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A quick and easy, beginner-friendly cushion cover with a pretty ribbon tie-closure. Made from two napkins, this DIY throw pillow requires no zippers, buttons, or complicated stitches.
Today I’d like to share with you a simple way to sew ribbon tie-closure cushion covers.
These DIY cushion covers are probably one of the easiest types of cushion covers to sew. There are no zippers, no buttons, and no complicated stitches. In addition, because they use napkins as a base, they require no measuring or cutting.
Once you get the hang of it, you can whip up a bunch of these tie-closure cushion covers in an hour or two, at a fraction of the cost of buying pre-made covers. You can even customise their appearance with a vintage stencilled design, if you like.
How to make a farmhouse-style tie closure cushion cover from napkins
This tutorial assumes you’re using 20″ x 20″ napkins. You can use whatever size you like, but you will need to adjust the spacing of the ribbons accordingly.
- Two 20″ x 20″ (51cm x 51cm) napkins. Alternatively, you can use two 20″ x 21″ pieces of fabric. See below for the additional step you’ll need to do if you opt for fabric.
- Sewing machine, thread, pins, and fabric scissors.
- A 20″ x 20″ cushion insert. You can use a smaller insert if that’s all you have on hand, but a larger insert will help your cushion look full and soft.
- 5/8″ (15mm) grossgrain ribbon. I used this ribbon.
Additional step when using fabric
If you choose to use fabric rather than napkins, you’ll need to hem one of the edges on each of your fabric squares. This edge is where you’ll sew your tie-closures.
To do this, find the edge that’s 21″ long. Fold one side of the fabric over to create a 1″ hem. Press with an iron, pin in place, then sew according to the diagram below.
When you’ve hemmed both fabric squares, follow the instructions below.
To begin, cut six 14″ (36cm) pieces of grossgrain ribbon.
Flip your napkins so that they’re laying face-down. On each napkin, pin a ribbon at the following points:
- 1st ribbon: 6″ (15cm)
- 2nd ribbon: 10″ (25cm)
- 3rd ribbon: 13.7″ (35cm)
You will have something that looks like this:
The next step is to secure your ribbons. Sew two lines of straight stitches over each individual ribbon: One at the top and one at the bottom, as per the diagram below.
To make sure the ribbons on the cushion are nice and secure, I start by sewing a few stitches forward. I then press the ‘reverse’ button on my machine, sew a few stitches backwards, then continue stitching forward. When I get to the end, I then reverse-stitch over the entire length of the stitching before stitching forward again.
Once your ribbons are sewn on, it’s time to sew the cushion cover itself.
Lay your napkins on top of each other so that the outer side of the fabric is facing in. Pin the napkins together. Sew a simple straight stitch around the three edges that do not have the ribbons attached, as below:
As with the ribbons, it’s a good idea to start and finish each stitch by sewing forward for a few stitches, then sewing backwards, then continuing forwards.
Finally, use a pair of fabric scissors to snip off the excess fabric on the inner bottom two corners, like so:
Turn your cushion cover ‘inside-out’ (or rather, ‘outside in’), slip a cushion insert inside, tie your ribbons into bows, and your ribbon-tie cushion cover is complete.
If you have any questions about this project, feel free to leave a comment below!