover to hide bumps and imperfections (fabric stuffing is not as soft and shapeable as fiberfill or foam). These two small rag rugs that I had on hand would turn out to be just what I needed... and they matched my studio rug perfectly. 



It's like killing two birds with one stone. Not that I've ever killed a bird, and I probably wouldn't use a stone to do so (YIKES!). But I did get cushions for my chairs, and I did get rid of two bags of scraps. So it's sort of the same, right?

Wanna make some?

You'll need (for each cushion):

- 1 woven rag rug

- tons of tiny fabric scraps

- thread and needle


Step 1:

DON'T DO WHAT I DID. When I made the first cushion, I cut the rug first (to the size I wanted the cushion to be), and then sewed it. Don't do that!! As it turns out, rag rugs fall apart very easily when cut. It is still doable, but much more troublesome. 

For the second cushion, and having learnt my lesson, I folded the rug in half, marked the size of the cushion, and then zigzag stitched it BEFORE cutting it. This helps keep the weave intact and it makes it much easier to work with.


Step 2:

Gather your scraps. All of them. You will need more than you think... but if you're like me, you already have more than enough.

Stuff your cushion all the way to the top, then push it all down and stuff it some more. The fabric scraps will compact down when you sit on them, so you need to stuff it extra full.


Step 3:

Hand stitch the opening close. Don't worry about making it pretty, you won't notice the seam. But do make sure it is strong (double up the thread if necessary).


And that's all. Place them on your chairs and admire your handy (upcycled) work. 



I can't get over the rainbow overload in my studio. For a colour-lover like me, this is paradise. While I tend to keep walls and furniture white and neutral in my house, fun splashes of bright colours always appear in the form of rugs, pillows and throws.



If this wasn't already my favourite room in the house, now I may just need to move in here. 

Later Gator,

Julia (with an H)