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How to make a bolster cushion

Make a beautiful bolster cushion for your sofa or bed. For an affordable project use remnants to make the bolster cover.


You will need:

1m floral fabric - at least 110cm wide
1m each striped contrast fabric and end contrast fabric
Scissors, ruler and pins
2m of 3cm wide ribbon
Matching threads
Embroidery cotton and needle
Glue gun and glue sticks
Graduated sized buttons in contrasting colours
Sewing machine
One bolster inner 20cm diameter x 50cm length

Here's how:

1. Cut rectangle 65 x 35cm in the floral fabric, and another 65 x 19cm in the contrast striped fabric. Cut two rectangles 65 x 12cm for the end pieces. Overlock, pink or zigzag all raw edges to stop fraying. With right sides together, pin and sew all the seams measuring 65cm in a row, starting with one end piece, striped piece, the main floral, then the other end piece.

2. Press all the seams open. Take the ribbon and centre it over the seam between the stripe and floral fabric, on the right side. Pin in place and top stitch down each side of the ribbon. With right sides together, matching the horizontal seams, pin and stitch the vertical seam with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving both ends open, to create a tube shape.

3. Using the longest stitch, sew two lines of gathering thread around both ends of the bolster fabric. The first should be about 5mm from the open edge, the second should be about 8mm from the open edge. Insert the bolster, pushing it through so it’s centered within the cushion casing.

4. From the right side, pull up the two gathering threads as tightly as you can, making sure you don’t pull the threads out the other side. They probably won’t gather up fully, don’t worry! Take all the gathering threads and tie them together to secure. Repeat at other end of the bolster.

5. Take the two smaller buttons and using the embroidery cotton, sew them together on top of each other. Repeat with the other two smaller buttons as shown, then glue them onto the two larger buttons, and repeat. If you haven’t got a shank button, just stitch through all three buttons. These are for the ends of the bolsters.

6. Thread the needle with another length of embroidery cotton, and hand baste round the top of the gathers, then pull the embroidery thread up as tight as possible, tucking the raw edges inside, so that none of the bolster inner shows. Stitch the button trim on over the hole. Repeat at other end.


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