How to Turn Vintage Needlework Into a Seat Cushion

Give grandma's old crewelwork new life as a retro seat cushion.

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Vintage needlework is always such a treasure to find at a flea market or thrift store. Someone put so much time and skill into each one. Nobody says these pieces have to be hung on a wall, even if they are already framed. Try this fun idea to add a little texture and pattern to otherwise plain chair.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

We made our crewelwork into a new cushion cover, but if you already have a cushion, consider sewing the crewel right onto one side of the cushion.

Tools and Materials

  • crewel pictures
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • pillow inserts
  • pencil
  • sewing pins
  • fabric for the back of the cushion
  • ruler

Start by cutting the needlework out of its frame.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Use a readymade seat cushion that is the right size for your chair as your guide for making a sewing pattern. Trace the cushion onto large sheets of paper. If you don't already have a cushion, use paper and pencil to trace the seat of the chair.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Use a ruler to draw an extra half inch around the pattern. Cut the shape out of the paper and set it aside; this will be your guide for cutting the crewel and backing fabric.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Use the paper pattern as your guide to cut out a piece of needlework and its backing fabric. Pin good sides together so that the underside of the crewel and backing fabric are showing.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Use a sewing machine to stitch around the edges. Do not sew closed, leave a hole big enough for inserting the pillow form.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Turn the pillow cover right side out and insert the pillow form.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

After putting the inserts inside, hand stitch the edges closed.

Enjoy your new one of a kind seat cushions. Remember that crewel is done with wool yarn so keep an eye out for moths!

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

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