I’m sharing three different styles of DIY Christmas cushions I made – sewn, knitted, and quilted. Read on for tips, patterns, and tutorials to make your own.
DIY Christmas Cushions – Mix and Match
Each year I like to do a couple of different Christmas craft projects to add to my holiday decor. This year, I decided that I wanted to upgrade my Christmas cushion covers. I had a single pair of sad, red flannel covers that I had made several years ago. By now they were faded and pilled.
So as seems to be typical of my decisions lately, I decided to go a bit crazy and make 3 sets of Christmas pillows to replace the single pair I had.
I decided that I wanted to make a regular sewn pair of pillows with some beautiful fabric I found. As well, I was very excited to resize a quilt pattern into adorable pillows. And lastly, I was working on a pair of knitted cushions for my holiday knitting roundup.
That makes six new cushions for the couch. Six is likely too many, given that I sit on the couch often, and Oliver sleeps on it for much of the day and night.
However, what I like about these pillows is that they all go together. Therefore, I can mix and match them in different combinations and numbers. I can also move some to the chairs on the other side of the room as needed, or even down to the basement.
Let’s take a look at each of the different kinds of cushions I made and how I made them.
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Style 1 – Knitted Trees
Last week I released a Holiday Knitting Pattern Roundup of my favourite holiday knitting patterns from Etsy. I also decided to try out one of the patterns for a pair of large knitted tree cushions (pattern by Squibblybups).
The pattern contains two different designs for triangular tree cushions. One is a solid with a textural pattern, and one is a coloured pattern. The pillows should have ended up the same size, but mine sure didn’t!
You can read more about my review of the pattern in the Holiday Knitting post, as well as how I adapted the pattern to enclose a quick sewn pillow insert, rather than stuffing the knitted pillow itself.
I really like how these tree cushions are such a fun shape, rather than yet another square. The knitting adds a different textural element to the groupings of pillows. They also seem fun and modern, while still feeling traditional because of the knitting.
I’ve never had any knitted cushions on the couch since we’ve had Oliver. It will be interesting to see how they hold up with time and whether he’s tempted to play with them, or hooks his nails or teeth in them.
Though they took a while to knit (they were the biggest knitting project I’ve ever done), I love them and am happy to add these tree cushions to my holiday decor.
Style 2 – Sewn Cushions
For the next set of DIY Christmas cushions, I chose to sew simple covers, and I was able to complete this pair in two hours. I found a beautiful canvas fabric in a mistletoe print by the Rifle Paper Co, from their Holiday Classics line.
I found it at my local craft shop, and you might find it at yours. Or you can still find some on Etsy. Just make sure you’re choosing canvas, which is heavier, and not quilting cotton. There are a few other holiday canvas prints to choose from in the same collection as well.
I really love the classic design of this fabric, as well as the gold berries for a nice sparkle. I bought 1 metre of fabric and laundered it to pre-shrink it. Then I was still able to squeeze out two 16″ inch cushion covers for 16″ pillow inserts that I already had.
To sew up these cushions, I followed the tutorial I have for making a zippered and piped cushion cover, only I chose not to include piping on these ones. I felt that between all the different cushions, there was already a lot going on visually. And so I left it off.
The cushion sewing tutorial has great tips and a free printable zipper guide for sewing in zippers easily and neatly every time. To get your own free printable zipper guide, check out that tutorial.
I really love that these pillows are beautiful, classic, and simple. And it’s amazing that I was able to make them in a couple of hours. They look great on their own and I’m looking forward to incorporating them into my holiday decor for years to come.
Style 3 – Resized Quilt Pillows
For the last style, I was inspired by a Christmas quilt I’ve always wanted to make, called Bringing Home the Christmas Tree Quilt. The quilt pattern can be found in the book Vintage Christmas by Lori Holt. There are lots of other great quilts and blocks in the book that can be used in so many different ways. But this quilt with its vintage station wagons has always appealed to me.
In a recent post, I shared how I did calculations to resize this quilt down to the proper size for my pillows, which ended up being 1/4 scale. I’ve also shared before about how much I love resizing quilt blocks, and I have a tutorial, Youtube video, and free quilt block resizing worksheet, all of which you can find here.
It did take a while to sew up the blocks with all the itty bitty pieces, especially as I realized I was making more blocks than were in the original quilt. But with organization and chain piecing it can go quite quickly. And I loved watching the little station wagons come to life. It was especially fun choosing the aqua and red fabrics from scraps and the trim details for them.
Then I joined individual blocks with sashing between them. Finally I calculated how much sashing to add around all four outside edges so that I would have the right size for my 18″ pillows and seam allowances. I prefer making covers that are 17″ when finished for these rather flat inserts. Therefore, I made my finished pieced tops 18″ square including the seam allowances.
The single layer of quilting cotton is too thin for pillows in my opinion. As well, the white fabric is slightly see-through. So I took scraps of flannel and put them behind both the pieced fronts and the aqua quilting cotton back pieces. I quilted straight lines with a walking foot near all four edges of every piece. This helped to keep the layers together for sewing up the seams easily.
As well, I quilted one vertical straight line in the middle of each back section, and horizontal lines through the sashed sections of the quilted fronts. Then it was easy to follow along with my previous zippered pillow tutorial.
I used red zippers because it’s Christmas and also, that’s all I had. Again, I chose to leave the piping off. I think red piping would have looked nice. However, the multiple layers of fabric (with flannel) were already bulky at the seams.
I love how these miniature station wagons and trees turned out. They are so charming and full of vintage style, and they contain my favourite red and aqua combination. I really am very pleased with these pillows.
DIY Christmas Cushions
Overall, these new Christmas cushions that I made are everything I wanted them to be. They coordinate, but are each unique. And they’re really going to bring a festive and cozy feel to our living room.
Whether you sew, knit, or quilt cushion covers, you can create a cozy mix and match set for your couch too!
Now I can’t wait to decorate the rest of the room to match. But I’ll wait a few weeks since it’s a bit too early yet for me. Oliver wonders if the appearance of Christmas cushions means Santa is bringing his presents soon . . .
I want to hear from you. Do you like to switch out your cushions seasonally? How many is too many pillows on the couch? Have you ever made DIY Christmas cushions of your own? Let me know in the comments below.
All the best,