During August, I began dreaming of times ahead when the weather will be cooler – porch sitting time. Fall and spring are prime times for spending time on our porches. While making cushions and pillows for our porch rockers, I ignored the need to do the same for our swing. But, that’s about to change, and I thought I’d show you an easy way to get the first step done – cutting the foam – and then another prep step.
We begin by measuring the swing seat and marking the cut-lines on 2″ high density foam to fill the cushion.
- A sharpie pen works well for marking.
- Flip your measuring tape over for marking a straight line.
- An electric knife is perfect for cutting foam. (I keep an old one in the craft cave for foam projects.)
I cut my foam outside on the porch. It’s not a messy job at all. The porch flooring will be safe from damage if my knife blade runs into it. Also, there’s plenty of room out there with nothing in the way.
Stand the foam on edge and cut straight through without angling the blade.
When you finish cutting, test-fit the foam into the swing. Mine stuck out a little further along the front edge than I liked, so I shaved off another half an inch. Your cut lines need not be perfect. (Mine never are.) The cover will hide any imperfections.
If you’re unsure, it’s best to cut a little larger than you think you might like. When you test it, you’ll know for sure. It’s easy to cut a little more off – and NOT easy to add to it if needed. (It can be done, but that should be another post.)
Tomorrow, I’ll share the tutorial for making your cushion cover. I have another tip to share today, and I’d like to show one little picture from tomorrow’s details.
Foam causes drag when pulling the fabric over it. You can pull and tug and finally get it on, but there’s a much easier way.
It took me only ten extra minutes to make a cover for the foam out of an old sheet. The inner cover can be made a little loose, so it goes on easier than the stiff outdoor fabric that fits a little more snuggly. I had an old fitted sheet in the closet. Since old flat sheets are used for curtain projects, this is a good way to use fitted sheets.
My fitted sheet had been in the wash with a pair of shorts that belonged to Fun Son. He’d left an ink pen in his shorts pocket. Yes! It ruined an entire load of clothes – a Polo shirt, the shorts, and a set of sheets. (I wanted to clobber him, but I felt sorry for him due to his sadness over the ruined Polo. Lesson learned!)
To use a fitted sheet as flat fabric, trim the elastic band off of it.
Pile it in the floor and take a picture. I simply clipped a short section to get it started and tore the remaining length until I ran into a seam. After clipping through the seam, you can rip again. Ripping saves loads of time over cutting.
Cut the sheet along the fitted corner seams to open up the corners and lay the sheet out flat. Fold over one edge to about 4″ wider than your foam, allowing 2″ extra on each side edge as shown in the picture.
Cut the fabric on the non-folded sides 2″ from edge of foam. At one end, cut about 8″ from foam. You’ll see why soon.
I really don’t wad up my sheets for storage. It just looks like it by the number of wrinkles. Who can fold a fitted sheet without a few wrinkles, right? Besides, the wrinkled inner cover will be just that. Under cover. 😉
Sew the edges together, leaving one end open. This makes a pillow case. Slide it over your foam. So much easier than the outer cover!
Here’s the end that remains. You can see it’s much longer than needed. I do it that way for a reason. I machine sew the closure with the foam inside it.
The extra fabric gives you plenty of room to sew a seam as close to the foam as your machine can reach. Trim off the extra fabric after sewing the seam.
I surged my cut edge to keep it from raveling over time.
My swing cushion has a zipper for easy removal for washing. This inner cover makes it nice for easily removing the foam when the time comes for that.
Thank you for visiting today. I hope you’ve picked up a tip or two for the prep steps in making a swing cushion. Now that I’ve posted the tutorial for the cushion cover, you can go to that post here: 3-Step DIY Bench or Swing Cushion.
I hope you make time today for rest from your labor – the reason we’re given this holiday each year. Happy Labor Day, y’all!
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