Making Bolster cushion for your home interiors – Tips and guidance for the interior designing and decoration


Before cutting the fabric, decide whether any pattern should run along or around the cushion. Cut a rectangle of fabric long enough to wrap around the bolster pad, with 12 mm seam allowance down all sides. Make the rectangle into a tube to fit around the pad, setting a zip into the seam. Fit on to the pad wrong side out, and clip into the seam allowance. Cut a circle of fabric for each end of the cushion, including the same seam allowance.

Apply piping or frills around the edge if required. Fit the circles on to either end of the tube, wrong side out, and tack along the seam line. Remove the cover from the pad and machine stitch seams. Layer and notch seam allowances and press towards the circles. Press, and then turn right side out and press again before inserting the cushion pad. You can decorate the end of bolsters with tassels, rosettes, covered buttons etc. Fit the outer back panel to the back of the chair in the same way, and pin and mark the seam line around the top and sides of the back of the chair. Remove the cover and pins and apply piping to the scam line around the back of the chair. Tack the scam, then stitch, leaving an opening down one side edge 

Draw a scale plan and work out a cutting layout for the panels of fabric, checking that the grain runs up and down the chair, and from front to back across the seat. Then calculate how much fabric you will need from the scale plan. Cut out rectangular panels for the back, outer back and seat of the chair to the appropriate measurements. Mark the center of the back panel, seat panel and chair with lines of pins. Pin the back panel on the chair, wrong side out, matching the pinned lines. Fit it around the top of the chair with stitched darts or tucks if necessary.


Cut out the top cushion piece from fabric, allowing 12 mm seam allowance all round, and make a paper template from it. Cut the paper across where the zip is to be inserted (about J third of the way down), and spread the pieces 2.5 cm apart to allow for the zip. Make a template of this shape and use it to cut the fabric piece for the back. Insert the zip. Apply any decorative trims to the front panel of the cushion. Position the piping or a frill around one cushion piece if required, raw edges together, the piping or frill facing the center of the cushion piece. Tack and stitch in place.

 if necessary to fit the cover. Pin and fit the scat panel in the same way.

Stitch the seams, inserting piping, if required. Fit the back of the cover and the scat on the chair again and tack the scam between the two. Stitch the tacked scams. If there is a crack between the upholstered back and the scat of the chair, shape the scam line so you can tuck in the flap. 

For a gathered skirt, cut the fabric to twice the length of the edge the skirt is to be joined to and join the fabric to make a long strip, allowing 10 cm (4 in) for the hem, a 12 mm seam allowance along the top edge, and a 2.5 cm (1 in) allowance at the ends of the strip for finishing. Press under the turning allowance at the ends; press under a 2.5 cm (1 in) turning along the lower edge, then turn up and stitch an 8cm(3 in) hem along the lower edge.

Gather the raw edge and fit the skirt around the edge of the scat and stitch in place, neatening seam allowances together. Set a zip into the opening at the back corner.