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How To Make Seat Cushions For Bench

How To Make Seat Cushions For Bench


How To Make Seat Cushions For Bench: Benches are a versatile and practical addition to any space, offering comfortable seating while adding character and style to your home, garden, or patio. However, achieving the perfect blend of comfort and aesthetics often requires custom seat cushions. Crafting your seat cushions not only allows you to personalize your seating but also provides an opportunity to showcase your creativity and sewing skills.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the art of making seat cushions for benches, offering step-by-step instructions, helpful tips, and design inspiration. Whether you’re looking to enhance the coziness of your indoor dining nook, add a touch of luxury to your outdoor garden bench, or create a comfortable reading corner, our guide has you covered.

From selecting the right materials and measuring your bench to sewing techniques and finishing touches, we will cover every aspect of creating custom seat cushions tailored to your unique needs and style preferences. By the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to embark on your cushion-making journey, turning your benches into inviting and comfortable seating areas that reflect your personality and taste.

How To Make Seat Cushions For Bench

How do you make a simple bench cushion?

DIY Bench Cushion [No Sewing Required!]

  1. Materials Needed for DIY Bench Cushion.
  2. Cut the plywood backing.
  3. Cut the upholstery foam, batting and fabric.
  4. Wrap and staple the fabric to the plywood.
  5. Fold and trim the batting corners.
  6. Neatly fold and staple the corners.
  7. Place your DIY cushion on your bench.

Creating a simple bench cushion is a straightforward DIY project that can add comfort and style to your seating area. Here’s a basic guide on how to make one:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric (for cover)
  • Foam cushion or batting
  • Sewing machine or hand-sewing supplies (needle and thread)
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Velcro or ties (optional)


Measure Your Bench: Measure the length, width, and thickness of your bench to determine the cushion dimensions.

Cut the Foam or Batting: Cut the foam cushion or batting to match the dimensions of your bench. The thickness can vary depending on your preference.

Cut the Fabric: Cut two pieces of fabric. The top piece should be the same size as your bench plus an extra inch on each side for seam allowances. The bottom piece should be the same size as the top piece.

Sew the Fabric: Place the two fabric pieces with their right sides together. Sew around three sides, leaving one long side open.

Turn Inside Out: Turn the fabric cover inside out so the right sides are facing out. Slide the foam or batting inside the cover.

Close the Opening: Hand-sew or machine-sew the open side closed, making sure the stitches are strong and secure.

Optional: Add Ties or Velcro: If you want to secure the cushion to the bench, you can sew ties or attach Velcro strips to the underside of the cushion.

Place on Bench: Put your new cushion on the bench, and you’re done!

What is the best material for a bench cushion?

Fabric such as cotton canvas, vinyl, duck cloth and others, as explored below. Acrylic fibres are incredibly strong and resistant to wear and tear. Often these fibres are used in high-end outdoor cushion manufacturing due to their price point.

Choosing the best material for a bench cushion depends on your specific needs, style preferences, and where the bench will be placed. Here are some common materials and their characteristics:

Indoor Fabrics:

Cotton: Cotton is soft, breathable, and available in various patterns and colors. It’s a great choice for indoor bench cushions. However, it may not be as durable as some other options and can be prone to fading.

Linen: Linen offers a classic and elegant look, ideal for indoor settings. It’s breathable and comfortable but may wrinkle easily.

Velvet: Velvet adds a touch of luxury and warmth to indoor spaces. It’s soft and comes in a variety of rich colors. However, it may require more maintenance to keep it looking its best.

Outdoor Fabrics:

Sunbrella: Sunbrella is a popular choice for outdoor bench cushions. It’s highly durable, resistant to UV rays and moisture, and comes in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Olefin: Olefin is another durable outdoor fabric that is resistant to moisture and fading. It’s a cost-effective option for outdoor bench cushions.

Polyester: Polyester outdoor fabrics are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. They can be a good choice for high-traffic outdoor areas.

Leather or Faux Leather:

Leather or faux leather bench cushions are sleek, stylish, and easy to clean. They work well in modern and contemporary indoor settings.

How thick are bench cushions?

If possible, bench cushions should be at least 3 inches thick to avoid bottoming out (hitting the bench or seat below the cushion). In addition, plan your bench cushion so that your seat height is roughly 18–20 inches above the ground, which will allow you and your guests to have their feet comfortably on the ground.

Bench cushions come in various thicknesses, and the choice of thickness depends on your personal comfort preferences, the style of the bench, and its intended use. Here are some common thickness ranges for bench cushions:

Thin Bench Cushions (1 to 2 inches):

  • Thin cushions provide a minimalist and sleek look.
  • They are suitable for benches used primarily for seating without a need for extra cushioning.
  • Often used in modern or contemporary settings where a slim profile is desired.

