A couple of months ago, I decided I wanted to refresh our living room a bit by changing up our throw cushions and adding in a faux fur blanket. I spent ages in stores and online trying to find pieces that were the right size/colour/texture/pattern/price… but to no avail. It was really hard to find anything that I loved, and then the things that I did love were too expensive. Then one evening, I suddenly realised – I could just make the things that I wanted, and that way I could make sure I got exactly what I wanted, for a reasonable price! It was such an obvious and simple solution, I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long!
I ended up making 4 different cushions using various methods, and a lovely soft faux fur blanket. All of these projects ended up being pretty inexpensive, and only took me about a weekend to complete! Keep reading for more information about how I made them, and how much it all cost!
The whole idea of having a faux fur throw blanket has been in my head since I read this blog post on A Beautiful Mess all the way back in 2012! I tried finding one that I really liked in stores, but I just wasn’t happy with the texture or size of the blankets I found… the fur wasn’t quite right, I couldn’t find the right grey that I wanted – plus, all the pre-made blankets were so expensive!
I finally decided to just take a leaf out of A Beautiful Mess’s book and make a blanket myself.
I bought 1.5m of gorgeous, super-soft grey faux fur from Spotlight, along with 1.5m of black and white check flanellette, for the cosiest, softest blanket ever. They were also having a 40% off fabric sale at the time, so all in all the supplies for this DIY only cost me about $36! It was a little tricky to sew as the flannellette slipped around on top of the fur a little, but I used a lot of pins, went slow, and got there in the end! I love how soft and warm this blanket is, and I’m so glad I made it myself!
This reversible cushion is made out of tea towels! I was trying to find a nice black and white patterned cushion, but I didn’t love the readily-available options. While I was browsing the IKEA website, I stumbled across the Lackticka tea towel set and realised I could just make a cushion out of the tea towels!
Because there were two different designs for the tea towels, I decided to make a reversible cushion so that I could change up the look whenever I wanted. To do that, I cut the tea towels to size using a long ruler and rotary cutter, sewed up three sides right sides together and turned it all back out the right way, inserted a cushion insert, and hand-stitched the remaining side closed. Easy peasy!
The tea towel set only cost $5, and the 46cmx46cm cushion insert was only $8 from Spotlight, so the whole cushion cost me only $13!
I was really keen to get a round, textured cushion, and my preference was for a white faux fur round cushion. Unfortunately, all the round cushions I found were satin or knitted, and all the white faux fur cushions I found were square!
I ended up buying half a metre of lovely soft faux fur (and yes, on sale for 40% off!) and some Hobby Fill from Spotlight to make my own. I used a big serving platter as my template and cut out two circles, adding about 1.5cm all the way around for seam allowance. I sewed the two pieces right sides together, leaving a gap, and clipped triangles into the seam allowances to help with turning the cushion right side out. Once I’d pushed it right sides out, I stuffed the cushion with Hobby Fill until it was as plump as I wanted it, then hand-stitched the opening closed. Done! The most challenging thing about this particular project was all the tiny bits of fur that covered my sewing table and floor after cutting – we definitely had to break out the vaccuum!
The faux fur cost $7.50, and the 500g bag of Hobby Fill cost $11 – much cheaper than buying something from a store! I also only used about half of the bag of Hobby Fill, so I’ve still got some left over for another cushion or plushie project!
I have a lot of leftover yarn from some old knitting projects, and I decided I wanted to use some of it to make another textured cushion. Then I remembered another 2012 blog post, this time from Design*Sponge, about making a finger-knit cushion!
I already had a cushion form, so I decided to make a cushion cover rather than a stuffed cushion, so that it can be removed and changed whenever I want. It only took a couple of evenings of finger-knitting while watching old episodes of Bob’s Burgers to knit enough for my cushion cover. I did have to go out and buy some cotton duck to sew up as the base of my cushion cover, but that only cost about $8 for two cushion covers’ worth of fabric!
To make the cushion cover, I cut out the base fabric into a front piece and two back pieces (to make an envelope closure), hemmed one long edge on each of the back rectangular pieces (where the envelope opening would be), and finished the remaining cut edges with zigzag stitch to prevent fraying. I pinned the finger-knitting down on the front piece and then sewed down the sides using my sewing machine, to keep the finger-knitting mostly in place. Then I spent a couple of hours carefully tacking down each row of finger-knitting to the fabric, making sure to use matching thread and small stitches so the tacking wasn’t visible from the front. Once everything was in place, I pinned the cushion cover pieces right sides together and sewed up all the sides. Super easy!
If I was going to make this again, I would probably have added a few more rows of finger-knitting – I forgot that the cushion insert would kind of stretch out the knitting, so you can see the base fabric through the yarn a little. I’m not too mad about it, though – the overall effect is still pretty much what I wanted, and I like the warmth and texture it adds to our space!
The last cushion I made marks a return to one of my favourite crafting supplies: Deco Foil! I have a lot of gold Deco Foil left over from past projects, and was partially inspired by this gold foil pillow DIY on A Beautiful Mess.
I’ve made gold foil cushion covers before, and the method was pretty much the same. I decided I wanted a white cushion with messy gold foil circles, so I drew out a messy circle on card to make a little template. I used the template to draw out a bunch of circles onto fusible web, cut those out, and ironed them down onto the front piece of the cushion cover. Then I ironed on the Deco Foil (using a tea towel as a pressing cloth), but I decided not to burnish it, so I could give the foil a kind of cracked and messy look. Once all the foil was applied, I sewed up the cushion cover and popped in the insert.
I love the simplicity of white fabric and gold foil! This whole cushion only cost me about $4, because all I had to buy was the white cotton duck fabric, and I used a single $8 metre of that to make 2 cushion covers! The amazing thing is that when I was at IKEA, I actually saw a white cushion cover that was covered in messy gold foil dots, which cost $6 – so my DIY cushion cover still ended up being cheaper than a pretty inexpensive one!
I’m so pleased with all of these projects, and I love the new life they breathe into our living space! I’m also really glad that I was able to make all of these for much less than it would have cost to buy similar items – the cost savings and the sense of accomplishment I felt when I finished the last project made all the work totally worthwhile!