DIY Cushion Cover: Scrappy Chevron Style

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This article will explain how I made a DIY cushion cover in my usual scrappy style!

This tutorial will show you how to make the cushion covers, including the insert, and the best way to stuff cushions using all your leftover scraps.

Finished Cushions

I wanted to tie them in color-wise with the wall in my sewing room, and I just love how they turned out.

As you probably all know, I love projects that involve minimal measuring, and this simple project is a great example of this – so if that sounds like you, too – you’ll enjoy this one!

Supply List for Scrappy Chevron Covers

  • Adding Machine Tape
  • Fabric Scraps
  • Denim Scraps
  • Backing Fabric
  • Internal Lining Backing
  • Cushion Insert Fabric
  • Batting
  • Zipper

How to Make Scrappy Chevron Covers

You will find step-by-step instructions below, or if you prefer the video tutorial you’ll find it at the end of the post.

Step 1: Make the Scrap Strips

Adding Machine Tape Scraps

The first step in making your DIY cushion cover is to make some scrappy strips. This is a really easy way to use loads of little pieces of scraps and turn them into one strip of fabric.

You can read a detailed tutorial on how to make scrappy adding machine strips here or follow my basic description below if you already have a rough idea of what to do.

You’ll need to use a strip of adding machine tape, receipt paper or other thin paper. Add the first piece of fabric, right side up, and sew a straight stitch width ways across the adding machine tape.

To add your second piece of fabric, place it right side to right side on top of the piece of fabric you’ve just sewn, leave around a 1/4 inch seam allowance, and sew a line across the width to join the two pieces of fabric.

Fold the second piece of fabric back on itself so it is now the right way around, and then continue to add fabric pieces until the whole thing is as long as you want it to be.

Here is what the back of your adding paper will look like once you’ve made a strip.

Adding Tape Strip Back

I made strips varying from around 12 to 20 inches long so I had enough to make two cushions.

Trim The Scraps

When you’re happy with the size of your strips, use a rotary trimmer to neaten up the edges. They should look like this when you’re finished!

I made my strips in different color palettes, but you can do whatever you like!

Step 2: Play Around With Fabric Scraps to Make Your Design

If you love improv, this is the most fun bit! Use your cushion insert fabric to act as a template for the shape and size of your cushion, and start playing around with different and similar ideas.

I started with a square of denim, around 4 or 5 inches, which I cut in half and laid at the bottom.

Start with Triangle

I then alternated colored strips and denim to make a chevron pattern.

Cushion Cover Chevron Pattern

This doesn’t need to be super accurate. That’s the beauty of improv work!

If you watch the video, you can see I tested out layouts first and tried a stripy pattern, which I didn’t love. Play around until you get the cushion cover pattern you love.

For the second cushion, I used the offcuts of these strips and some pink velvet fabric which I also used for the cushion backings.

Step 3: Sew the Strips Together

Scrappy Chevron Covers Step 2

Now, it’s time to start sewing.

Leave a little bit of an overhang and add the first strip to your triangle (as you can see in step one of the photo above).

Sew right side to right side (see the photo below for an example of what I mean – sew along the dotted line).

Trim off the ends of the fabric (as shown in step two), and then add the second strip of fabric scraps. Again, trim when you’re finished.

Keep going with this, alternating denim strips with scrap fabric strips or whatever fabric you want to use! I love using denim, and have used it for everything from denim quilts to denim placemats.

Make sure you keep comparing the cushion top that you’re sewing with your cushion template and trim off the sides as you go so it doesn’t get too big – this will stop you wasting fabric, too.

Just use a ruler and a rotary cutter, like you did while trimming the scrap strips.

Keep adding the strips until you’ve finished the whole of the cushion top. You’ll need to add small triangles to the top to get a square cushion shape, you could use any color or fabric you like – get creative!

Step Four: Remove the Adding Strip Paper

Remove the Adding Tape

Once you’ve sewn all your strips together, it’s time to remove the adding machine paper strips that were holding everything together.

Don’t remove the strips until you’re at this stage (or at least until both sides of the scrappy strips have been sewn).

If you don’t want to sew strips, you could always use quilt blocks to make a scrappy cushion instead.

Step Five: Quilt the Top Piece of your DIY Cushion Cover

Quilting The Top

To quilt the top of your cushion, you’ll need your top piece, batting, and a piece of insert fabric. If you don’t have a full piece of batting, you can always join batting pieces to make a larger piece.

The insert fabric isn’t necessary if you don’t want to use it; I just wanted to make my cushions extra comfortable.

Use sewing pins to secure the piece together (see the picture above), and quilt using whatever stitch you like!

Top Stitch Quilting

I like to use top-stitch quilting. I used a straight 3-stitch length and sewed either side of the ditch on the denim. You could use a zigzag stitch or free-motion stitching. You can read about different quilting methods here.

At this point, you could also quilt the back of the cushion cover. I didn’t though I used a pink piece of velvet fabric, but you can use any fabric you have to make your own pillow cover.

Step Six: Make the Cushion Inserts

Cushion Inserts

You can skip this step if you already have pillow inserts, but I decided to make some because I wanted such large cushions.

Cut two 21-inch squares of the cushion insert fabric. (Or one inch larger than whatever final size cushion insert you want.)

