A rocking chair is a comfortable addition to any room -- unless its has a hard, wooden seat. Not to worry. If you have a wicker, wood or even plastic rocker with a hard seat, there is a simple solution. Rocking chair pads are easy to make and clean, and the materials are not expensive. Make a few cushions in seasonal fabrics, and you can instantly change your decor with new rocker seat cushions throughout the year.
Measure the length and width of your rocking chair seat. You also can lay newsprint or butcher paper onto the seat and trace it. Add 2 inches to each measurement, or around the outside of your tracing. Fold your fabric so the printed sides are facing in. Cut out your shape, plus the 2 inches.
Cut three 8-inch-wide strips of fabric for the ruffles on the front and sides. They should be as long as your front and sides, plus half. For example, if the front of your rocking chair seat is 18 inches across, cut a strip of fabric that is 27 inches (18 + 9) across. If the sides of the chair are 10 inches, make the two side strips 15 inches each.
Fold your 8-inch-wide strips of fabric in half along the length, right side to right side. Press them flat with the iron. Sew them closed along the short sides. Turn them right side out, and press them.
Hand sew a line of loose basting stitches along the open, long side of one of your cloth strips, anchoring the thread at one end only with a knot. Gently slide the fabric along the stitches toward the knot, until it gathers into a ruffle. Repeat for the other two strips.
Lay one piece of your seat fabric on a flat surface, with the printed side up. Lay the gathered ruffles on top of the front and sides, with the basted sides matched up with the edges and the ruffling in toward the center of the fabric. Play with the gathering until the ruffles fit evenly along the front and sides of the chair fabric. Pin the ruffles in place with straight pins.
Cut the grosgrain ribbon into four 12-inch lengths and fold them in half. Secure the folded ends at each corner of the cushion fabric with straight pins. Make sure the loose ends are trailing into the center of the fabric, not hanging out.
Lay the other piece of chair fabric face down on top of the first piece, the ruffles and the ribbons. Match up all of the edges. Pin it in place with straight pins.
Sew a double seam around the sides and front edges of your pinned fabric, making sure the inner ends of the ruffles and ribbons don’t get caught under the needle.
Turn the fabric right side out. You should have an open pillow casing with ruffles on three sides and ribbons at all four corners. Stuff it with poly fiberfill. Fold the open edge under as much as you like, and sew it closed. Since this is the back of your cushion and it will not be as visible as the other three sides, so it's OK not to use a blind stitch.
Secure the cushion to the rocking chair with the ribbon ties.
Things You Will Need
- Measuring tape
- Newsprint or butcher paper
- Sewing machine
- Straight pins
- Grosgrain ribbon
- Poly fiberfill
Double-stitch the corners where the ties are, to reinforce them.
Make absolutely certain you have removed every single straight pin before sitting on the cushion.