DIY Bench Cushion

Here’s the inspiration for my latest project that I mentioned last week.  I pinned this pillow from West Elm several months ago.

Outdoor Piano Pillow, 20

I loved the fabric but it was only available in a pillow and I wanted it for the piano bench in my music room.  I searched several fabric sites and didn’t find anything remotely similar to the West Elm pillow. Bummer!  But I can’t be stopped!  I’ll just create my own–with a couple of different black and white stripe patterns from

And this is how it turned out!

Piano Bench, DIY Bench Cushion, black and white striped fabric, music room

And this is how I did it!


Striped Fabric for Piano Bench
I used all three striped fabrics but only the two wider ones for the top of the bench.

The top of the bench is 30″x14″ so, for a snug fit, I needed a piece of fabric for the top to measure 30 1/2″ x 15 1/2″.

I took the two larger striped fabrics and cut pieces 15 1/2″ long in varying widths then stitched them wrong sides together with 1/4″ seams until I had about a 32″ wide piece of fabric.

Fabric pieced, DIY Bench Cushion
This was a little like quilting.

Next I pressed all of those seams open, then made a line horizontally 7″ from the top and cut.  This gave me a 7″ piece and a 8 1/2″ piece.  If you check out the “inspiration pillow”, the top part is a bit narrower than the bottom part.

DIY Bench Cushion

Then I flipped the bottom piece upside down, lined it up in a way I liked and stitched the fabrics wrong sides together with a 1/4″ seam.  Pressed the seam open and trimmed it down to a 30 1/2″ width.

DIY Bench Cushion

Next I lined it with fleece cut to the same size and stitched along some of the seams between the strips.  Just like quilting but not really!

Then I added the piping–the same striped piping that I made last week!

Piping, DIY Bench Cushion

Envelope-Style Cushion Cover

Now the rest of this is just creating an envelope-style cushion cover the same way I make the envelope-style pillow covers.  Since the foam I was using was only 1″ thick it was easy.  If I was using a 2″ foam or wider, I would have used a zipper.

I wanted to be able to remove the cover to launder.  My previous cushion was made pre-grandkids and not washable.  It was very cute with trim and tufted with buttons. So cute that those small sticky children wanted to toss it on the floor and stomp on it.  I don’t know what the reasoning was but each one did it as they toddled onto the scene.  The piano could not be played with that cushion on the bench.  So this one is not only launderable, it’s also attachable!

Like I already mentioned, the piano bench is 30″ x 14″ . Because I wrap the foam with batting which makes it bigger, I cut the foam a bit smaller—28″ x 12″.   I wrapped the batting around the foam and hand stitched the batting to fit around it.  Next I made a case with muslin and lined it with fleece and put it on the batting and hand stitched the open side.

Inner cushion, DIY Bench Cushion
Not the best looking cushion but it will remain hidden.

For the back, I cut two pieces of fabric 14 1/2″ x 20″ out of the pinstripe fabric.  Lined them with fleece, trimmed.  On one of the shorter sides of each, I turned under 1/2″ then another 1″ and stitched.

For the straps I cut 4 3″ x 9.5″ pieces of the pinstripe fabric.  Folded wrong sides together, used 1/4″ seams, and stitched one short side and the long side.  Turned right side out, pressed.  Did the same for all four then put a 1″ piece of Velcro on the ends.

My piano bench has hinges 5″ in from each side.  So I placed the straps 4″ from the unfinished side of the back.DIY Bench Cushion

Had to change to the zipper foot to attach the backs to the front since there was piping involved.  With wrong sides together, I pinned one back section on–making sure to not catch the straps in the seams, and stitched with 1/2″ seams. (I am more cautious when I’m sewing with piping around corners so I basted, checked all the corners, then stitched)

DIY Bench Cushion
One Side On!

Pinned other back section on and stitched.DIY Bench Cushion

Turned right side out and pushed out the corners.

DIY Bench Cushion

Inserted cushion.

And attached to the bench!

DIY Bench Cushion, Piano Bench Cushion, Black and White striped, music room

Now there’s no reason for this next picture.  I found it in my box of old photos and I thought it was too precious to not post.  That’s my very first piano which I started playing when I was about six.  And there’s Michelle, she showed up when I was about 13!

Michelle in front of piano
What a happy little girl!

I’m not finished with my music room project!  There will be more!

8 thoughts on “DIY Bench Cushion

  1. I love it! How did you keep from going dizzy!? It really does look fabulous with the piano. Like another set of keys.
    I remember that old piano! I loved ‘making noise’ on it. And yes, I really was a happy kid – I think I wore that horse out. When I think about it, from the piano to french horn, Mom’s art, and dressage, there was quite a bit of culture tossed around that old farm house.

    • Creating the piping with the pinstripe made me dizzy but the cushion was easy!
      Yeah, we were exposed to a lot of art on that farm. Which I always reflect on as being strange since we were so po’! Your mom, besides being a famous artist, played flute and piccolo as did our little sister. We all played in the town’s symphony at different points! I think our rich great aunt had a lot to do with it plus paid for most of it.

  2. Hello. Would I have to wrap the foam with batting. Also, I’m not sure why you use the fleece. I believe you used fleece on the cover as well as the muslin case. I am using upholstery material for my bench cover.

    • Hi Sandy, The foam I used was 1″ thick and I wrapped it with batting to make it softer. I had read to do that in a manual a long time ago. This was upholstery fabric and I use the fleece to make the cover sturdier. If I’m make a quick pillow cover that won’t get a lot of use and is just for “pretty”, I don’t use the fleece. It probably wasn’t necessary to use the fleece on the muslin. Just a habit I had and I no longer do that on muslin. I’m still using that piano bench cushion–I actually just got done practicing. It looks like new and is still very comfortable and I made that cushion about 3 1/2 years ago.

      Thanks for the questions, hope I helped you a little!

  3. Hi Kathy, Do you know of anyone who can make me a bench cushion like that but the bench is 37×15? I live in Mesa AZ and my email is I do not sew and love this pattern! Please email me back with a yes or no answer and if you do know of someone how to contact them. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Sally, No, I don’t have any contacts in Mesa AZ. This is not a difficult pattern and anyone that sews should be able to make it in the size you need. Perhaps you could stop in a local sewing shop like Joannes and ask if they know someone that does this type of work. Another option is a local sewing group.

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