Sew three sides together (left, bottom, and right) and a few inches along each end of the fourth side (top), leaving a gap in the middle to turn the cushion inserts the right way out (see the photo above).

Clip the corners before you turn right side out so you have neat corners; you can use a chopstick or pencil to push the corners all the way out.

Stuff the Inserts

Then, stuff the inserts with all your fabric scraps. Make sure you cut them all into tiny pieces (nothing bigger than a couple of inches) to get a really comfy cushion.

Batting scraps work great as stuffing too – I usually use a mixture of the two and I only use fabric trimmings and scraps that I know I won’t use anywhere else!

You can then hand sew the turning gap or do it on your sewing machine if you have enough wiggle room.

Step Seven: Trim the Cushion and Add Zippers

Use your ruler and a rotary cutter to trim all the excess fabric and make the cushion top 20.5 inches square.

Add the zipper to the back piece of fabric first and then to the cushion top. If you’ve never added a zipper before, you can check out this post.

I do add the zipper in the video so you can see how to do it there too, but my footage wasn’t great in this instance!

I like the zipper to sit nice and flat, so I always top stitch on the front of each piece of fabric (the top of the cushion and the back piece).

Step Eight: Sew It All together

The last step is to sew your layers of fabric together.

Layer the two pieces of fabric together (the top quilted piece and the backing piece), right sides to right sides, make sure your zip is open, and sew the remaining three sides together.

At this point, you can trim the corners to ensure they turn out nicely when you turn it the right way around.

Put the cushion inner into your DIY cushion cover…and there you have it! Your own cushion covers!

Finished Scrappy Chevron Covers

Here are my finished cushion covers. I absolutely love how they turned out and fit perfectly with the wall behind them. They’d also make great throw pillows for a white sofa or bed.

The best thing about the simple steps in this tutorial is that there are so many different ways you could adapt this to make your own really beautiful cushion cover – change up the pattern, change the colors, change the fabrics, use different prints. The options are endless!

You can check out my top tips for making these cushions below, as well as some frequently asked questions you might want to be answered.

You’ll also find the YouTube video version of this tutorial below if you prefer to learn through watching – I know I definitely do!

Video Tutorial for Scrappy Chevron Covers

Top Tips for DIY Cushion Cover

  • Some fabrics are easier to work with than others. Again, if you’re a beginner, use cotton or a fabric that is quite sturdy. You won’t be able to make perfect cushions and learn these skills with a flimsy or slippy piece of fabric.
  • If you don’t want to add a zip to your cushion, make envelope pillow covers instead that you can just slip your insert into.
  • If this is your first time making a cushion cover, skip the scrappy strips part and just use two pieces of fabric. You can skip straight ahead to step seven and sew your two pieces of fabric together. If you want to give them a quilted look, don’t forget to do that before you sew them together.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of fabric do you use for cushion covers?

Cotton and linen are two of the best fabrics to use for cushions. They both are easy to cut and manipulate and wash really well. Both types of material are available in a huge range of colors too.

How do you make a simple cushion cover without a zip?

If you want to make a simple cushion cover without a zip, you can make an envelope cover.

You’ll need two pieces of fabric, the front and back of the cushion, and the back should be longer than the front.

Cut the back piece in half, and then sew right side to right side, overlapping the two back pieces so that they create an envelope for you to slip your insert into.

Printable DIY Instructions

If you prefer having a set of writing instructions in front of you when you’re making your projects, you can print off this PDF to follow along!

Finished Cushions

How to Make Scrappy Chevron Cushions

Yield: One Scrappy Cushion
Prep Time: 1 hour
Active Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Beginner Friendly
Estimated Cost: $5-10

Make a scrappy chevron cushion with this simple tutorial. You can adapt this tutorial to make the cushions any size you like, and in any pattern you like!

The cost is so low as this cushion is made with scraps and leftovers, so the only things you should need to buy are the zippers (which are optional) and some lining fabric (also optional).

Materials

  • Adding Machine Tape
  • Fabric Scraps
  • Denim Scraps
  • Backing Fabric
  • Internal Lining Backing
  • Cushion Insert Fabric
  • Batting
  • Zipper

Tools

  • Sewing Machine
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Make some scrappy strips using adding machine tape. Add random piece of scrap fabric onto the paper, sewing right side to right side until you have a length you want. Make around 6 of these strips.
  2. Create your design. Alternate strips of denim (or another fabric) with the scrappy strips to make a stripped pattern, chevron pattern or another patering you like.
  3. Sew the strips together, one at a time, right side to right side, trimming as you go.
  4. Remove the addding machine tape.
  5. Quilt the top of your cushion. Pin together the top piece, a piece of battting and a piece of lining fabric if you want to use one, and quilt them using whatever stitch or patten you want to use.
  6. Make the cushion inserts by sewing together two pieces of insert fabric, leaving a small turning gap at the top. Turn the insert the right way out, and stuff it wit lots of tiny pieces of scrap fabric and batting. Sew the turning gap closed.
  7. Add the zipper and leave it open.
  8. Sew the two cushion piece together right side to right side (the quilted front side and the backing). Turn the cushion cover the right way around and add the cushion insert.

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