Elephant Mandala Cushions
Updated: Apr 27
Project by Rebecca Cole
I absolutely adore elephants, and mandalas and their origins fascinate me so these beautiful black and white fabrics absolutely bowled me over! I simply adore them! And though they are stunningly striking in black and white, I felt compelled to throw (literally in this case!) some colour at them. These two complimentary cushion covers came to mind almost instantly and I just had to create them! I hope you love them as much as I do!
Time to make:
2-3 hrs per cushion (not including drying time)
You Will Need:
· Elephant Mandala Cotton FQ pack
· 2 x 14”/35cm round cushion pads
· Rainbow coloured pom-pom trim (approx. 3m)
· Vlieseline Bondaweb
· Sewing machine
(optional sewing machine accessories/stitches that can help: decorative stitch foot, buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, button fitting foot, decorative satin stitch, overcasting stitch, 1 step button hole)
· Black sewing thread
· Rainbow coloured sewing thread
· 8 x 2.5cm/1” buttons in rainbow colours (4 per cushion)
· Fabric dyes in rainbow colours
· Straight pins
· Tape measure
· Paper, pencil, and ruler
· Fabric scissors
· Paper scissors
· White fabric marker
· Stitch ripper or embroidery scissors
Cushion One - Method:
1. Cut a 37cm square from paper. Fold in half and then fold again into quarters. Continue to fold a further 2 times from the same centre point. Measure 37cm from the point to create a curved line. Cut along this line and open out to form a circle. Use this template to cut a circle from your fabric.
2. Mix up your fabric dyes according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Lay your fabric circle over a towel and, using droppers or syringes, drip each dye onto the fabric until you are happy with the finished effect. Leave this to dry.
3. Pin the pom-pom trim around the outside of the fabric circle and stitch in place, making sure the pom-poms are sitting inside the circle.
4. Take your paper template and draw a pencil line along the centre fold. Measure 4.5cm down from this line and fold the circle at this line. Do not cut the pattern!
5. Cut out two pieces using your adjusted pattern template.
6. Stitch an overcasting stitch along the straight edge of both pieces, turn them up 3cm, and press.
7. To mark the button holes, draw lines along the middle of the turned up hem, 1.5cm. From left to right, use your white fabric marker to mark points at 4.5cm, 7cm (join together to mark buttonhole 1), 13cm, 15.5cm (join together to mark buttonhole 2), 21cm, 23.5cm (join together to mark buttonhole 3), 29.5cm, 32cm (join together to mark buttonhole 4). Use your machine’s button hole foot and settings to stitch the 4 button holes in place.
8. Cut open the button holes with a stitch ripper or pair of embroidery scissors and pin the two halves of the cushion back together, overlapping the 3cm hems. Use your white fabric marker to mark the position of the buttons by drawing through the buttonholes you just made.
9. Stitch the buttons in place either by hand or machine, depending on your preference. Fasten the buttons and buttonholes together to close the cushion back ready to be attached to the front.
10. Lay the front of your cushion cover face up on your work surface. Lay the cushion back on top face down, so that the right sides are facing each other. Pin and stitch all the way around the outside making sure not to catch any of the pom-poms in the seam as you go. Undo the buttons and turn the cushion cover through the right way. Give the outer seam a press and insert your cushion pad. Fasten the buttons to close.
Cushion Two - Method
1. Open up the paper template again and refold along all of the original lines. From the point, measure and mark curved lines at 3cm, 7cm, 10cm, and 14cm. Cut along these lines. Open up the paper hoop templates and use them to cut of 5 different sized circles from 5 different fabrics. Cut around the outside edge of the hoops only, not the inside edges.
2. Use an iron to adhere the bondaweb to the 4 smallest sized circles.
3. Taking the 2nd smallest circle, remove the backing paper from the bondaweb and top stitch some of the pom-pom trim around the outside, this time with the pom-poms sitting outside the fabric.
4. Peel off the backing paper from the bondaweb on the rest of the fabric circles and adhere them on top of each other going from largest to smallest using the iron. Take care with the pom-poms!
5. Select a decorative satin stitch on your sewing machine (or straight if you only have that option) and applique around all of the circles using the rainbow coloured threads that tie in with your pom-pom trim, securing all of the circles in place.
6. Stitch the pom-pom trim around the outside of the largest circle as you did in step 3.
7. Make your cushion back as demonstrated in steps 4-9. Place the two halves of the cushion right sides together, as in step 10, and stitch together. Turn the cushion through, press, and insert the cushion pad. Re-fasten the buttons to finish your second cushion.