Once upon a time I made a DIY floor pouf.
Many feet have been happy resting on it.
My kids have rolled on it, built forts with it, used it for pillow wars, created cozy hobbit holes and many more things. Lately, it’s been starting to come apart at the seams.
Crafty me, I saw this as an opportunity to recover it with fabric that better fits my decor now.
And for you, I’m going to show you just how you can make a DIY floor pouf yourself. This is a great home sewing project and it’s one you can enjoy immediately and for years to come.
So grab all (and I mean all) of your fabric scraps and let’s do this thing.
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DIY floor pouf supplies
What kind of fabric should I use for a DIY floor pouf?
You’ve got a lot of choices here. Technically this project falls under the category of upholstery, so you want something sturdy.
Upholstery fabrics are rated by double rubs, which basically means how many times can the fabric be sat on over and over again before it shows its age. The higher the double rub count, the sturdier the fabric.
That being said, upholstery fabrics aren’t always the easiest to find and you will pay for that quality. Plus upholstery fabrics can be beasts to handle and sew because of their weight and extra coatings they may have that make them stronger.
For a DIY floor pouf I would recommend at least a home decor fabric. There’s some great cotton sateens out there in beautiful prints that would be perfect here. A lighter denim, or cotton twill would also work.
**Watch me now proceed to go against my own advice and use a Kona cotton for this project. In my defense, I had the perfect fabric that I had personally block printed and overdyed many moons ago. I am backing my Kona cotton in this project with a blackout lining I salvaged from a thrifted curtain. The combo of the two layers makes for a heavier cover that I think will stand up better over time. Don’t you go rogue on me though like I did. Go for the home decor fabric.
On to making the pattern.
What kind of stuffing should I use for a DIY floor pouf?
You have some options here as well. We’ll talk about 4:
Shredded foam stuffing will give you a nice dense floor pouf. This is a great thing if you know you want to a pouf that’ll hold it’s shape well or one that you want to use for sitting.
Poly bead stuffing is another good option. It makes for a squishy moldable floor pouf. If that’s what you like, go for it. I would think this could be a good option for dog beds.
Polyester fiberfill like Polyfil is something you’d use for stuffing pillows. It makes for a soft pouf. Know that if you want to create a floor pouf that is sturdy enough to sit on, you’ll need to use a lot of fiberfill.
Fabric scraps are cheap and if you sew you probably have a big ole supply of them. They are very dense and heavy which can make a good floor cushion. For the best look, use a rotary cutter to shred up your fabric scraps into bits.
I can’t recommend you do this all in one go because, holy carpal tunnel Batman. Instead, if you want to use fabric scraps for stuffing, shred up your fabric scraps whenever you sew and save them when you want to work on a project like a DIY floor pouf.
In reality, I like to use a combination of fabric scraps, polyfil to fill in the corners and a core of shredded foam stuffing.
Make your pattern
Unroll a length of your pattern paper. Tape it to another length to make a big square of paper.
Fold the paper in half, then fold it in half again.
Align the corner where the paper is doubled folded at the corner of your gridded mat.
Use a tape measure or ruler to measure out 9 3/8″ from the point to every point along the arc from fold to fold.
Connect the dots to form an arc. This will make a quarter circle when you unfold and cut the paper.
From the line you just drew, measure out 1/2″ from the line. This will be the seam allowance.
You’ll need this pattern piece for the top and bottom of your pouf.
Cut along the seam allowance line through all layers of paper. Unfold your circle.
Cut your pieces
From your outer fabric and muslin, cut:
|Top and bottom (circle)||2 from home dec fabric, 2 from muslin|
|Rectangle measuring 60″ x 16″||1 from home dec fabric, 1 from muslin|
You’ll notice I didn’t have you make a pattern piece for the rectangle. That’s because…it’s a rectangle.
Use your ruler and chalk to mark out a 60″x16″ rectangle. Just draw right on the fabric. Cut 1 of these rectangles from your home dec fabric as well as the muslin.
Sewing the outer cover to your DIY floor pouf
Sew the bottom to the middle section
First, fold the middle section in half right sides together and sew down the short side with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Press open the seam.
Quarter the middle section by folding it in half then in half again. Mark the quarter marks (one of them should be the seam) with pins or a fabric marker.
Fold one of the circles in half and in half again.
Match the quarter marks of the circle to the quarter marks of the middle section with the fabric right sides together.
Lay down your zipper around the seam you’re about to sew. Mark the beginning and end of your zipper on the middle section piece with a fabric marker.
Sewing with the middle section on top, sew the bottom to the middle section with a 1/2″ seam allowance with a straight stitch. In the area where you marked for the zipper, switch to a long basting stitch.
Press the seam open.
Add the zipper
Switch your machine’s foot to a zipper foot.
Lay down your zipper face down on the wrong side of the seam in the area you marked off for the zipper.
Stitch both sides of the zipper to the seam allowance.
Flip your work over so that you’re looking at the right side. Stitch a rectangle around down one side of the zipper area, across the bottom, up the second side and across the top letting the zipper foot ride along the center basted seam you sewed earlier.
Finish off the zipper by cutting through the threads in the seam between the rectangle you just sewed to reveal the zipper. Unzip the zipper.
Sew the top to the middle section
Quarter the second circle and mark the quarter points just like you did earlier.
Sewing with the middle section on top, sew the top circle to the middle section with a 1/2″ seam allowance with a straight stitch. This time, sew completely around the circle.
Turn the outer cover through the zipper.
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Make the muslin inner cushion
Follow the same process for sewing the top and bottom pieces to the middle section just like you did for the outer cushion, but do not add a zipper.
Leave about 1/4 of one of the circles unsewn to the middle section.
Stuff your inner cushion
Start stuffing your inner cushion. Work on a tarp because this part is messy. Start by stuffing the cushion with the shredded foam. Pack it in as best you can, distributing it all through the inner cushion with your hands. Add in fabric scraps as well. Stuff the cushion until it’s about 1/3 way full.
Put your partially stuffed cushion inside your outer cover so that the side with the hole is lined up with the side with the zipper. Do not try to do this when the cushion is almost completely stuffed or you might end up ripping your zipper.
Keep adding stuffing until your cushion is holding its shape really well. Then stuff it some more because it’s hard to add too much stuffing. Add a wall of polyfill around the inside edges of the cushion as the cushion starts to get close to full.
Sew up the hole
Finish everything off by threading a hand needle with a double length of thread. Tie a solid knot, then whipstitch the opening in the inner cushion closed.
Fold the seam allowances of the hole together with your hands. Poke the needle through both layers of fabric, working from bottom to top. Bring the thread around to the bottom side, letting the fabric loop between layers. Bring up the needle close to the first stitch and make another looping stitch.
Continue whipstitching the opening closed until you get to the end of the hole. Knot off the thread and cut off the excess.
Zip up your outer cushion and enjoy your new DIY floor pouf. Your feet will thank you!
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Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.