How to Make a Box Cushion

Just kidding. I will definitely not be explaining how to make a box cushion. This was the first time I have ever made one of these and I’m shocked that it even looks half decent. There are way more qualified people than me out there who can give you advice.

I am a beginner. Over a year ago I decided I wanted to learn how to sew. There’s a whole bunch of skills people used to have that were so useful that most people just don’t bother to learn anymore. And sewing seemed like one of those skills that would be useful to know. Before I took the class the most I could do was sew buttons back on to shirts. And maybe close up a hole with a needle and thread… Maybe.

So I signed up for a class and got to make a tote bag and a pair of pajama bottoms. But most importantly I learned how to use a sewing machine, which was great. And once the class ended I clearly was overconfident because I started looking up patterns for things like dresses and shirts. Why buy something off the rack when you can customize it to your body and make exactly what you want? You want to know why? Price. That’s why. Fabric is expensive. And machines and overworked/underpaid women in Indonesia are way better at making clothes than I am. So other than repairing things, I don’t know how useful having learned how to sew will be. But I still don’t regret it. Is learning a new skill ever really a bad thing?

During this overconfident phase, though, one of the overzealous projects I created for myself was to make a cushion for this bench that my Grandpa had made my mom and she gave to me. It was a custom-made bench, and while we could probably have found a cushion that likely would have fit, I figured I could make one myself. That way we would get exactly the size and fabric we wanted.

So I went to the fabric store and bought some fabric and thread and foam and then all my supplies sat there untouched for months and months. Do you ever just burden yourself by creating projects for yourself that you probably shouldn’t have taken on? I had no idea how to make a cushion. And I could just barely use a sewing machine. So I avoided this project for a long time. But it never went away. This unchecked box on my to do list. I wanted to do it but I was lacking some serious confidence. Apparently I went from way too much to way too little. Even despite looking up videos on YouTube on how to do it where steps are clearly laid out.

But finally I decided I would just do it. I put all the supplies on the kitchen table so they would just be in the way and I couldn’t ignore them. There was no avoiding the project and I had decided I wasn’t going to move it until it was finished. So I got to work. I measured and cut the foam. I measured and cut the fabric. I let YouTube be my guide and ignored my lack of confidence. I was worried that I would put in all this work and in the end it would look like garbage. But I decided to let go of my ego. Before I made the cushion, we had a folded up beach towel sitting on the bench so our dog could lie on it. Anything I made had to be better than a folded up beach towel, right?

And it came out so surprisingly good! What was I so worried out? The nice thing about sewing is that a lot of it involves sewing things inside out, so even if you are a below average sewer (like I am), when you turn everything right-side out, the rats nest of thread is hidden and no one knows it’s there except you.

So now the cushion is finished. By lowering my expectations and choosing to be okay with an outcome that would be less than perfect, I was able to let go of my hangups and get it done. Task completed.

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