DIY — InstaCushion

While we were travelling, Rob took loads of awesome photos, and we were able to share most of them via Instagram. I have to admit to being a little obsessed with the app and both of us think that it’s just a pretty neat thing in general.

I’m sure Rob is sick of me making cushions by now, but it is his birthday, and it would feel weird if I didn’t give him one wonky little hand made cushion.

So here’s what I made for him this year, and if you’d like to make similarly awkward gifts and force your lumpy hand stitched love upon your own friends and family, look no further. Here’s how to make your very own Instacushion.

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First, you’ll need a few different colours of felt (light brown, dark brown, black or dark blue, red, yellow, green and white), a black netting or tulle material, basic sewing supplies and a cushion stuffer (or loose cushion stuffing).

Supplies

Start by measuring the light brown fabric into a square the size you would like for your cushion. Cut out two squares this size, not forgetting to leave a centimetre on each side for sewing space.

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Next, cut out a strip of dark brown fabric big enough to cover the top third of the lighter brown square. Don’t sew it on just yet!

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Now we’re going to sew the rainbow stripes to the left hand side of the dark brown band. You can measure these by eye but make sure they are all the same width. Sew them so that each strip overlaps the last and there are no messy edges. (The edges at the top and bottom will be covered, so only worry about the long side of each strip.)

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Next up, the viewfinder. I wanted to give the illusion of a glass lens, so we will be layering several sections of blue felt and black tulle which gives the illusion of more depth. First, cut out two dark blue squares, not forgetting to round the corners, and make sure that they fit neatly onto the dark brown strip in the viewfinder position. Cut a circular hole in the centre of the first square, and then cut the other into a rounded ‘frame’ (as pictured), preserving the cut out portion.

Frame

Now layer them; first the smaller square cut from the centre of the ‘frame’, then a layer of tulle, the square with the circular hole, another layer of tulle, and finally the ‘frame’ itself. You may want to experiment with doubling the layers of tulle to create a more opaque effect. Once layered, stitch as neatly as you can around the inner and outer edge of the ‘frame’ to secure the viewfinder. Optionally, you can add a white ‘apostrophe’ at this stage to give it a bit of shine.

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Now you’re done with the top half of the logo, you can stitch it on to the design. To avoid obvious stitching, place the dark brown fabric good side down, sew it, and then fold it upwards, as shown.

Fold

Now repeat the layering process used for the viewfinder with the lens itself. You will need two dark blue circles (look back to the actual logo for a size guide). Cut out a small circle in the middle of one, and cut the other so that you are left with a thin circular border. Keep all the cut out pieces.

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Layer them in the same way; first the whole circle, then the circle with the small circular hole, and then the border, each with a layer of tulle and an optional white ‘sparkle’ in between. Cut a semi circle of light brown material and use it to outline the part of the lens which overlaps the darker brown band (as pictured).

Once this is stitched on, you’ve basically finished, and all that remains is to match the two light brown squares, good sides in, and sew around three and a half sides, before turning it inside out (or ‘the right way out’!), stuffing it carefully (felt is prone to lose its shape), and then finish it off by hand by blanket stitching the open edge.

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Voila.

Hope you’ve had an awesome week, I don’t want to drown you in Freshers’ photos, but if anyone is interested, here’s a cheeky toga shot from a particurlarly memorable night.

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