How to: Simply applique and ‘bling-up’ a cushion!

You will need:

1 plain cushion or pillow

Assorted fabric

Needle, thread and pins

Scissors, ideally pinking shears

Buttons, beads, sequins (I found these in Poundland!)

Paper and pencil


Step 1:

Autumn cushion 1

Draw out on paper a simple bold design of your chosen idea. If you do not feel confident doing this, search Google Images for a desired image, which you can enlarge if needed on your computer. I have chosen to create an Autumn tree as we are now reaching the last days of Summer and Autumn is my favourite time of year.

Cut out the picture, pin it onto the fabric you wish to use and cut it out.


Step 2:

Autumn Cushion 2 

Once you have cut out all of your design from the fabric using pinking shears, pin it to the front of the cushion. This may sound stupid, but do remember to place your hand inside (try not to stab it with the pins) to ensure it doesn’t get pinned through to the back. if it is a large image, try and position it centrally but if it’s a smaller one, sometimes placing it in the corner or at an angle may look much better.


Step 3:

Autumn cushion 3

Use a simple running stitch to sew the fabric to the cushion. This technique of layering fabric is called applique. Once you have done this, you can have fun and further decorate your cushion using beads, sequins, buttons and ribbons. Again, when sewing the beads and sequins on, I have stuck to a simple running stitch, sewing the beads or sequins into place in the ‘up/right-side’ position of the cushion.


Other cushions I have made like this in the past include fun gingham and floral reindeer as well as other woodland creatures, many of these using IKEA fabrics. The beautiful Floral Fox below was made by a crafter who visited one of the workshops I ran at IKEA Gateshead last Christmas.

Gingham reindeer          Floral reindeer  Floral fox


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