sewing tutorial

Handmade Gifts for Boys day 4: Floor Cushion Tutorial with hidden storage!

I don’t know about your house, but my boys’ toys need constant corralling. And what’s better than storage that doubles as a place to cozy up and read! This floor cushion has a hidden zipper so that you can fill it with stuffed animals, blankets, or the sweatshirts you can’t fit in the dresser. ;)
floor cushion tutorial with hidden storage


  • 1 yard of fabric – I used a thicker double sided knit, but it doesn’t have much stretch
  • 1 package piping
  • 1 zipper around 22in. (if you make your cushion smaller, you can use a smaller zipper, but you want to make sure you have enough space to open it and put stuff in!)

1. Cut two circles (or ovals… I cut mine as ovals that were 25.5 x 22.5)

2. Measure around your circles and cut your rectangle of fabric to go around the outside (remember to allow for seam allowance!)

3. Sandwich your piping in between one of the circles and the middle rectangle (the raw edge of the piping should be facing the outside). Pin all around the circle and fold the ends of the piping in toward the seam allowance. Then sew all around close to the piping, using a zipper foot.

floor cushion step 1

4. Repeat with the other circle and other side of the middle rectangle. This side you’ll be adding in the zipper, so pin that in place first. You want the zipper to be open halfway. At the ends of the zipper, you’re going to pin in the piping. This is a little tricky, so do it carefully. Fold the ends of the zipper and the piping toward the seam allowance. (I used a separating zipper, because this is what I had. But if you have a non-separating zipper, this part would be a little bit easier)

floor cushion step 2
5. Around the zipper, you’ll be sewing one line of stitching on each side of the zipper. Where there’s piping, you’re just sewing all three layers together, as before.

floor cushion step 3

6. When sewing the open end of the zipper, you may have to go over it several times. If you used a separating zipper like I did, make sure your ends line up and that your piping meets up with the end of the zipper and sew the end above the zipper stop together.

floor cushion step 4Then use the zipper opening to turn it right side out!

floor cushion with zipper

Then fill it with something soft – pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, even a large pillow form – and you have a great new place to sit!

comfy floor cushion tutorial

And then tell your kiddos that there’s a fun surprise…

Hidden storage floor cushion

…which could quite possibly blow their minds ;)

Floor cushion tutorial

Tame the stuffed animal madness and create a cozy place to snuggle up with a great book!
floor cushion

Now you’ve got to go check out Stacey’s awesome Lego Minifig doll!

Mini-figure Teaser

Happy sewing!


Handmade Gifts for Boys Day 3: Snake Stuffie Free Pattern and Tutorial

Welcome back to day three of the Handmade Gifts for Boys series! Awhile back, my six-year-old saw a stuffed snake toy at the zoo, and he cannot stop talking about it. He has been begging me to make one for him. So today I have a free pattern so you can make one too!
Snake softie free pattern and tutorial


  • fleece
  • knit fabric
  • polyfill
  • embroidery thread

1. Embroider eyes onto the snake’s face.

snake stuffie step 1

2. If you want to, embroider a design on the snake’s back.

snake stuffie step 2

3. Put the top and bottom pieces right sides together and sew. Repeat with the snake’s belly

snake stuffie step 5

4. Put the tongue on top of the snake’s face, right side facing the eyes.

snake stuffie step 3

5. Put the top and the belly right sides together.snake stuffie step 4

6. Sew along the outsides, leaving an opening in the center of the snake.

snake stuffie step 6

7. Stuff with polyfill and use a blind stitch to close the opening.

snake stuffie step 7

I can’t handle how adorable this snake is! My little guy is going to love it! The fleece makes it so snuggly.
snake stuffie

Download your free pattern here:

Snake Softie pattern from If Only Designs

Make sure you download it to your computer, don’t print from your browser. Then join the If Only Designs Patterns Facebook group to share your cuddly creation!

Snake Stuffie tutorial

Looking for more softies to sew? Stacey has an awesome roundup of softie patterns, so pop over there to check it out!


Preschool Color Wheel Matching Game

If you have little ones at home, you probably find yourself looking for things to keep them busy while you’re doing something else, like making dinner, folding laundry or helping other kids. It’s a bonus when those activities are educational and don’t involve a screen! I made this Color Wheel Matching Game for my preschooler and toddler, and I use it to occupy my littlest boys while I’m homeschooling the older ones. You can use it any time including in the car!Color Wheel Matching Game Tutorial


  • 8 clothespins
  • small pieces of cotton fabric in 8 different colors
  • double fold bias tape (about 37 inches)
  • cotton quilt batting
  • paint in 8 different colors
  • permanent marker
  • scissors
  • sewing machine and thread

**For a no-sew option, glue or mod podge the fabric pieces onto a paper plate or any other flat surface**

1. Cut out 8 triangles – the short sides should be 6 3/4in. long, then cut them at a 45 degree angle (which is also known as “on the bias”) to make the triangle.

DSC_09492. Sew pairs of triangles into squares unsung a 3/8in. seam allowance. Press the seam allowance to one side and trim off the “tails” that are leftover at the corners.

DSC_09553. Sew two sets of squares together – make sure the points come together. Then repeat by sewing the two rectangles together to form one large square, pressing the seam allowances on each piece as you sew.

DSC_09564. Cut a square of fabric and a square of quilting batting the same size as the square you just made. Sandwich the batting in between, with the wrong sides of the fabric against the batting. Pin or clip these pieces together.

DSC_09635. Sew lines to quilt the batting in place. I sewed on either side of the seams, but you can do this in whatever design you choose.

PicMonkey Collage6. Cut the square into a circle.

DSC_09687. Now you’re going to add the bias tape. Open up and lay the bias tape onto the back side of the circle. Begin sewing along the first crease — but make sure you leave the first 1/4in. of the bias tape NOT sewn down. DSC_0971

8. When you get almost to the point you began on the circle, pause your sewing to fold the ends of the bias tape back (toward the underside of the bias tape). Do this with both ends of the bias tape. This makes sure that the raw edge of the bias tape is enclosed. Trim off any extra bias tape you may have. Finish sewing the bias tape onto the circle, over your folded ends.

 9. Trim the seam allowance to be about 1/4in. Do not cut through your stitching!

DSC_097810. Fold the other side of the bias tape over (the raw edge will be tucked inside) and topstitch it down from the top of the circle. The ends of your bias tape will be enclosed, as seen in the photo below.

DSC_098511.Take your clothespins and label one side with the color names. Then paint the corresponding colors on the opposite side.

Clothespins for Color Wheel Matching GameThen hand it off to your kiddos for color matching fun!  The color names are great for slightly older preschoolers or kindergarteners.

DSC_1009They can learn to recognize the color words, and they can use the painted side to check if they are correct.

DSC_1006The clothespins can be tricky for young toddlers – use your own judgement to know if your child is old enough to use these correctly, and carefully supervise them of course. If your child is too little for the clothespins, use it without them until they are. They can still have fun pointing out the different colors!

DSC_1078The painted side is great for toddlers and preschoolers who are learning their colors, and it can be played independently while you take care of other things around the house or even while you’re driving. If you’re in the car, have your child point at things out the windows that are the same colors!

DSC_1073 I love learning games that are fun, low-tech, build fine motor skills, and help share my love of fabric with my littles. :)

Happy sewing, friends!

Color Wheel Matching Game