How to sew a tartan effect chair cushion*

Sew a set of stylish chair cushions – part 2

So far my chair cushion set has two geometric pom-pom trim cushions - find out how to make them in part one here. And this week I'm going to be sewing a tartan chair cushion because, put simply, I love tartan but struggle to find it in blue and yellow colours to match our living room! Plus I'd never really considered how to sew something to resemble tartan and found coming up with the process a fun challenge. #geek

You will need:
Fabrics - here's all the Sew Crafty ones I used
Tracing paper and pencil
Cushion pad
Sewing machine
Tape measure

How to:
1. To create your pattern draw a 38cm square onto the tracing paper. If your cushion pads are a different size to mine, just make the square a few centimeters smaller than your cushion to make it nice and fitted. Draw your tartan pattern on top. Then make a duplicate onto a second piece of tracing paper.

2. Cut the horizontal pieces out of one of your patterns and the vertical pieces out of another. 

3. This way of making your pattern doesn't include a seam allowance, so pin your pattern to your fabric and mark a 1.5cm seam allowance on each short edge and a 1cm seam allowance on each long edge and then cut out.

4. Fold and press a 1cm seam on both sides of your fabric strips. If they refuse to stay flat, hold them in place with a few pins. 

5. Cut a 41cm square of your background fabric for the front piece of your cushion.

6. Lay your front piece the right way up and start to arrange your fabric strips into your tartan pattern. To add some character, I weaved some of my pieces over and under each other. When you are happy with the arrangement pin it down.

7. Sew along both edges of all your fabric strips, staying as close to the edge as possible. 

8. The cushion backs in this tutorial are envelope style so they don't need a zip. To make them cut two fabric pieces, both 41cm wide x 30cm high. Then on one long edge of each piece pin and sew a 1.5cm seam allowance. 

9. Cut four pieces of ribbon, long enough to reach from your cushion and tie around your chair back - I tested mine against my chair and made them 25cm long.

10. Lay your two back pieces on top of each other with right sides facing up. Next lay your cushion ties in place, at this point it's a good idea to go and test against your chair again to make sure they're in the right position.

11. Finally lay your cushion front on top, right side facing down, pin and sew a 1.5cm seam allowance all the way around the edge. Then cut off the excess fabric at each corner, being careful not to cut your seam. This will make the corners sharper when you turn it out.

Turn the right way, fill with a cushion pad and you’re done! 

Here's a picture of the set so far, with the two cushions from part one, I can't wait to have all four done and on our chairs!

Learn how to make the final cushion here

*some of the materials for this project were supplied by Sew Crafty, but all tutorials and opinions are my own :)



  1. Oh I love this and the finished design looks great! I especially like the geometric design and the contrast of the yellow against the blue, really pretty and perfect for summer. I've not tried much sewing or crafting in the way of fabrics, so I'll have to give this a go at some point! - Tasha

    1. Thanks :) I have a bit of a thing for blue and yellow! Let me know if you give it a go x

  2. Such a lovely project. The pillow looks amazing

    Lots of Love,



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