When we moved into our new-build house last year, we intentionally kept it pretty neutral. Bright white walls, grey carpets, no loud colours or patterns. We wanted to create a blank canvas, so we could interpret the house differently through the year (for example, we did this in the autumn). Now that Christmas is well and truly upon us, it’s time to update our house for the festive season!
As well as the obvious (Christmas tree, decorations etc), I also like to switch out the “normal” home accessories for festive ones. The art on our picture ledges has been swapped for Christmas wall art. I replaced our normal mustard/grey rug with a wintery blue one. I’ve also made a set of bright red embroidered Christmas cushions to add a splash of festivity to the sofa! I love how these small tweaks really pull together to give the house a completely different feel.
These embroidered Christmas cushions are a joy to make; they’re so easy! All you need is some basic hand-sewing skills and you could whip a couple up in a day. Also, if you’re not too keen on the Scandi-inspired Christmas tree pattern, you could also try snowflakes or even a festive message (“ho ho ho”, anyone?!).
DIY embroidered Christmas cushions
- Red fabric (a heavy cotton or canvas works best)
- Tailors chalk
- Fabric scissors
- White embroidery thread
- Embroidery needle
- 1 button
- Sewing machine OR hand-sewing needle and thread
- Cushion insert
Part 1: Prep the fabric
- Start by cutting your fabric to size. For each cushion, you’ll want a length of fabric that’s approx 2.5 x the width of the cushion and about 10cm taller. (So, a standard 40cm cushion will need fabric measuring 100cm x 50cm). Sketch the measurements with tailor’s chalk, then cut it out.
- Before you can go any further, you’ll need to hem the two short edges (don’t worry about the two long edges). To do this, fold the edge over by 1cm, then again by another 1cm. This will trap the raw edge within itself. Pin in place, then neatly hem all along (removing the pins as you go).
Part 2: Create the embroidered design
- Mark out the area that will form the front of your embroidered Christmas cushions (i.e. the area that you will decorate). Simply place your cushion insert onto the top of the fabric, approx 3/2 of the way across, then draw around it.
- With the fabric prepped, it’s time to get creative! Using tailor’s chalk, sketch a design directly onto the area that you drew around in step 2. Make sure that you orientate it correctly first. You want the small edge that is closest to the design area to be the TOP, and the small edge that is furthest from the design area to be the BOTTOM. You can be as creative as you like with this step! I love the simplicity of my Scandinavian forest design (and it ties in perfectly with the rest of my Christmas decor). But you can do any shape here – although less is more, and make sure you stick to straight lines only!
- Once you’ve finished sketching your design, it’s time to get out the embroidery thread. Thread your needle and tie a knot in one end of the thread. Then it’s simply a case of stitching the embroidery thread along the lines that you’ve sketched. Start by pushing the needle through from the back of the design to the front. Pull it taught, then push it back to the reverse of the fabric again, to make a single line of thread. Keep repeating to build up the full design. It’s so satisfying to watch your design come to life! Once you’ve finished, make sure that any loose ends are all securely tied off.
Part 3: Construct the cushion
- Place the fabric down, with the embroidered design and sketched outline from step 2 facing upwards. There will be two un-embroidered sections (that will form the reverse of the final cushion) – one will be a little smaller than the other. Fold the smaller section over, along the outline you drew in step 2, so it partially folds onto the embroidered design. Repeat this step with the other side of un-embroidered fabric, so that it folds over the embroidered section. It should also slightly overlap with the first un-embroidered part that you folded over just now. This overlap will be where the button fastening is added.
- With the basic cushion cover shape all folded into place, pin it together and sew along the two un-hemmed edges. This will fully enclose the embroidered design, leaving a small overlapped opening between the two edges that you hemmed in step 5. Turn the whole thing inside out through this small opening, to reveal the embroidered design. Ta-dah! You have a cushion cover!
- All that’s left to do now is add a button fastening on the back of your embroidered Christmas cushion. Simply stitch a button onto one of the overlapping edges, and a button hole to the other (making sure they line up perfectly!). If you aren’t confident in sewing buttons, then you could use poppers, ribbon or velcro instead.
I love the bold contrast of the white thread against the red fabric. So festive! And it looks great against the neutral backdrop of my grey sofa, white walls and wooden floor.I’m kinda tempted to make a few more of these embroidered Christmas cushions, with a snowflake design… because you can never have too many seasonal throw cushions! – Mike.
Don’t forget to Pin this image so you can make it later!