How to Make an Envelope Cushion

How to make and Envelope Cushion -

Welcome back or welcome to Aimsy’s Antics! I have a DIY sewing project today for you, a simple project to get started on your sewing journey and something to add a bit of comfort to your home decor. Here is how to make an envelope cushion!

So, this project is really easy and a fab way of changing up your decor. Cushions can add a bit of pizazz to your room, and as this is really easy, you can rustle up a stockpile of these to change up and match the various seasons. Easy and cheaper than forking out for new cushions each season!

What is an Envelope Cushion?

There are tonnes of different cushions out there; some fastened with a zip, some with no openings, like my crown-shaped cushion and some that wrap around. An envelope cushion does just what it states, enveloping the inner cushion to keep it in place. This has two openings that fold over each other to house the inner cushion pad/insert, similar to how you would place a letter into an envelope.

Handmade envelope cushions

How to Make an Envelope Cushion:

As i have said, this is a really easy sewing project, perfect for those starting out on their sewing journey. With that said, it is also perfect for all sewing levels, and a great way to spruce up your home decor. These can be made as simple or decorative as you like, most of which will be completed in the post-production of your cushion.

You can use most materials to make an envelope cushion, however, stiffer materials are often best because it is easier to keep their shape. Stiffer material like cotton will also be easier to sew if you are new to sewing. You should also be mindful of patterned material, especially checks, lines and dots. You will have to pattern match your material if they are patterned like this, which can make the project a bit more difficult to do.

What you will need:

To make these envelope cushions you will need the following items:

  • Craft paper / large sheets of paper to make your cushion template
  • 1-2 meters of your chosen material
  • Matching thread to your material
  • Sewing machine
  • Measuring tape and ruler
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors or rotary cutter

Making the Envelope Cushion:

Before starting this project, you want to make sure that you wash, dry and iron your material. This will allow for any shrinkage or fraying that may occur prior to making the cushion. You don’t want this happening when the cushion is made!

Step 1 – Make your cushion template

Before even tackling making the cushion, you are going to need to make your template for the cushion. This comes in two parts and is dependent on the size of your cushion insert. To do this you want to take the size of your cushion and add one; so for a 16×16 inch cushion, your template should be 17×17. This will make the front piece of the cushion. You will cut one of these from your material.
For the back piece of the cushion, this measurement will be slightly different; and you will cut two pieces of material. The measurement for this will still be 17 inches, however, you will reduce the next measurement by three inches. This will give you a 17×14 inch rectangle.

Take a look below for other measurements and adjust accordingly to the size of your cushion insert. These are probably the most common sizes of cushions you will find. Just remember to deduct x3 inches on the back piece whatever the size of the cushion.

Pattern pieces to make a 16X16 envelope cushion

16×16 inch cushion:

17×17 front piece
17×14 back piece

18×18 inch cushion:

19×19 front piece
19×16 back piece

Step 2 – Cut out your material:

Now that you have your templates, it is time to cut out your material. Pin the template onto your chosen material and cut this out, keeping the edges as straight as you can. When cutting out the back piece, you want to place the template on the fold of your material. To save material make sure the open edge of the material is as close to the outline of your template as possible, with the other edge on the fold of your material. Hope that makes sense!
When the back piece is cut out, cut along the fold line to give you the two pieces needed for the back of the cushion.

Step 3 – Create hems on the back piece:

Now, you want to grab your iron and iron any wrinkles out of the newly cut out material. Then keeping your iron turned on, you want to press a 1″ seam (roughly 2.5cm) on your two back pieces. To do this, fold one of the raw edges in on itself, and then fold again to conceal the raw edge; half-inch each fold. This will be on one of the 17″ edges of the back piece. The folded edge will make the seam to the envelope part of the cushion and will be seen on the outside ‘envelope’. Make sure you are folding the right edge in on itself. The folded part should be on the backside (wrong side) of your material.

Then you want to head to your sewing machine and sew a neat line across the edge of the folded seam. Remember to sew this as neatly as you can, as part of this stitching will be showing on the outside of the cushion. This is known as a topstitch.

Sewing the topstitch

Step 4 – Sew the cushion together:

Now that the two back pieces have their finishing seams, it is time to sew the whole cushions together. Place down your front piece with the right side of the material facing up. Then select one of your back pieces and place this on top of the front piece, right side facing down. You want to make sure that the newly sewn seam is at the middle of the front piece. Then place the remaining back piece right side down onto the remaining exposed bit of the front piece, again making sure the folded seam is in the middle.
Double and triple-check that you have the placement right before initiating sewing together. Check the picture and video if you are unsure of the placement. Pin the edges together so that you can transfer it to your sewing machine.

Pins holding the cushion layers together before sewing

[OPTIONAL] If you have a label you would like to place onto the cushion, then this is the time to do it. You can make your own sewing labels, or purchase personalised ones from eBay, Etsy etc. Place the label into one side of the layers of material, making sure it is at least 1″ down from the edge.

Adding a label into the side seam of the cushion

Then, you want to sew a 1″ seam all around the edges of your cushion, backstitching at the start and end of your sewing. Make this a continuous seam by dropping your needle into the material where the corner will be. Lift the presser foot up, turn the material to the way you are next sewing (90 degrees), placing the foot back down and sewing again.

Sewing the side seam of the envelope cushion

Step 5 – Finishing the seams:

Before finishing the seams, you want to turn your cushion the right side out and check that it fits your cushion insert. It should fit just right if you have followed the measurements. If you find the cushion is too snug, then you want to sew your seams a little thinner. If the cushion is too loose, then you want to sew thicker seams.

Inside of the envelope cushions

Turn the cushion back to inside out, and cut the corners off. Do this diagonally. This will ensure that your corners will have a good point when turned the right side out. Then head back to the sewing machine and turn the stitch to the zig-zag setting. You want to zig-zag or overlook stitch all around the edges of the newly sewn seams. This will provide a bit of security to the material, trapping in any loose threads and hopefully preventing your material from fraying.

Zig-zag stitch
Cutting the corners

Step 6 – Turn out and place in cushion insert:

Once you have overlocked the seams, your cushion is ready to be turned the right side out. Grab a small blunt object, like the end of a pen, or your seam ripper to poke out your corners fully. Then grab your cushion insert, place this in and you have your own envelope cushion!

So there you have how to make an envelope cushion. Isn’t that an easy sewing project to make? The possibilities of colour, size and material are endless!

Handmade envelope cushions

How to make an Envelope Cushion Video:

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5 thoughts on “How to Make an Envelope Cushion

    1. Glad you found the instructions easy! It is a really easy sewing project, and also makes a lovely gift as well as home decor for yourself!

      Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

      Aimsy xoxo

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