Standard Bench Cushions (2 to 4 inches):

  • Standard thickness cushions offer a good balance between comfort and aesthetics.
  • They provide adequate padding for comfortable seating without looking overly bulky.
  • Ideal for most bench styles and indoor or outdoor applications.

Thick Bench Cushions (4 inches or more):

  • Thick cushions provide maximum comfort and support.
  • They are suitable for benches where extended periods of sitting are expected, such as dining benches or reading nooks.
  • Thick cushions can make a bold style statement and add a plush, luxurious feel to the seating area.

What foam is used in benches?

To make your bench comfortable, we recommend the use of high-density polyurethane foam. Using eFoam’s online foam cut to size tool, enter the exact dimensions of the top piece of your bench. Our recommended depth of foam for this bench would be between three to four inches thick, depending on your preference.

Foam used in bench cushions typically falls into one of several common types, each with its own characteristics and suitability for various applications:

Polyurethane Foam (PU Foam):

  • Polyurethane foam is one of the most widely used materials for bench cushions. It comes in various densities and firmness levels.
  • High-density polyurethane foam is often used for seating applications as it offers good support and durability.
  • It’s available in different thicknesses, making it versatile for various cushion sizes and firmness preferences.

Memory Foam:

  • Memory foam, known for its ability to conform to the body’s shape, is used in some bench cushions to provide exceptional comfort.
  • It’s great for benches where prolonged sitting is expected, such as dining benches or window seats.
  • Memory foam comes in various densities and can be combined with other foam types for added support.

Latex Foam:

  • Latex foam is a natural and eco-friendly option for bench cushions. It’s durable, supportive, and hypoallergenic.
  • It’s often used in higher-end and custom bench cushions due to its quality and comfort.

Outdoor Foam:

  • Outdoor bench cushions require foam that can withstand exposure to moisture and UV rays.
  • Quick-dry foam or open-cell foam is commonly used for outdoor cushions as it allows water to pass through and dries quickly.

High-Resilience Foam (HR Foam):

  • HR foam is known for its durability and ability to maintain its shape over time.
  • It’s suitable for benches that see heavy use, such as in commercial settings.
How To Make Seat Cushions For Bench

What materials do I need to make seat cushions for a bench?

To make seat cushions for a bench, you’ll need a variety of materials to ensure comfort, durability, and a polished finish. Here’s a list of essential materials:

Measuring Tools: You’ll need a tape measure to accurately measure the dimensions of your bench.

Fabric: Choose a durable and aesthetically pleasing fabric for the cushion cover. Outdoor-grade or upholstery fabric works well for benches exposed to the elements, while indoor fabric options offer endless design possibilities.

Cushion Filling: Select a cushion filling material, such as foam, high-density foam, or polyester fiberfill, depending on your desired level of firmness and comfort. Ensure it is cut to the correct size and thickness for your bench.

Thread: Quality upholstery or heavy-duty thread in a color that complements your fabric.

Sewing Machine: A sewing machine with a heavy-duty needle suitable for upholstery or outdoor fabrics.

Pins and Clips: Straight pins or fabric clips for securing fabric layers together during sewing.

Scissors: Fabric scissors for cutting fabric and foam to size.

Sewing Notions: These include a zipper if you plan to create removable cushion covers, a zipper foot for your sewing machine, and Velcro or snaps for closures, if desired.

Measuring and Marking Tools: Fabric chalk or washable markers for marking fabric, and a ruler for precise cutting.

Iron and Ironing Board: To press and flatten fabric seams for a professional finish.

Safety Gear: Safety glasses and a dust mask when cutting foam, especially if you need to trim it to fit your bench.

What are the best sewing techniques for crafting bench seat cushions?

Crafting bench seat cushions requires some sewing skills to achieve a polished and professional finish. Here are the best sewing techniques to consider:

Cutting Fabric: Measure and mark your fabric carefully using a straight edge and fabric chalk or washable markers. Use sharp fabric scissors to ensure clean, straight cuts.

Seam Allowance: A standard seam allowance is typically ½ inch to 5/8 inch (1.27 to 1.59 cm). Be consistent with your seam allowance throughout your project for even seams.

Straight Seams: Use a straight stitch on your sewing machine for most of your seams. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam to secure the stitching.

Zippers or Closures: If creating removable cushion covers, insert a zipper or other chosen closure method. Ensure the zipper foot on your sewing machine is used for accurate installation.

Topstitching: To create a finished look and reinforce seams, consider topstitching along the edges, approximately 1/8 inch (0.32 cm) from the seam.

Piping or Welting: For added style and structure, you can incorporate piping or welting along the cushion edges. This involves sewing a cord or decorative trim between two layers of fabric.

Basting: Use basting stitches, long temporary stitches, to hold layers together before final sewing. This prevents shifting during sewing.

Pressing Seams: Iron fabric seams flat to create a neat appearance and help seams lay smoothly.

Clip or Notch Curves: When working with curved edges, make small clips or notches along the seam allowance to help the fabric lay flat.

