Fluffy and comfy: a DIY floor cushion

You all know how big of a nerd I am when it comes to new craft projects. So, when I was over reading Young House Love one day (you should read them too- John and Sherry's humor, design abilities, and attitude when it comes to DIY are beyond amazing). Anyway, a while back, I came across this post, and promptly headed off to JoAnn Fabrics to grab my supplies.

Did I really need a floor cushion? Nope. But would I make it and then find a way to use it so the fiance wouldn't shake his head at yet another craft project taking over our coffee table? You bet. And I've got to say, my feet are pretty happy resting on their very own floor cushion while I write this post. Especially since they have had a bit of a workout lately.

Anywhoo, I'm not going to bore you with a tutorial, especially because Sherry did such a good job with it (read here) and she got her ideas from the original tutorial by Susan at Living with Punks which can be found here. But I will show you the finished product:

How cool is that? You have no idea how proud I was when the piping came out all professional looking. Even Brian commented on how cool it looked. Go me.

So instead of a tutorial, I'm going to share a change I made to the pattern, and the things I thought would be hard that ended up being easy, and unfortunately the things I thought would be simple that kicked my butt. And of course a budget breakdown.

First up is a change that almost made me give up on the whole project. In the original tutorial, you simply stuffed the cushion and then hand stitched the last few inches closed. Of course I had to go and complicate things by adding a zipper. I figured a zipper would give me the freedom to change out the stuffing if it started losing loft, or the ability to wash the cover if something spilled on it. In the end, it is looking pretty good...

I ran into problems with the zipper because I thought I could get away with doing a simple straight stitch to connect the zipper to the fabric at the seam. Have I mentioned that I am a total amateur when it comes to a sewing machine? So, I sewed my zipper to the fabric, started stuffing the darn thing and zipped it up. Then, as I was admiring my work, the fabric around the zipper frayed and busted open. Awesome. I literally almost gave up at this point. But instead, I took all my stuffing back out and zigzagged that friggen zipper to the fabric until I knew it wasn't going to budge. And I'm pretty happy with the results.

Another change I made was in terms of stuffing. The original tutorial suggested buying fiberfill. But the ever-money-saving Sherry said she had just used some pillows that were a bit past their prime. Since all of our dough seems to be heading straight into the hands of wedding vendors these days, this appeared to be the perfect solution. So I grabbed some pillows that were still good, just a bit past their prime, and tore them open. Ta-da! Instant cushion filling.

The other step that had me cursing the sewing gods was making the handle. How can such a small thing be such a pain? The piping on the handle was no problem, but when I tucked in the ends and went to stitch them closed, my machine decided it was going to have some big problems sewing through such a thick piece of material. Needless to say there were a few curse words and endless stitch removal, but after some patience I finally got it.

Ironically, the step I thought would be the hardest turned out to be a piece of cake. I'll admit, going into this project I was uber nervous about pinning the piping around the circle pieces and trying to stitch around the circles. Totally ended up being a non-issue. Go figure.

So, here's the budget breakdown:
Total cost: $12.73. Not bad considering I've seen these things in the store for at least double that. Plus, I ended up grabbing two yards of this fabric since it was on sale, so all I'd need to spend to make another would be on two more packs of piping. Plus, I already cut out all the pieces for the second cushion... now I just need to find the time to put it together.

So, have any of you attempted a sewing project you weren't sure if you'd survive? Or are you all expert seamstresses? I'll tell you, this little project gave me some massive respect for the tailors out there willing to take on a wedding dress- I'd have a heart attack! Fortunately, I have found a master seamstress for my dress- I'll keep you updated as my appointment gets closer!

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