How to Make Removable Covers for Cushions Without Zippers

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Colorful cushion covers
Colorful cushion covers (Image: sofa image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com)

There are times when you just want something more to dress up your sofa, loveseat, chair or window seat but don't want to spend a lot of money. For less than the cost of a new cushion (or two), you can make your own cushion with removable covers. Best yet, if you don't want to deal with a zipper, you can still have a lovely cover that can come off on wash day.

Things You'll Need

  • Cushion pad (optional)
  • Fabric
  • Yardstick
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Fusible seam tape (optional)
  • Straight pins
  • Thread
  • Velcro

Buy a cushion pad of your choice. If you have a cushion already, but wish to make a new removable cover for it, then you can skip this step.

Buy enough fabric to cover the cushion. To determine how much you will need, measure the dimensions of the front of the cushion and multiply the two numbers. Double that number to get the total amount for both sides of the cushion. The fabric can be any color; you can even make the cushion cover from two different pieces of fabric--this is entirely up to you.

Lay the fabric on the work table, right side down, and draw the dimensions of the cushion with a tailor's chalk. Add a 1/2-inch seam allowance all the way around the outline you have drawn, then cut out the fabric with scissors. This step is for the front of the removable cushion cover.

Draw the dimensions of the cushion on a new section of fabric. Add an additional inch to either side of the outline. For example, if the cushion you are covering is a square, you will be left with a drawing that looks like a square with two narrow rectangles on the sides, turning the shape into a rectangle. Add 1/2 inch around the entire shape you have for seam allowance and cut out the fabric. This step is for the back of the removable cushion cover.

Lay the second (back) piece of the cushion cover right side down on your work table. Fold the fabric back along the 1-inch wing you drew in Step 4. Press it flat with an iron. How you wish to finish the raw edge of the fabric is up to you. You can use fusible seam tape to finish the edge, or tuck the raw edge under and secure it with thread. Repeat this step with the other half of the removable cushion back.

Cut Velcro tape to length. The length should be 1 inch shorter than the height of the cushion to account for seam allowance. Center one of the Velcro pieces along the folded edge of the back fabric piece and sew it in place. Center the other Velcro piece on the right side of the cushion cover back and sew it in place. Remember to set each Velcro piece a little back from the edge so that they will not show when you look at the finished back of the removable cushion cover. Then cut this piece of fabric in half crosswise.

Pin the three pieces of the removable cushion cover right sides together. To make this step easier, make the back pieces one piece by fastening the Velcro together before sewing it to the front piece of the removable cover. Make sure the back pieces line up perfectly when you do so, making the back piece a perfect square. Sew the two pieces together.

Open the removable cushion cover and slip the cushion inside. Close the Velcro on the back.

Tips & Warnings

  • For an added decorative touch, add piping, lace or any detail to your removable cushion covers. Insert the piping or decorative accent in between the front and back pieces of the cover before pinning them together, making sure the raw edge of the piping faces the outside of the cover and the finished end points toward the center.

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