Finishing: Trim loose threads and any excess fabric. Inspect your work and make any necessary adjustments for a clean and polished final product.

How can I choose the right fabric for my bench seat cushions?

Choosing the right fabric for your bench seat cushions is crucial to ensure comfort, durability, and aesthetics. Here are factors to consider when selecting the ideal fabric:

Indoor vs. Outdoor Use: Determine if the cushions will be used indoors or outdoors. Outdoor fabrics should be weather-resistant and UV-resistant to withstand the elements.

Durability: Consider the level of wear and tear the cushions will endure. Heavy-use areas may require more durable, abrasion-resistant fabrics like upholstery fabric or canvas.

Comfort: Opt for fabrics that provide the desired level of comfort. Natural fibers like cotton and linen are comfortable but may not be as durable as synthetic options.

Color and Design: Choose a fabric that complements your space’s color scheme and design aesthetic. Patterns and colors can add personality and style.

Cleaning and Maintenance: Consider the ease of cleaning. Outdoor fabrics often allow for easy spot cleaning, while indoor fabrics may be machine-washable or dry-clean only.

Allergies: If allergies are a concern, select hypoallergenic fabrics that resist dust mites and allergens.

Fade Resistance: For outdoor cushions exposed to sunlight, opt for fabrics with UV protection to prevent fading.

Water Resistance: Outdoor cushions should repel water to prevent mold and mildew growth. Look for fabrics with water-resistant or waterproof coatings.

Breathability: In humid climates, choose fabrics that allow air circulation to prevent moisture buildup.

Budget: Consider your budget, as fabric costs can vary widely. Keep in mind that investing in high-quality, durable fabric can lead to longer-lasting cushions.

Sample Swatches: Whenever possible, obtain fabric swatches or samples to see how they look and feel in your space before making a final decision.

Are there any creative design ideas for custom bench seat cushions?

Custom bench seat cushions offer endless opportunities for creativity and personalization to make your space unique. Here are some creative design ideas to consider:

Mix and Match Fabrics: Combine different fabric patterns, colors, or textures to create visually striking cushions. For example, pair a solid color with a bold pattern or use complementary colors.

Contrasting Piping: Add a pop of color and definition to your cushions by incorporating contrasting piping or welting along the edges.

Button Tufting: Create an elegant and classic look by adding button tufting to your cushions. This style works well with solid-colored or textured fabrics.

Pattern Play: Experiment with various patterns, such as stripes, chevron, or geometric designs, to add visual interest. Ensure that the patterns coordinate with your overall decor.

Personalized Embroidery: Add a personalized touch by embroidering names, monograms, or meaningful quotes onto your cushions.

Nature-Inspired Themes: Consider nature-inspired designs, such as floral prints, botanical motifs, or ocean-themed patterns, for a refreshing outdoor feel.

Tie-On Cushions: Instead of traditional bench cushions, consider tie-on cushions that can be easily removed and rearranged. This allows for versatile seating and style options.

Reversible Cushions: Create reversible cushions with different fabric patterns on each side, providing flexibility to change the look of your seating area.

Seasonal Themes: Switch out your bench cushions seasonally with different colors and patterns to reflect the changing seasons and holidays.

Layered Cushions: Experiment with layering smaller cushions or pillows on top of larger bench seat cushions for added comfort and style.

DIY Stenciling: Use stencils and fabric paint to create unique designs or patterns directly onto your fabric.

Texture and Dimension: Incorporate texture through fabric choices, such as chenille, velvet, or faux fur, to add depth and tactile appeal.

How To Make Seat Cushions For Bench


Crafting custom seat cushions for your bench is a delightful journey of creativity and functionality. Through this guide, we’ve explored the various aspects of creating bench seat cushions, from choosing the right materials and sewing techniques to selecting fabrics and incorporating creative design ideas.

These cushions serve as more than just comfortable seating; they become an expression of your style and personality, enhancing the ambiance of your indoor or outdoor spaces. The process of making seat cushions allows you to infuse your unique touch and creativity, ensuring that your bench seating is not only inviting but also a reflection of your taste and preferences.

As you embark on your cushion-making adventure, remember to measure meticulously, sew carefully, and select fabrics that align with your vision and needs. Whether you’re seeking durability, comfort, or a burst of artistic flair, custom bench seat cushions provide the perfect solution.

With your newfound knowledge and creative inspiration, you can transform a simple bench into a cozy and stylish seating area that complements your decor and welcomes moments of relaxation, reflection, and connection. Enjoy the satisfaction of crafting something both functional and beautiful, and may your custom bench seat cushions bring joy and comfort to your spaces for years to come.


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Sophia is a creative and passionate entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Bubble Slides, a rapidly growing company that designs and produces innovative and eco-friendly children's water slides. She continues to innovate and improve her products, always keeping in mind the well-being of children and the environment.

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