how to: make a happy cushion

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I noticed that I tend towards neutrals a lot, so I wanted to brighten up my office a little by making a colourful cushion, which I decided to call a happy cushion, as its purpose is to bring colour, fun and joy into the home. It would also make a nice gift, if you like to hand make presents for your friends.


I documented the process so you can make one too. I have tried to describe it in such a way that allows you to customize it to what ever size and colours you like.


What you need:

-Wool (how ever many colours you want)
-Scissors (Fabric, paper and thread)
-Large needle
-Sewing machine
-Beads x 8
-Embroidery thread or thin yarn
-A few different fabrics
-Cushion insert (size of your choosing)


-For this part you need cardboard, something circular the size (the size you want your pom pom) or a compass/other circle maker, wool, fabric scissors, paper scissors, pen. If you have a pom pom maker,  you can use that instead, this is for using basic materials:

one/ fold your cardboard in half and trace your circle onto the cradboard make the cirlce the size you want your final pompom. Then inside that circle draw another smaller circle, so it looks like a doughnut.


two/ cut out circle, then cut a slit through it and cut out the middle circle also, to make your double cardboard doughnut. ( a slit isn’t essential, but makes cutting easier, and makes wrapping the wool quicker)


three/  Tie the wool to the cardboard (as pictured) and start wrapping your wool around, by pushing the wool through the hole (keeping both pieces of cardboard together), to change colour, know the yarns together an keep going.


four/ keep going, until the hole in the middle is too small to thread any more through. Then get your fabric scissors and push it between the the two pieces of cardboard and start cutting the wool, along the outside.


five / As you cut, thread a strand though the middle, between the two pieces of cardboard. When you get to the end, tie the thread together tightly. Then trim the pom pom to make it even all over. But leave the center strand long.



For this part you will need, cardboard, scissors, beads and thread/yarn.

one/ cut a piece of cardboard a little longer than the length you want your tassels.t1

two/ wrap the embroidery thread or year around the cardboard (as pictured above) until it is about the thickness you want your tassel. Then cut the threads at one end.


three/ cut another piece of thread, and string a bead through it. Place the bead in the center of the group of threads, and tie it to the middle (as pictured)


four/ then pull the threads together, and tie a thread around the middle, wrapping it around a few times and then double knot, and trim it. (or use a needle to push the thread ends into the middle of the tassel)

five/  trim the ends of the tassel to even it out and tidy it up.


six/ thread another bead onto the top of the tassel. Make 4 of these.



For this you will need a sewing machine, ruler, paper, fabric, scissors, thread, needle, pillow insert and your pom pom and tassels.

one/ First we need to make the pattern for the front of the pillow. I used a 40cm square pillow, but you can use whatever size you like.


To make your pattern, measure your cushion and draw a line the length of the cushion (in my case 40cm). Then mark the middle point (in my case at 20cm). The rule a line half the length of the pillow, from the middle point going up (in my case 20cm up). Then connect the top of the line to the two ends of the bottom line, forming a triangle. Then measue a 1cm seam line around the whole shape (this is to allow for seams) Cut out your pattern along the outer triangle.


two/ Pin the pattern to your fabric, make sure the middle line on the pattern is the same direction as the grain of the fabric. Cut 4 triangles, it is up to you if you want two in two fabrics, or 4 different fabrics for each. (be creative!)


three/ to make the back pieces, I actually draw the pattern directly on the fabric with a fabric marker (which disappears) but you may want to make a paper pattern. Create a rectangle which is the length of the pillow +2cm (so for me 42cm) by three quarters the width of the pillow + 2cm (32cm for me). Cut two of these. I used two different fabcis for a bit of fun, but you can also just cut two of the same fabric.


four/ you now have all the parts ready for construction!!


five/ We will start with the triangles. Stitch two triangles together, allowing for a 1cm seam. Be sure to stitch the two different coloured triangles together. And then iron the seam flat. Do this for the other two triangles, so you now have two larger triangles which are the two halves of the pillow.


six/ Pin these two large triangles together, along the long end, and stitch together. You may wish to leave a small gap in the middle, to make threading the pom pom in easier. When pinning the two together, make sure the middle point, where all seams meet all matches up. Iron seam flat once finished.


seven/ now for the back of the cushion. Take on of the back pieces, along the long end, fold the fabric over, 1cm, and then another cm, and stitch it down to create a hem. Do this on both rectangles. Iron after stitching.


eight/ now you need to pin and stitch the front and back together. Lay the two back pieces on top of the front piece, with the hems in middle, one side overlapping the other.  Pin in place, and stitch along the seam. Trim the corners, and turn inside out, then iron the edge of the pillow to flatten the seams.


nine/ Using a yarn needle, thread the tassels into the corners and knot inside ( you may want to add a few hand stitches to secure them more.


ten/ then to attach the pom pom, use the yarn needle to thread it through the middle. Knot on the inside and add a few hand stitches to secure and tighten.


eleven/ finally insert the cushion insert and ta-da!! you have one happy and fun cushion.




Comments (2)


December 18, 2012 Reply

So beautiful! If only my sewing machine wasn't in storage, I think this is something that I can definitely accomplish!

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