Porch Seat

Our backyard needs work, I will be the first to admit it.  It is definitely a work in progress.  One idea I saw on Pinterest was a seat made out of cinder blocks, a cushion and pillows.  Here is the picture I saw, it was featured in Better Homes and Gardens.


In an attempt to replicate this look, but modify it to fit our space on the back porch, we purchased 21 cinder blocks.  For the cushion, I purchased a couple of yards of 2 inch thick foam.  The foam was on sale at Joann's Fabrics, so I was lucky enough to get it half off.  I also purchased 2 1/2 yards of duck cloth to cover the foam seat for the bench.  You will also need thread.

Stack the cinder blocks in a pattern that will result in a rectangular shape. The original idea featured in Better Homes and Gardens was much longer than I wanted ours to be.   As a result, I had to rework the stacking pattern of the cinder blocks.
Here is an illustration of the pattern used:
NOTE:  The blocks in red are positioned short side facing you.  The gray blocks are long side facing you.  And the one blue block is standing up on it's shortest side.  I used colors to outline the blocks to help illustrate the pattern, but all your cinder blocks will be the same color.  Unless, of course, you decide to paint them.

Once the cinder blocks have been stacked, measure the entire piece from end to end.

Mark the dimensions on the foam pad.  Luckily, the foam I used was the appropriate width, I only needed to make a cut to adjust for the length.  Cutting the foam can be tricky.  The best way to do this is with an electric knife, although it can be done with a pair of scissors.
To make a cover for the foam pad, wrap the foam cushion in the duck cloth with the right sides on the inside.  Pin the fabric around the cushion along the longest side. 

Remove the cushion from the inside of the fabric.  Sew the fabric along the pinned side making a seam on the wrong side.

Leave the ends open.  Flip the fabric so that the right sides are exposed.  Slide the foam inside the sleeve you have created.  It should look like this.

Hand stitching the ends is your best option.  You can sew the ends as if you were wrapping a present.  This will create a nice squared off look on the ends.  One each end, fold the shortest piece in, and tack the bottom to it.

Once both ends on the same side have been tacked.  Fold the last flap over and tack in five places across.  I like to start in the middle, then do the corners and then tack the fabric one more time in between the center and corners.




Repeat this process on the other end of the cushion securing the foam within the fabric.
Now the cushion is done, simply place it on top of the cinder blocks.  If you would like to provide a smoother surface underneath the cushion, you can place a thin piece of wood between the cushion and cinder blocks.

Here is the finished product, pillows and all.  The tutorial for the pillows can be found here.  Since I plan to keep them outside, I used outdoor fabric for them.  I found this fabric in the clearance area at Hancock Fabrics. 

The key for keeping costs low for this project is to find sales.  The cinder blocks are a little more than a dollar each.  The foam was half off and all the fabric was 40% of or more. 

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