The Quilt Shop UK
Pound Fabrics UK
Sewing pattern printing
The Fabric Loft
Bespoke fabric printing
Oakapple haberdashery modern quilting fabrics
Live fabric sales
Sustainable fabrics
Quality quilting fabrics UK
Jersey fabric stockist
Discount Fabrics Ltd
J & P wholesale sewing supplies

Button Cushion Project

Make a button cushion

This article is in a series of articles on soft furnishing by Pippa Blacker, find out more about the series here.    Visit Pippa’s website


Cushion Pad (Feather pads are better)

Face fabric (Terry’s Fabrics have a great range of soft furnishing fabrics)

Piping Cord (optional

Cover buttons or plain buttons

Basic sewing equipment

Knowledge of how to do machine button holes

I love scatter cushions, they can really lift an interior.   When I’m feeling like a bit of a revamp, which happens all too often as I am constantly inspired by so many lovely new fabrics and textiles!  I buy a few meters of a new fabric and simply change all my scatter cushions – a great way to freshen up your interior and create a new focal point.   

As with the zipped cushion project, if you are a beginner, you may find it easier to make the following cushion without using the piping.

As in the previous projects, decide on the best size of cushion for your room – 46cm (18”) sized cushions are the best all round size, working well on sofas, easy chairs and scatter cushions on a bed.   I always prefer to use a traditional feather pad, but if you like a really plump finish with the cushion holding its shape all the time, a polyester pad is best.

To ensure a comfortable fit, your cushion cover should be 2.5cm smaller than the cushion pad when it’s finished.  Choose the finished size of your cushion adding a 2cm seam allowance all round, then make a paper pattern the cut size of the cushion cover.   As you are making a button finish you will need three pieces of fabric.  The first will be the front finished square piece.  You will then need a further two back pieces, allowing for the button envelope finish.  Decide where you want the button opening to be placed, ie, either across the center or 2/3rds across etc. I always like my pieces to overlap by at least 5cm, I then allow for double hems to provide a secure platform for the button hole and button.

Use your paper pattern to cut out all the three pieces of the cushion.  If your fabric is patterned, place the paper pattern over the part of the fabric design that you want to see on the cushion.  You may decide to make the buttons a real feature of the cushion and have the button fastening on the front of the cushion.

If using, now make your piping – piping fabric is cut on the bias (across the grain of the fabric).  Cut bias strips wide enough to fold over the piping cord plus your 2cm seam allowance. Longer strips are better as then you don’t have to join the pieces.  Position the cord in the center and fold the strip in half, make sure the right side of the fabric is on the outside.  Machine as close as you can to the cord using a piping foot.

Position one end of your finished strip of piping in the middle of the bottom edge on the right side of your finished square piece of cushion fabric.  Make sure the raw edges are level.

Carefully machine the piping into place.  At the corners, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and snip the seam allowance on the piping to the stitch line.  This will allow you to turn the cover, bring the piping round the corner, re-position, lower the presser foot and carry on machining.

When you arrive back at the beginning you will need to join the piping.  Cut the pieces of cord so that the ends butt together.  Trim the fabric up to the cord on one end.  On the other end, leave an overlap of about 3cm.  Fold in the raw edge and overlap the ends of the piping neatly.  Machine through as close as you can to the cord.

Piped cushion with button opening

I often don’t use piping when I make a button opening, preferring the more relaxed finish of the cushions without the piping.  However, this is just personal preference and using piping gives a really smart finish.

Now you need to hem and machine the envelope edges.  Fold over your 5cm hem and tuck under the seam allowance creating a neat double hem, iron into place.  Repeat for both pieces and machine along the top and bottom lines of the hem creating a tailored finish.

Decide which piece will be used for the button holes.  Measure your buttons and work out how long your buttonhole needs to be.  As a guide, I make my button holes the exact diameter of the button.   (If you are using covered buttons bear in mind the type of fabric you will be using to cover the buttons and make sure you cover these first).   Now work out how many buttons you would like along the opening, this will depend on the size of your buttons, I like quite large buttons so usually have 2 – 3 buttons positioned along the opening.  If you were using a series of smaller buttons, creating a prettier finish adjust the amount of buttons and the depth of your double hems accordingly.

Mark out the position of the buttonholes with pins along the hem.  Using the buttonhole setting on your machine, stitch in the buttonholes.

Position the two envelope pieces together, as they will be when the cushion is complete and pin together as one piece.

Place the right sides of the front and back cushion pieces together, stitch the cushion together beginning at one end and working your way round.  If you have used piping, follow along the piping line, using your piping foot.

Trim all the seams with pinking shears to prevent fraying.   Turn the cover through to the right side.   Match up the buttons in line with the buttonholes and stitch the buttons into place securely.

If you want a more interesting and creative look, use a contrast fabric for the piping and buttons.

Adding buttons to a piped cushion

Happy making!

 Pippa Blacker 07790 81 31 91
Order fabrics for  your own projects
You can also follow me on twitter!/decor_pippa