Reupholstery Week Post 4

Hello we are in a series called Reupholstery Week.  We are featuring two chairs that myself and Amy from Design Intervention completed this last weekend.  Today we are going to show you how to make cushions with piping/cording on it. 

WARNING:  Lots of math problems ahead. We are not professional upholsterers and kind of winged it so if you want to know how to do it correctly seek professional help, thankyouverymuch.

Click here for post 1

Click here for post 2

Click here for post 3

Ok are you ready to learn how to recover cushions with cording?

the first step is to take your old cushions and place them under your new fabric and using chalk trace inside the piping to outline the shape of the cushions…

IMG_1553 IMG_1554 You are going to cut out two of those for each cushion (one for the top and one for the bottom of the cushion).  So in our case, we cut out four, two for each chair.  If you are doing piping then attach your piping onto the sides off the cushion bottom and top clipping around the corners so you can ease the piping around the corners.IMG_1555To finish off the piping open up one side of the piping.  Cut the other cording so they line up and don’t overlap.  Then fold one over the other and sew it in place.

IMG_1562 IMG_1563 We chose to install zippers so that we can take the cushion covers off to wash them later if need be.  And let me tell you with kiddos there will be a “need be.”

To measure for the zipper: measure the depth of your cushions (ours were 4”) and divide by 2 which would be 2”.  Then add 2” (a 1” seam allowance on both sides) so now we are back at 4”.  I know that is confusing so here is the equation broken down.

Depth of the cushions ÷ 2 = x

x + 2” for seam allowance = width of fabric

We used a 36” zipper so we cut two pieces of 4” x 39” ( a little longer just to be safe) fabric.

Iron one side down 1” on the long side of the fabric.  Using your zipper or cording foot attach your zipper to the side of the fabric.  Repeat with the other side of your fabric.IMG_1556Now to measure the width of the strip of fabric that attaches the top and bottom cushions together:  Depth of the cushion + 2”.  So our cushion was 4” and we added 2” = 6”

Then to measure the length: measure all sides of your cushions and subtract by the length of your zipper.  So we took 76”-36” =  50”.   Then add 6” for overlap which equals a 6” x 56” piece.  Now press (with your iron) under the two short ends a couple of inches and sew down.  Line up the middle of the fabric with the front middle of the cushion top and pin everything in place. Do the same for the bottom of the cushion.  Sew the strip to the top and bottom of the cushion. 

IMG_1558Next take your zippered piece and pin in place overlapping the other strip you just sewed on a little bit and sew that on the top and bottom of the cushion.  Make sure you leave your zipper opened a little when sewing so you can unzip it when you are done.  Clip any curved edges.


Turn it right side out and shove your cushion inside.IMG_1560 Completed cushion and the side of it where the zipper is…

IMG_1593 IMG_1594Tomorrow is the big reveal!  If you have any questions about this project please leave a comment or email me at and we will try to answer them in tomorrow’s post.

Click here to read part 5