Build your own Boxed Cushion – Upholstery Workshop

springer spaniel on comfy dog bed

Build Your Own Boxed Cushion!

Learn how to build your own zippered cushions for dining chairs, sofas, outdoor furniture and more!

spaniel on red cushion

Charlie models his new red bed

This 8-hour workshop is split into two sessions:

1. 2-hour Prep Class: Scheduled 2 weeks prior to the 6-hour sewing session. Bring your own cushion project – either an existing cushion or your desired measurements for building a new cushion from scratch. Learn how to measure and calculate how much fabric & foam to buy for your project. You will take home a customized fabric layout chart for your project to assist you with the homework of purchasing and pre-cutting your fabric in preparation for the second session. (scheduled 2 weeks later). Requirement: Bring a single cushion to re-cover or rebuild OR exact measurements of the new cushion you would like to build from scratch.

1. Purchase fabric, new foam (if needed), machine needles & thread
2. Cut out fabric for one cushion to sew together in the 6-hour session

2. 6-hour Sewing SessionParticipants are required to bring your own sewing machine along with your pre-cut fabric and materials, ready to dive in and start sewing! We will walk through the steps of sewing a zipper, boxing and final cushion assembly. Note: welted cushions may take longer than the class allows, but you will learn everything you need to complete your project at home. Requirement: Bring your sewing machine (in good working order) – you must be proficient in sewing on your machine.

2 views of boxed cushions

Examples of boxed cushions you can build


What you will learn:
This is a hands-on workshop with upholstery instructor Carla Pyle. You will learn how to build a boxed zippered cushion, including fabric layout & cutting, sewing seams, installing a zipper, and professional tips & tricks of the trade in a fun and supportive atmosphere.

We provide:

  • professional tips & tricks related to each student’s project throughout the workshop
  • charts and step-by-step handouts that will provide a valuable reference for sewing your own cushions at home
  • 15% student discount on all materials available through our studio, including fabric & foam

You provide:

  • your old cushion or new cushion measurements
  • fabric & optional foam – amount to purchase is determined in the Prep Class

Preregistration Required

Before taking Carla’s class, I was excited to learn how to make cushions for upholstery under skilled guidance while completing my own project. During the workshop, I got an appreciation for how complicated and time-consuming sewing a boxed and corded cushion can be. I finished one cushion in class, and now after completing four cushions for my patio chairs, I think I better understand the process.

–Amanda Knuchel, Livingston, MT

patio chair cushions


Boxed Cushion Workshop Schedule:

If you and two friends would like to schedule a time to take this class together, please Contact Carla. If you’re ready for a fun & inspiring online experience, check out the Bodacious Box Cushions eCourse

Questions? Contact Carla

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See the current Class Calendar

About the Author

CarlaHey there! I'm Carla Pyle. I love the stories that our furniture tells. For me a picture of my Granddaddy Milton's green upholstered arm chair brings to mind the vivid rhymes & colors of 'The Cat in the Hat' and his soft low voice in the telling. I love too that there is always an element of nature in furniture - the warm-toned curving grain of a walnut leg or the reflection of life in a mid-century chrome piece. The best part of teaching & sharing natural upholstery is that it ties all of these things together. Stories - of individual experience and of the planet - help us build happy & healthy homes.View all posts by Carla →

  1. MarieMarie01-02-2013

    I have taken Carla’s Discovery Class and I’m looking forward to her Build Your Own Boxed Cushion class. Soon my sofa will have six new cushions!

  2. Ellen ElhardEllen Elhard05-14-2014

    Carla, I am interested in upholstery, I have recovered a few cushions, but I have used a friends industrial sewing machine to do cording, I just can’t get the professional look with my Bernina. Do you have a solution to this problem. I love to sew and I love fabric. Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon. Ellen

  3. CarlaCarla05-14-2014

    Hi Ellen,
    Yes, it can be tricky with home machines to get cording that’s as neat and tight as you get with industrial machines. The challenge is to get the needle close enough to the cording, which is limited by the type of foot attachment you’re using on your machine.

    Almost all home machines come with a zipper foot, which is the foot I recommend for getting the closest stitch line to the cording, but it may still result in a loose cord. With some home machines you can get a ‘welt foot’ or cording foot, which pretty much solves the issue. I have a Bernina (about 10 years old) that has a welt foot attachment that works quite nicely – unfortunately the foot does not fit my 45 year old Bernina!. If your machine is new enough the welt foot might work for you.

    Another trick that helps clean up a corded seam is once you stitch the cording in, turn the work over and restitch it again from the other side.

    I hope this helps!

  4. Ellen ElhardEllen Elhard05-14-2014

    Thanks Carla, I will keep that in mind when I am brave enough to try another project. I have 2 wicker chairs I am thinking about making cushions for. Ellen

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