Start with a basic cushion and add embelisments.

Easy-to-Make Cushions

by Linda Erlam

Cushions are the jewelry of the decor plan; their function is to look pretty and enhance the room. While premade cushions are available to suit most decors, you may want one-of-a-kind pieces. Unless you have a budget that allows for custom-made cushions, you must make them yourself. With either no or minimal sewing skills, be assured that you can make your own custom cushions.

Envelope Cushion

Choose a cushion filler and measure the width and length.

Multiply the length by 2 and add 8 inches. Add 1 inch to the width. Cut a piece of fabric to these measurements. For example, for a filler that measures 16 by 16 inches, cut a piece of fabric 17 inches wide and 40 inches long.

Turn the short ends over 1/2 inch twice, and press the folds. Stitch along the second fold.

Lay the strip on the table with the right side of the fabric on the surface. Measure and mark the center of each of the long edges. Measure out from the center, both left and right, a distance equal to half the cushion width, and insert a pin at this mark, perpendicular to each raw edge. Fold the left hemmed end back, right sides together, creating a fold at the left-side pins. Fold the right hemmed end over as far as the right-side pins. The hemmed ends overlap 3 inches.

Sew the raw edges together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Turn the cushion right side out, press the edges and insert the filler through the back opening.

No-Sew Neck Roll

Fold an old towel in half lengthwise and roll it into a cylinder. Hold the roll in place with painter's tape wrapped around it.

Measure the length and circumference of the roll. Add 10 inches to the length and 4 inches to the circumference and cut a piece of fabric to that size.

Turn all the edges over 1/2 inch and press. Insert fusible webbing under the fold-over and press again, adhering the hem in place. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for fusing the webbing.

Lay the fabric flat with the wrong side visible. Center the towel roll parallel to and centered on one length edge of the fabric. Remove the painter's tape and roll the fabric and towel together. Secure the fabric roll with painter's tape.

Cut two pieces of ribbon 24 inches long.

Gather the excess fabric at each end and twist an elastic band around the fabric, close to the body of the pillow roll. Tie a piece of ribbon around the elastic, winding the ribbon around enough times to cover the elastic.

Items you will need

  • Cushion filler
  • Cushion fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Towel
  • Fusible webbing
  • Painter's tape
  • 2 elastic bands
  • Ribbon, 48 inches


  • Prelaunder your fabric to prevent shrinkage later.
  • Test the fusible webbing on scraps. Use the hottest iron you can without scorching the fabric.


  • Melted fusible webbing is very difficult to remove from the iron soleplate. Take care when fusing to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images