Inspiration comes from French Country Style magazine’s charming bench cushions for the farmhouse table.
Learn how I made some magazine-inspired bench cushions for my farmhouse table. I include sources for materials and general guidelines for how you can make custom bench cushions for your table.
Standing Bored in the Grocery Line Paid Off
While standing in a long check-out line awhile ago I spotted a cover on the French Country Style magazine that caught my attention. The super adorable bench cushions may have even elicited a slight gasp and I just had to figure out how to re-create them in my own home. I have a lot of sewing experience so I didn’t think it would take me long to devise a plan.
Drop Cloth: Rustic & Charming
My goal was to create 7′ bench cushions with a lot of personality and charm on a dime. Although in the end I’m not sure that I would call this a cheap project. I’m sure it was cheaper than buying 7′ cushions from a home goods store. Can you even find 7′ French Country style cushions? That’s the question. I figured creating my own cushions was the best route.
Drop cloth has received so many rave reviews from DIY-ers for its versatile and economic qualities that I was excited to use it for a project. My goal was to achieve a home-spun, rustic look, so I figured this was the perfect time to give drop cloth a try. I found a 6′ x 9′ package at Walmart for $10 – awesome! (Walmart also offers a 9′ x 12′ package for $18, if you need a bigger size). I bought two of the 6×9 drop cloth canvases, one for each bench.
Wash & Iron
First, it’s always a good idea to wash your cloth before sewing with it. I tend to skip this step because I’m a very impatient person. Next, iron. A lot. I had to remind myself that the drop cloth is cheap and therefore requires a little more attention. I put on some good music and ironed away.
Just as a note: if you use the Walmart drop cloth be prepared for an extreme amount of fraying. Before sewing my pieces together I had to zig zag every edge to keep them from fraying completely. This isn’t a huge deal but just be prepared for the time needed.
Cutting Pieces for the Bench Cushions
My benches are 7′ long and 15″ wide and I wanted the cushion depth to be 2″. I cut out the following pieces to create TWO cushions:
- 4 large pieces for top and bottom: 7′ x 15″, plus 1/2″ seam on all sides.
- 4 long side pieces: 7′ x 2″, plus 1/2″ seam on all sides.
- 4 short side pieces: 15″ x 2″, plus 1/2″ seams.
Measure the dimensions of your bench and decide how much depth of cushion you want. Don’t forget to add a seam allowance of at least 1/2″ to every piece you cut.
Transferring a Wooly Sheep Design to the Bench Cushion
Before sewing anything together I painted stripes on the two top pieces of the bench cushion. Then I transferred some sheep images onto the fabric. This is where I really hit a snag. After a few frustrating attempts at transferring I realized that the drop cloth just wasn’t really good at accepting the ink but it turned out alright. It’s pretty faded but it kind of adds a rustic personality, which I like. I can tell you after several months of using the cushions that the transfer does continue to fade a little but not so much as to bother me. But I’ll be honest, I’m not sure it would withstand a washing in the machine without some further treatment. I am sure a higher quality fabric would take the transfers better.
You can download my own sheep design for FREE at the end of this post.
It’s Time To Stuff & Fluff!
Once the pieces were all sewn together (and the edges zigg-zagged – again, make a good music list) it was time to add stuffing. It was challenging to fill something 7 feet long, but somehow I managed it. I didn’t stuff the bench cushions too tight because I didn’t want people rolling off the cushion when they sat down. And I wanted to achieve a slightly lumpy look, like an old feather bed. I wanted it to look old and worn and loved. Once the stuffing was in and placed well, I hand sewed the opening shut.
In retrospect I would have filled the bench cushions with a feather filling. More expensive, but I think it would have been worth the money. The poly filling goes flat so fast that it doesn’t look good, nor does it feel good. The feather filling gives it more structure but still lends that comfy, homespun look I’m always going for.
The Inspiration Pays Off
Ta-da! They aren’t perfect (if I sewed them again I’d make a few tweaks), but they look great and they provide much comfort for tired bums. In retrospect I would have added a velcro or button strap to keep the cushions in place. This is something I could add now but adding a strap before filling would be ideal.
Check out the Wooly Sheep Window Box that I made to compliment the Farmhouse table and bench cushions.
See the Wooly Sheep Cement Coasters that I made to compliment the Farmhouse table.
I hope this adventure inspires you to try a project of your own, whatever that may be. Put your unique stamp on your living space, make it yours. Drop a line and let me know what you’re up to. I’d love to hear from you. Happy Creating! xo Jayme
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