How to Make an Outdoor Seat Cushion for Kids


The kids are out of school, the weather is warm and it's finally time for all of those fun activities in the great outdoors. There's nothing like the joyful sounds of wild abandon as kids run through sprinklers, fly through the air on a rope swing or sail off on their bikes down the road. But there are also those moments in the hot summer months when kids will want to just sit quietly and relax. To provide lightweight and waterproof padding for anywhere a kid might want to sit, you can make one of these cute vinyl seat cushions from an old tablecloth. If you were a Girl Scout, you might remember this type of seat referred to as a "sit upon" (or, something to "sit upon" to stay clean). Whatever you choose to call them, these seats are so easy to make, you could make one for all the kids in the neighborhood.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Push pin
  • Pencil
  • Tagboard or paper for a pattern
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Vinyl tablecloth
  • Quilt batting
  • Bias tape
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 1: Attach Measuring Tape to Tagboard

To create a circle pattern, first place the push pin through the end of the measuring tape and into the center of the tagboard sheet.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 2: Create a Circle Pattern With the Measuring Tape and a Pencil

Place the pencil along the 11-inch mark on the measuring tape and hold it there to draw on the tagboard as you move the measuring tape around in a circle. This will create a 22-inch circle to use for the seat cushion pattern.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 3: Cut Out the Circle Pattern

Cut out the circle you drew on the tagboard sheet to create a pattern to use again and again.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 4: Pin the Pattern to the Vinyl Tablecloth

Use straight pins to attach the circle pattern to the vinyl tablecloth.

(Image: Beth Huntington)


  • If you don't have a vinyl tablecloth with a pattern you like, you could also use oilcloth or a shower curtain to make the waterproof seat cushion instead.

Step 5: Cut Out Three Circles

Use the pattern to cut out two circles from the vinyl tablecloth and one circle from the quilt batting.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 6: Place the Three Circles Together

Sandwich the quilt batting circle between the two vinyl circles. Be sure to place the vinyl with the right sides facing out.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 7: Pin the Three Layers Together

Use straight pins to attach the three layers along the outer edge of the circle.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 8: Adjust Your Sewing Machine to the Longest Stitch

Adjust your sewing machine's stitch length to the longest stitch.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 9: Sew Along the Edge of the Seat Cushion and Trim the Seam Allowance

Use a basting stitch to sew the three layers together along the edge of the seat cushion, with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Then, use scissors to trim the seam allowance to 1/8 inch.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 10: Attach the Bias Tape to the Edge of the Seat Cushion

Open your bias tape and pin around the edges of the seat cushion, lining up the raw edges of the bias tape with the raw edges of the seat cushion.


  • If you don't happen to have any bias tape, you can make your own in any color or pattern you'd like.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 11: Sew the Bias Tape

Adjust your sewing machine to a medium-stitch length and sew along the line created by the first fold. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 12: Pin the Bias Tape to the Other Side of the Cushion and Sew

Refold the bias tape and bring it around the entire edge of the seat cushion. Pin it in place so the raw edges are inside the bias tape. Then, sew along the inside edge of the bias tape. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 13: Take Your Seat Cushion Outside

Now, armed with their "sit-upons," your kids can keep clean and dry no matter where they choose to sit outside.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
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