How to make -
A Piped Cushion
zipped in a plain or patterned fabric
  • - Fabric
  • - Thread
  • - Zip (std NOT concealed)
  • - Cushion Pad
  • - Piping Cord
  • Tools
  • - Sewing Machine
  • - Zip Foot
  • - Needles
  • - Pins
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  • - Invisible Marker
  • - Cushion Template
  • Step 1: Calculate Fabric Required


    The fabric required to make a piped zipped cushion is made up from the fabric to cover the cushion and the fabric to make the piping. We will calculate the quantities individually because you may want your piping to be in a contrasting fabric.


    The fabric required to cover the cushion is very easy to calculate.

    • You will need 2 fabric panels each the same size and shape as the cushion pad

    eg: For a 46cmx46cm cushion pad you will require 2 (46cmx46cm) fabric panels


    • With a patterned fabric you may want to position your pattern in a certain place on the cushion cover. (this may require extra fabric)
    • You may want the back of the cushion to be a different fabric to the front. (you need the same sized panel of each fabric)


    To make the cushion we need a continuous length of piping 5cm longer than the perimeter of the cushion pad .

    eg: A 46cmx46cm cushion pad requires a length of piping 189cm long.

    You will need a a strip of fabric 5cm wide and the length of the piping cord (it may need joins). To further complicate things the fabric strips need to be cut across the grain of the fabric at an angle of 45 degrees to the fabric roll (to enable the piping to bend in the right direction).


    • You will want as few joins as possible in the piping fabric.
    • If you are making everything from the same fabric, map out how you will where you will cut the piping and face panels from. Place a ruler at a 45deg angle to reserve this space before mapping out the squares for the cushion faces. Mark front and back panels with a vanishing marker or pin at each corner until you are happy you have placed them correctly.


    Cutting the strips at 45 deg to the grain is best practice as it allows the fabric to stretch when bending the piping around a tight corner. That said you can cut straight strips with the grain. It will work and uses less fabric.

    Questions & Comments

    Jane B

    Hello, when making the piping material at a 45 degree angle, should the seam for this be made so it fits onto the corner, or can the join of the fabric be made so it is halfway down one side of the cushion.

    Thank you.


    It doesn't matter where he joins are.


    Hi there, I love this tutorial but is there a quick reference to what size zip to buy in relation to the cushion size, as I’m buying it along with my fabric?

    Thanks, Jules


    We advise the zip should be at least 4cm longer than the opening, the opening is 0cm shorter than the side of the cushion (5cm in from each end). Therefore a zip  6cm shorter than the side of the cushion or more is what you need.

    If it is longer it doesn't matter because you can always cut it down.

    Emma Evans

    Your tutorials are fab & I always return to them.

    on the cushions, if I cut my fabric to 16" x 16" which is the size of my inner, & I allow 2 cm hems, won't the cover be tight once the inner is in?


    Yes, but that is how we want it because if you make the cover to the exact size,  the pad will be loose and move around inside the cushion cover. (the cushions do come up a bit smaller than the advertised pad size but they are plump and full.)

    If you are not happy that the cushion will not be 16" x 16" when finished, you need to need to make the cushion with a larger pad.


    How much seam allowance to you need? Or are the fabric panels EXACTLY the same size as the cushion?

    I suppose if you want a soft cushion you would add a seam allowance but if a firmer cushion you would cut the panels the same size as the pad so it has to be squashed in quite tightly.


    We use no seam allowance and cut the fabric panels the same size as the cushion as we don't like the cushions baggy and the pad moving around in them.  These images of the cushions made in the videos to give you and idea of their fullness, we used feather pads.

    Alison Kane

    What size piping do I need for a box cushion cover


    It varies and depends on what thickness piping you want. we use 4-5mm.

    Alex Oconnor

    how have you worked out that the piping fabric is + anther 5cm for a 46x46cm cushion pad?


    We make the piping slightly longer as it makes it easier to attach, cut down and join together neatly in STEP 6 when making the cushion.

    Nicky W

    What is the width of the piping cord that you have used in this tutorial?



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