A completed throw pillow.
The cushion fold is usually made from square fabric1,2 but may also be made from a circle blintz, which is highly decorative and looks great as a couch cushion.3,4
Here is how to make it.
What Is the Cushion Fold?
Basically, the cushion fold is the same as the blintz: folding all corners to the center. In sewing, for decorative purposes, it is often combined as a double blintz: Blintz; turn over; blintz again. This is basically the fortune teller that we have all met in kindergarten. The only unusual thing is that we start from a circle for the cushion fold to obtain a decorative effect.
For sewing the cushion, we need more materials and tools than are usual in origami, but it really isn’t difficult. Only straight, standard stitches and three buttonholes are needed.
- A square cushion. 40 cm x 40 cm (18″ seems to be a standard size in the United States, so we will give proportions for this size in parentheses). One side and the four corners will be visible.
- Two pieces of fabric with coordinating patterns. Two times the cushion width plus seam allowance. 83 cm (37¼″, which includes a ⅝″ seam allowance) total in each direction.
- Matching sewing thread.
- A matching button.
- Optional: Vliesofix fusible webbing 80 cm x 80 cm (36″ x 36″). This is a double-sided adhesive with a paper liner. It will be used to stabilize the two layers of fabric. It is melted onto the fabric with an iron. Vliesofix is a German brand. There are many additional brands of paper-backed fusible webbing available in the United States.
- Tracing paper (or even newsprint), at least twice the length of the cushion in each direction.
The ugly cushion. No, it’s not damaged; the sequins can turn both ways. But it was cheap. The cushion must be square.
The materials: two pieces of cotton fabric, a cushion, thread, a button and Vliesofix (the white roll). Tracing paper is also used but will not be part of the cover.
Most of the tools. An iron and an ironing board are also important.
Making the Cover
Step 1. Fold the paper in both directions and draw a quarter circle. The radius is the width of the cushion.
Step 2. If your measuring tape has a hole at the end, it is easy to make the circular mark.
Step 3. Cut out the circle. The crossing crease lines will be used later.
Step 4. Transfer the circle to the Vliesofix.
Step 5. Cut out the Vliesofix circle.
Step 6. Iron the Vliesofix to the back of one piece of fabric.
Step 7. Pin the two fabric pieces together, front to front.
Step 8. Mark the seam allowance – the small orange marks. Use the measuring tape, 1.5 cm (⅝″).
Step 9. Cut out through both layers.
Step 10. Sew along the Vliesofix circle using straight stitches.
Step 11. Make sure to leave an opening 3-4 times the seam allowance.
Step 12. Remove the backing paper of the Vliesofix to reveal the other side of the glue.
Note: If the seam overlaps the paper, small pieces may be left.
Step 13 Since the seam curves and will go on the inside, make small incisions.
Step 14. Pull the cover out through the opening.
The opening must be closed.
Step 15. Stitch the opening using small stitches on the inside layers only.
Step 16. Iron the other side to smooth the fabric and to attach the Vliesofix to that side as well. (Remember: The Vliesofix is on the inside now.)
Finally: ready to origami fold.
Step 17. Use the tracing paper for reference – the crossing crease lines are highlighted.
Step 18. All four edges folded in. The outer rim forms a square.
Step 19. Iron the folds sharply.
Step 20. Attach a button to one corner, and make buttonholes at the other three.
Step 21. The button is attached at the very tip of the folded corner.
Step 22. Slit the buttonholes.
Step 23. Place the cushion on the inner side of the fabric (photo taken later, hence the wrinkles).
Step 24. Pull the four corners around to the front center and slip the button through the three holes.
The finished cushion on the couch.
The workplace needs cleaning up …
1. Marina Brumpton, “Patchwork Pincushion — How to Sew,” uploaded January 23, 2013, retrieved August 16, 2019, YouTube video, 5:48, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W-JjrUVc83s. [back]
2. Cortinas Eli, “Tutorial Hermoso Cojín decorativo, Paso a paso,” uploaded 2018, retrieved August 15, 2019, YouTube video, 13:03, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_tTzDKTwlg. [back]
3. Katrina, “Katrina’s Tutorials: Fabric Ornament Number 2,” September 22, 2009, retrieved August 8, 2019,
4. Sue Rhodes, “Folded Japanese Cushion with Sue Rhodes (Taster Video),” (Justhands-on.tv), uploaded June 10, 2016, retrieved August 16, 2019, YouTube video, 1:08,
Other Articles in This Series
“The Complete Blintz Part 1: The Yakko”
“The Complete Blintz Part 2: History of the Blintz”
“The Complete Blintz Part 3: Blintz Story Telling”
“The Complete Blintz Part 4: The Dragon and the Might of the Blintz”
“The Complete Blintz Part 5: Creating via Blintzing”