Making your own polyurethane foam chair cushions for outdoor or indoor use is practical and easy. People with allergies to feathers or latex can comfortably sit or recline on polyurethane foam cushions. This synthetic material is more weather-resistant than other cushion fill such as polyester fiber, so it works superbly in cushions for outdoor furniture. Follow the directions below to make your own polyurethane foam cushions.
Step 1: Decide on the Size and Style of Your Cushions
For outdoor furniture cushions, choose water-repellent fabric like woven polyurethane. If you will use the cushions indoors, choose the fabric that suits your interior decor. Make cushion covers that are removable, for washing or dry-cleaning. Square or rectangular cushions are the easiest to make, and patterns are available at fabric and craft stores. 2-inch polyurethane foam will suit chairs and lawn furniture, whereas for a loveseat or sofa, on which people may lie down for a nap, use 4-inch foam. If you want to make a large single cushion for a daybed or chaise, consider 6-inch foam for your cushion stuffing.
Step 2: Calculate the Amount of Polyurethane Foam You Need
Work out the area of each cushion you want to make, and calculate how much foam you will need to stuff them. Measure your foam fill at one-half inch smaller per side than the outer dimensions of the cushion cover. For a 16x16-inch square cushion, make a polyurethane foam insert that measures 15x15 inches. From a sheet of foam that is 96z24 inches, you will be able to cut 6 foam cushion inserts that measure 15 inches square. You can cut the polyurethane foam yourself, or take it to an upholstery shop and have them cut it for you for a reasonable price.
Stuff a long tubular insulating cushion with the leftover foam bits, and place it along the bottom of a door for added winter warmth. You can also make small accent cushions, such as neck pillows, with the remaining foam. If you want to make a wedge backrest cushion or a firm tubular bolster for your bed, buy the foam in a precut shape to ensure you get the desired dimensions.
Step 3: Assemble the Cushions
Sew the cushion covers together according to the pattern instructions, and insert a zipper along one edge, or make an envelope flap and fasten it with hook and loop tape, so you can remove the cushion covers for cleaning.
Step 4: Make 2 Sets of Cushion Covers for Seasonal Decor
Refresh your room's appearance easily by making 2 sets of cushion covers. For the spring and summer months, make them from lightweight fabrics, such as white or light blue denim, or a cotton-linen blend. Bamboo fabrics are also gaining in popularity. For fall and winter, make your cushion covers from corduroy, dark denim, canvas, heavy silk or velvet.