A while back I decided I wanted to get some nice cushions for the chairs we have the kitchen table.  But when I looked at something I was willing to own I decided the cost was a bit out of my budget.  I'm capable of sewing and have made nice cushions before, so I figured I'd upcycle something.  I ran into a nice matelasse bedspread at the Salvation Army and picked it up for $6, figuring it would make a lovely cover for the cushions.
$39.99/cushion @ Overstock.com.  Cute but pricy!
After bringing anything home second hand (or new for that matter), wash it well.  If you're using new fabric, it's imperative that you wash it to get the sizing out.  New fabric does change its size once washed, so never use unwashed fabric for sewing projects, wash and dry it first!  Once your fabric is washed, iron it and lay it out flat.
Washed, mostly ironed and flat on the floor.

You're going to need some sort of pattern for your chair pads.  If you have square seats you have it easy, just measure the sides.  If they're butt shaped, as mine are, making a pattern is a better idea.  I used some old cardboard cut down to something close to size.  I laid it over the seat and using a sharpie, traced the edge of the seat from the bottom as one of my minions sat on the cardboard.  Minions are useful for so many things.

Butt-shaped template
I looked at the pattern on the bedspread and figured out where the best place to make the cushions was.  I settled on the top edge as there was no big pattern to capture or avoid.

Fold over the top edge of the bedspread far enough to put your cardboard pattern and trace it.  Since we need a top and a bottom for the cushions, we do need two pieces.  If you're using a full or queen size you should have enough room across the top for 4 cushions.

Trace with less wiggly lines than I photo-shopped in - badly.

Pin in the middle of your traced areas for each cushion, then cut them out.  Be sure you're using sharp scissors as the material is thick.  The sharper your scissors, the less likely you'll be to injure yourself, unless you cut your fingers.  Not that I've ever done that...

Once you have them cut out, you're going to need to cut a strip of fabric that is about 2" wide and have about 6-7 yards of it depending on the size of your cushions.(Measure around the edge of your pattern and multiply by 4 or however many chairs you're making for)  These strips are going to be the casing for the piping that will be at the seams making them look all pro.  Also you'll need some piping, which unless you have some thin cotton clothesline handy, you'll need to purchase.  It can be found at nearly anyplace that sells sewing supplies.  I got mine at Jo-Ann's for about 60 cents a yard.  While you're cutting, we're going to need some ties to keep these suckers on the chairs.  My kitties would have them knocked off and dragged in front of the french doors to laze about all day if I didn't.  So cut 9"X1.5" lengths.  You'll want four per chair pad.

Next week, we'll work on the sewing, stuffing and finishing these chair pads.  In the mean time, go forth and shop for the materials and get caught up!  If you want to stay with the upcycling theme, round up some old bed pillows you have, or any other pillows to stuff these with.  And decide if you want to add buttons to the chair pads for decoration, pick those out of your stash of goodies we all have.

See you next Thursday for the thrilling conclusion of the cushions.
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