Welcome back to “How-To Tuesdays”. Today’s DIY project: making a no-sew covered cushion for a mudroom bench or window seat.
When we planned out the mudroom for our new home, my husband and I decided that we wanted a simple bench in a recessed part of the wall with room for shoes, boots, and baskets to be tucked in underneath. Our general contractor was easily able to accommodate this request (and many others) and we chose a dark espresso finish on the wood to go with the other finishes in our home. While I love the bench, anyone can tell you that wood with a dark stain scratches easily and the scratches stand out. With all of the zippers on our coats, buttons on our back pockets plus the purses and other things that get set down on the bench, my beautiful bench is getting damaged much more quickly than I’d like it to. That’s what got me going on today’s do-it-yourself home improvement project.
Step 1: I chose a heavy-duty washable fabric since this is for a mudroom and I want it to withstand whatever we can throw at it. Pre-wash your fabric prior to cutting, just in case it shrinks a little. If it is wrinkled, spend a few minutes on post-dryer ironing.
Step 2: measure the length and width of your bench. Mine is 12 inches by 60 inches. You will need to buy foam and cut it to that size. You can buy the foam from a craft or fabric store and choose the density that appeals to you the most. Since you want the cushion to fit snugly so it won’t slide off, cut it to just the right size. You can use a bread knife or an electric carving knife to cut through it.
Step 3: Wrap the foam in a layer or two of batting. Since I didn’t have a wooden base inside that I was stapling directly onto as you would with a kitchen chair and I couldn’t use any staples or pins that would scratch my bench, I agonized over this step, trying to decide what would be the best way to affix these two layers. I looked into hot glue, spray adhesive and fabric glue. Finally settled on a spray adhesive that is appropriate for foam and fabric and sprayed the edges of the batting to the back of the foam. I was going to do fancy gift-wrapping fold on the ends but decided just to cut away the extra batting since I didn’t want any extra bulk.
Step 4: Lay your fabric upside down and place the batting covered foam on top. If you have a patterned fabric, make sure that the foam is centered so as to highlight the best of the fabric.
Step 5: Pull the fabric taut, roll the unfinished edges over and use spray adhesive or fabric glue along the length. Fold the corners in like you would when wrapping a gift and glue in place. I decided to hand stitch the corners, just to be sure they wouldn’t come apart.
I don’t think that this cushion would withstand heavy duty use like the one on my window bench and I’m sure that those of you who are DIY craft experts or seasoned sewers can think of other ways to do this but for those of us who aren’t quite as experienced when it comes to textiles, this is a quick and simple way to make a cushion for the mudroom.
Note: step by step photos to come.