I Just Couldn’t Help Myself

Sometimes I just can’t help myself.  I see something and I just have to make it.

That’s what happened here.  You may remember a couple of weeks ago I showed you this cute Gnome Cushion.  Well, it’s been on my mind ever since. I knew that, even if I ordered it today, I wouldn’t get it in time for Christmas, so I decided to recreate it.

I thought that I’d share this process with you so you too can have a wonderful Gnome sitting on your couch this Christmas.  

Are you ready?


(to make one cushion)

  • 70cm Striped Mattress Ticking
  • 60x30cm Natural Cotton Duck
  • 25x25cm Grey Cotton Duck or Drill
  • 25x20cm White Long Pile Polar Fleece
  • 25cm Fusible Webbing
  • 10x5cm Fusible Interfacing
  • 45cm Invisible Zip
  • 1 metre Cord
  • 1 Red Pom Pom
  • 1 Small Bell
  • White Thread


As this is an advanced project, I have not included instructions on putting in the zipor making up the cushion.  If you would like me to write a blog post on how to make up a cushion, please let me know in the comments section below.

If you like to make this Gnome cushion but are not an advanced sewer, you could skipadding the cord hands and just add circles in the same manner as the body,beard and hat are added.

Download the Pattern

Click the button at the bottom of the page to download the pattern.

Each piece will fit on an A4 or Letter size piece of paper.

Make the Gnome Panel

Trace the hat, body and beard patterns onto the fusible webbing and iron on. Make sure that the hat is going the right way.

Cut out the pieces on the lines.

This is a bit tricky with the beard, but you don’t have to be exact.  Just move the pile out the way when you cut so that it slips back over your cutting lines. This way, it won’t matter too much.

Find the centres of the hat, body and beard pieces.

Cut a piece of Cotton Duck 50x30cm and find the centre.

Tip: Ensure that you cut the Cotton Duck on the straight grain, otherwise you will have problems when you fray the edges.

Position the pieces, body first, then the hat, lastly the beard.

Iron the pieces on.  You may need to remove the beard while you iron on the first body and hat.  When all the pieces are on, turn the work over and iron from the back side, just to ensure a good seal.

From this point on I will refer to this piece with the Gnome ironed on as the centre panel.

Make the Hands

Cut two 5cm square pieces of Cotton Duck.  Ironthe interfacing onto these two pieces. Find the centre of each piece and mark with a cross, then draw a circle approximately 3.5cm across.  I drew around a measuring spoon but you could use anything that is approximately that size.

To stitch the cord circles, put the end of the cord over the centre cross and stitch. Backstitch. Leave the needle in and lift the foot. Then pull the cord towards you. Turn your work and stitch two stitches aiming for the centre of the cord.

Lift the foot and turn the work again.  Stitch two or three more stitches.  Continue in this fashion until the work covers the circle. As you get closer to the edge of the circle you will be able to stitch more before you need to move the work.

When you have enough rounds to covers the entire circle, back stitch and remove the work. Cut off the remaining cord. Cut the backing fabric away angling your scissors so that cut underneath the last round of cord and you can’t see any fabric. Repeat the process for the other hand.

Attach the Hands

To attach the hands and hide the end, position the hands in place over the end of the arms. Use a pin to tuck under the raw end of the cord and attach the hand to the body.

Stitch around the outside of the circle over the last row of stitching. Continue the top stitching around the entire Gnome about 3mm from the edge.

Note: I didn’t worry about changing my thread. I topstitched the entire project in white and I think it added a layer of dimension to the project.  You could change colour thread if you wish.

Attach the Panel to the Ticking

Find the centre of one of the 50cm squares and the centre panel.

Note: The stripes on the front of the cushion run opposite to the hat and the back of the cushion.

Position the centre panel on the cushion piece, matching the centres.

Note: My Cotton Duck shrunk a little when I pressed it using steam which is why it’s a weird shape. It didn’t matter though as it was still within the seam allowance.

Stitch down each side of the centre panel about 1cm from the edge – I used the edge of my sewing machine foot but I moved my needle as far to the left as it would go.

Move the needle position one or two steps to the right (about 1-2mm) and stitch again.  I did this as a security measure because I am fraying the edges.

Fray the edges of the centre panel.

It will look like this when you are done.

Attach the pom pom for the nose and the bell to the end of the hat.

Make up the cushion ensuring that the stripes on the back match the hat, not the front.


I’m assuming if you got this far you know how to make up a cushion, but I thought I would add some tips that I’ve learned along the way.

Always use an invisible dress zip.

Trim off the corners close to the stitching to make the cushion sit properly when turned out.

Press the seams well before turning the cushion.

Make two! I always make two cushions. If it’s a focal point cushion like this one I generally put one on my couch and one on a chair.

If you enjoyed this project, pin it and subscribe to my emails so you will never miss a thing. Let me know what you think of my Christmas Gnome in the comments section below.

You can also see more of my projects in the 'Create' section of my website.

December 3, 2020