Tutorial: Piano Bench Slip Cover

Several years ago {...way back before I got married} my parents bought me an old piano that was totally out of tune. It stayed in my parents house, with their nice new piano, and my mom and I would play duets on our pianos. So much fun!!!

When I got married, I took it with me. It has been through 4 moves {with me} and is still terribly out of tune, but I still LOVE it! My kids love to play it and sing too.
{they are too little to really know how to play, but they still love to pretend!}

The piano bench though, has always been one of those projects I kept telling myself I would get to someday!
Take a look at how terrible this bench was looking...

It is totally functional and comfortable... BUT... it is old! It has the original cross stitch bench cover. It is glued, tacked, and probably permanently on there. So, instead of trying to pry it off, I decided to create a simple slip cover that I could take off and wash {very important at my house!!}.

Interested in maybe making your own!? Here's how I did it!

I always try and start all of my ambitious projects with a sketch! It helps me to better visualize what I am doing and to formulate a plan of attack!!

My piano bench is 15.5" wide and 30" long. The cushion is about 2.5" tall. I wanted my cover to hit just below the bottom of the cushion. So, I essentially added 3" to each side of my piano bench.
{see sketch}

In order to make my cover fit nicely around the corners of my cushion, I planned to remove a 3" square section from each corner of my fabric.

I found this cute print at Joann's. It is one of the Home Decor fabrics so it's a little more sturdy than regular quilters cotton. LOVE IT!!

I cut my large rectangle - 18"x33".
{If you like to sew - or are just getting started - I totally recommend getting a cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter... it just makes like so much easier!!!}

Then I got a scratch piece of paper and made my 3"x3" square. Place it at each corner and cut around it to remove your 3"x3" square.

Then you are going to sew your corners. Lay your corner face down.

Then grab each of the cut piece and match the ends together. You are going to sew a straight line from the folded edge to the cut ends {or serge it}.

I chose to serge my edges. You could definitely just straight stitch it, or straight stitch then zig zag stich it to "serge" it without a serger. Even using my serge, I reinforced my serging by strait stitching at the very edge of my serged line - with kiddos who constantly climb up and down my piano bench I wanted to be extra certain it would stay!

Here is how your corner should look from the right-side of your fabric. It should make a nice 3-D type corner that when turned right side out will fit nicely over the corner of your cushion.

Then repeat for the other 3 corners. While I had my serger out I serged around the entire bottom edge of the fabric {the bottom of my cover}.

Once your corners are done, take your cover to your ironing board. We are going to make a casing for the elastic. I chose 1/4" elastic, so I folded my fabric over about 1/2" {to allow for the elastic and my seam}. Fold your fabric and iron as you go creating a casing around the entire edge of your fabric. You can then pin it in place, or if your ironed edge is holding you don't need to.

Take your cover back to your sewing machine and finish the casing for your elastic. Make sure you leave room for your elastic, plus a little wiggle room. My elastic was 1/4" so I left about 3/8" between the edge of my fabric and my seam. Then **sew your straight stitch. Make sure that you double stitch at each end.

**Important!!!! In order to be able to thread your elastic through, you need to make sure and leave a small opening in your casing. I put down my pressure foot to start sewing my casing stitch and then grabbed a straight pin. I pinned it in my fabric 2-3 inches from the back of my pressure foot. Then I knew I needed to stop sewing there!

Once you are done sewing, grab your elastic and a small safety pin. My measurement around my piano bench at the point the elastic would sit was 80". My elastic was super stretchy, so I cut it at about 60". Stick the pin through one end of the elastic. Then you thread the pin {and the elastic} through your casing to the other end of the opening you left.

Now you need to close off your elastic. Grab the two ends and double stitch them. {Meaning sew one straight stitch, then another next to it to hold it securely.}

This next step is sometimes a little tricky. You have to stick your elastic in it's casing and kind of wiggle it around and stretch out your fabric to get it where you want it so you can close up that casing gap. This is also where you could add your little "made by" tag if you want. Simply sew a straight line to close up that casing! Double stitch at the beginning and the end.

...and here's how it should look when you are all done!

Just for fun... here's the before shot!!!!

... and the after!

ahhhh... much better!!


  1. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! And your sign that you posted about a few weeks ago is placed on your piano!! Love your ideas!! Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo

  2. That turned out great! Love the fabric print - fun! Thanks for posting :)

  3. Oh this is perfect timing! I need to make a slipcover for an old record cabinet/bench and I had no idea where to start. Thank you!

    Found you via our features at The Creative Crate. Congrats!

  4. Thank you for the tutorial! I have been looking for a way to make a cover without using a staple gun. You make it look easy. I may have to ask my Mom to help me. :-)

  5. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. The Right Piano


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