How to Make Pew Cushions


Making pew cushions is as easy as making pillow cases. Select a good fabric that coordinates with the stain of the wooden pews. By purchasing discounted upholstery fabrics in wholesale quantities, you can dress up every pew in the building for a much lower cost than having cushions custom-made. Pews generally come in standard sizes; however, they can be longer or shorter based upon the size of the church. Careful measuring is a must for professional results.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Marking pen
  • 4-inch-thick foam rubber
  • Electric carving knife
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Straight pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Measure the depth and length of each pew and write the measurements down. notes that center aisle pews may be four feet long, while side pews may be six to 22 feet long.

  • Measure the depth and length of the foam rubber, marking cutting lines with the marking pen. Waggoner's Inc. notes that higher-density foam is more durable and longer-lasting. Cut the foam rubber using the electric carving knife. Place cushions on the pews to make sure they are the proper size. Trim or recut if necessary.

  • Take the measurement of the depth and multiply by two. Add 9 ¼ inches to the prior measurement. Record the depth measurement. Measure the length and add 1 ¼ inch for the seam allowance. Record the length measurement. Cut the fabric according to the depth and length measurements.

  • Cut the end pieces. Add 1 ¼ inches for seam allowance to the depth measurement which is the measurement from the front of the pew to the backrest. The height measurement is 5 ¼ inches, which is the measurement of the foam height, plus 1 1/4 inches for seam allowance. Cut two pieces according to these measurements, one for each end.

  • Fold fabric with right sides together matching raw ends. Stitch along raw ends using a 5/8-inch seam allowance. Starting at the seam, pin one end piece to the sleeve opening, continuing to pin around the sleeve opening until it is pinned closed. It should match evenly all around. Repeat on the other end, leaving three sides open. Stitch the pinned areas.

  • Turn the fabric inside out. Insert the cushion. Hand-sew the remaining sides closed, using a small stitches. Place cushions on benches.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lay fabric on a large, flat surface for measuring and cutting. More experienced sewers can add cording around seat edges. Chalkboard chalk works nicely for marking fabric for cutting. Use a yardstick for marking and measuring long, straight lines.
  • Count yardage carefully, and don't risk running out of fabric in case you are unable to purchase more of the same to finish the project. Lay out and cut fabric carefully so that none of it is wasted.

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  • Photo Credit pews and pews image by Earl Robbins from
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