Cushion Patterns
to buy or make?

Do we really need to buy cushion patterns? Many people prefer getting cushion patterns commercially as these give all the information needed to make that particular cushion.

These can be bought through some high street shopping outlets,  magazines or online outlets like Abakhan. Abakhan uses the word pillows instead of cushions but has a variety of different patterns.

Making your own patterns may take you a little longer but you can then have the cushions to suit your own needs. There may be many things to take into consideration when making cushions but first start with the two main ones........

  • What size to make it?
  • What shape shall it be?

The pattern is then drawn onto paper, stiff card or cardboard depending on what you are making.

Pins will not go through cardboard or stiff card very easily and I would use this if I was going to draw around the shape directly onto the material.

Large stones, heavy small beanbags can be use to hold the pattern piece onto the fabric but can be tricky if you need to lift the fabric to cut.

Craft paper can be bought in shops but I have used greaseproof, lining or foolscap paper as well with equally good results.

Just don't forget to add the seam allowance or the cushion may be smaller than expected. 

The beauty of making either bought or homemade cushion patterns is that using some modifications from the original many different cushions can be made. Such as adding a gusset and making an edge to a scatter cushion will produce a seat for a hard chair or bench.

The links below are books about making cushions and other items from Amazon

Making Cushion patterns for

A Classic, Simple or Square Cushion

square pattern shape

This shape is the first one that is thought of when talking about cushions.

This is also a great first sew and it is fairly easy to make. A square shape can be made very simple or elaborate by adding decorations and can have some sort of fastening either hidden in a seam or at the back, depending on the style. 

These can be made in a box edged design or with an added frill.

Decorations can be added such a ribbons, buttons or decorative borders.

A Round or Circular Cushion

round cushion

A round pattern is one many steer away from as they think it will be really hard.

This is a great shaped pillow for resting a head on and these can be elongate and made smaller to get bolster cushions.

Another shape that is good for placing in the small of the back for support and that can also have a single or double frill.

These can also be the starting cushion for some children's design such as a sun, spider or a flower.

A Rectangular Shaped Cushion

retangular pattern shape

Again another simple shape although a little longer in one direction than the square pattern.

This shape is great for putting behind the small of the back when sitting in a chair or at the side and can be made elongated to suit the chair you are sitting in.

This shape can also be made as a box edge or with an added frill.

Heart Shaped Cushion

Heart cushion

A difficult pattern to make?

These can be made in any size just like the other cushions. This shape is loved by all  and the "V" shape at the top may allow this cushion to be placed in different positions for support such as placing it under the arm to give rest if broken and healing.

The depth of the V can be altered to give a deep V as shown or making that shallower so it is not really noticed.

These are great for loving decorative cushions.


To have a pattern consisting of two pieces, a front and back in the shape you would like.

Making a pattern will need to be done if the size of the cushion is not the standard size and shape, but that shouldn't stop any type being made well.

All you need to do it draw the shape on paper whether it is a clover leaf or any shape in a suit of cards, transfer this onto fabric, cut two pieces out, decide on your fastening and how type of filling you will be using and you are there.

Fastenings are optional especially if this aspect of sewing is daunting. After the filling has been put inside, the seam can then be stitched together to ensure none falls out.

Let your imagination go when thinking of your cushion patterns and try to experiment a little.

Sewing can easily be unpicked if the shape or style does not work and I know that it can be a little frustrating but with a bit of working out you will be really pleased with the end result knowing that you have made it all from the beginning.


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Please take care with any soft furnishing that it does not come into contact with any heat source. 

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