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Making Inserts for Box Cushions???

JillLeeJones | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

Hi all,

I’m new here and wondered if anyone knew how to make cushion inserts for box cushions. I’m trying to completely redo a window seat and I’m not sure how to proceed. The current cushions are 4″ thick foam, but the foam is so soft your bottom hits the wood when you sit on them.Very uncomfortable! I’ve looked at different types of foam, but I want a foam that is firm but not too hard. I’m wondering if the high density foam they sell on the internet will be too hard? Also I like the overstuffed look and it seems like the foam by itself is too hard-edged and boxy looking once it’s in the cover. I’ve heard that couch manufacturers wrap the foam in poly batting to soften the look. Would quilt batting work for this? How would I cut and place it? Anyone who can share their experience or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!




  1. ReneeParrill | | #1

    To achieve the overstuffed look, use a down filling instead of foam. If you are using foam, use 1" bonded polyester to wrap it in. This is sold by the yard, on a big roll. Quilt batting will not provide the loft you need.

    For cushion construction, there are some things to know that will be helpful; First, make a pattern from your existing cushion and fold it in half to make sure it is symmetrical. Use this for both the top and the bottom. Add a skinny seam allowance. You want to make the cushion the exact size or a little smaller than your foam. This will avoid a baggy cushion. Cut your inset to 4" plus seam allowances if your foam is 4". Make sure that if you have to piece the inset, you do it on the sides or the back, never the front.

    Make and sew the cording to the top and bottom of the cushion. Sew the zipper into your pre-measured inset. Leave one end of the inset unsewn, (so it is a strip instead of a circle) you will do this later. Pin the inset to the top part of the cushion, centering the zipper in the back. When you get to the part of the inset that isn't sewn together, take the cushion out of the machine, fit the remaining inset onto the cushion, and then sew the inset together. You do this last to make sure the inset fits the cushion. It gives you a little insurance. Once the top is sewn to the inset, grab a corner and follow it down and make a notch. Do this on all the corners. Match your notches to the bottom corners and sew all the way around. Open the zipper a little before you start so you can turn it when you are done.

  2. rjf | | #2

    Hi Jill,  I've used poly batting over foam rubber and it seems to work pretty well.  It's better to tear it than cut because that feathers the edge for a smoother look.  Sometimes you'll need to hand sew with big stitches to keep it in place The other thing I've done is to make an inside cover from muslin and sewn it on.  That keeps all the stuffing together so you can easily take off the outside cover to wash it.  It's really worth the extra effort and you can see how the final cover is going to look.  rjf

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