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Make a cushion using a photo

03 April 2014 10:16

If you’ve been busy designing fabric, what are you going to use it for? 

I used one of my photo-based designs to make a cushion.

First, you need to enlarge your photo to a useable size.  Don’t forget, when doing this, that the resolution shouldn’t be less than 150 dpi.

You can change the size of your photo using any photo-manipulation software.  I like Paint.net for this sort of job, because it’s fairly easy to use and does a reasonable job.  It’s also free!

Once you have opened your image, click on Image, then Resize (or resize image). 

 You will get a box similar to this one, where you can see the dimensions in pixels and inches/centimetres and also the resolution.  Make sure it’s on pixels (or dots) per inch, not per centimetre.  This is the number you need to keep an eye on.  In some programs, the dpi goes down as the size goes up.  If that number drops below 150, your printed image won’t be very good.

I was able to enlarge my photo to approx. 40cms x 30cms without any loss of clarity.  Although it’s a bit on the small size, it was perfect for what I wanted.  Obviously, if you want to make a cushion cover to fit a particular size of cushion, than you will need to enlarge your photo to that size.  (You can add a border round it to give seam allowances.)  Alternatively, you can add a patterned or coloured border round your photo, or print it as it is and add a border in a different fabric when you make it up.  This just had a seam allowance all round.

You can order a fat quarter from us (56 x 50 cms), which is plenty big enough to make a cushion front.

There are lots of tutorials on the internet, showing how to make a cushion cover.  (eg make an envelope cushion on 'The house that Lars built' or make a cushion cover with a zip with Josie Foster.) I was making my cushion in a hurry and didn’t have a cushion pad, so I stitched two rectangles right sides together on 3½ sides, pressed the seams, turned it right side out and stuffed it with polyester wadding.  Then I slip-stitched the opening closed – and here’s my cushion.

If you want a swankier cushion, you can add piping or a frill to the seam.

We’d love to see your photo cushions.  You can upload photos in the comments section below or put them on our Facebook page.   You can also ask questions below, if there isn’t enough information for you here.

Happy sewing!