Tufting a Chair Cushion

20 Mar

I recovered my glider cushions a couple of weeks ago, and was considering tufting the back cushion with fabric buttons.  I decided to go ahead and try it.  I made a tufted headboard a few years ago, and have to admit there is something completely satisfying about making fabric buttons. I think it’s because they are so quick and easy to make, and the buttons look great!

To make the buttons, I use a button kit that you can find at any fabric or craft store.

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I had plenty of extra fabric from the cushion recovering project.  The button kit has a plastic template to trace the appropriate sized circles onto the fabric. I traced and cut out 9 circles to create 9 buttons.

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To create the buttons, you place the metal button onto the circle of fabric and push it into the white button mold with the blue “push” tool.

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You then fold the fabric into the inside of the button, and press in the button back with the blue push tool.

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Here is what the buttons look like when complete.  It’s pretty much impossible to screw these up…I love them!

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After I had the buttons made, I used a needle and thread to sew them into the cushion.  I first figured out the pattern and spacing on the cushion, and started sewing them in one at a time.  Because I wanted to keep my options open for the look of the cushion, I didn’t sew the buttons all the way through to the other side of the cushion fabric. I just sewed them through one of the two pieces of cushion I used to make the back cushion (see my original post for the cushion making details).  This allowed me to have one side tufted and one side smooth.

When I first tried pulling the thread through the cushion, the thread just cut right through, so I improvised and used a thin piece of cardboard from a cereal box in my recycling bin to give me a hard surface to hold the thread in place.  You can see that I started the stitch through the cardboard and cushion  and then pulled it back through the cushion and cardboard.

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I pushed the needle back through to the top of the cushion, pulling the thread taut and knotted the thread before sewing through the button back and completing the button placement. This creates the tufted dimension for pulling the buttons into the cushion.

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To finish, I knotted the thread on the back of the piece of cardboard.  This was repeated for each button until the cushion was complete:

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