Making a bench cushion can be a simple project with a functional and practical result, and it can also add a decorative accent to your room. You'll need basic sewing skills to make a cushion from two pieces of fabric, or try a no-sew covering for a quick and easy bench topper.
When you make a bench cushion, consider the way in which it will be used. A functional piece of furniture that's used every day should have a cushion with a sturdy covering, while a bench that's just a decorative accent can have a purely decorative cushion, as well.
Consider how the bench fits into your room, and whether you want the cushion's covering to blend with draperies and furniture or to provide a bit of contrast and color. A monochrome color scheme, with the cushion matching the bench, is a good choice in a room that has very strong design elements. A contrasting, patterned cushion will add some interest in a room that features mainly neutral shades.
Foam products for cushions are available in various thicknesses, widths and lengths. Buy a piece of foam that's the exact size you need, if possible. If you have to buy a larger piece and cut it to size, use a new blade in a utility knife. Mark the cutting line on the foam and cut along the line to a depth of 1/2 inch at a time for the best results.
You can use cotton or polyester fiberfill instead of foam. Cotton stuffing tends to clump and shift after it settles, but polyester stuffing will keep its shape.
If you need a sturdy fabric for your bench cushion, use heavy cotton, cotton duck, canvas or corduroy. You can use any fabric you like if you're making a decorative bench cushion.
Easy Bench Cushions
Make a simple bench cushion by sewing two pieces of fabric together and inserting foam or stuffing. When you construct this type of cushion, you're limited to using thin foam, since you aren't making square sides that would accept a thick piece of foam. If you use cotton or polyester stuffing, you can achieve more thickness by cutting the fabric pieces a few inches larger than your measurements and stuffing the cushion firmly.
If you're looking for a no-sew solution, try wrapping a piece of foam like a package. Use 3- or 4-inch-thick foam and a piece of fabric that's large enough to fold over the foam and extend beyond its edges at least 3 inches. As you wrap each end of your "package," use hot glue or fabric glue to secure the ends of the fabric. Glue a strip of wide ribbon or decorative upholstery trim around the sides of the cushion, beginning and ending at the center back.
You can also make a no-sew cushion with cotton stuffing or fiberfill by cutting two pieces of fabric and glueing the edges together, leaving an opening for stufffing. After you insert the stuffing, glue the opening closed.
Margaret Morris has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a celebrant certificate from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. Morris writes for various websites and private clients.