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Making our cross-stitch elephant cushion is so easy with these simple instructions. If you’re a fan of embroidery and cross-stitch, then this is the sewing project for you.

Stitch three rows of elephants in contrasting shades of white and blue. Or experiment with other colours, white and black would make a beautiful monochrome look or change up each elephant colour to create a rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

It’s easy to transform our cushion design with your own personal style and you can change more than just the colours. We’ve made our cushion with an envelope closure at the back but if you’d prefer a zip fastening, follow our zip cushion video tutorial instead. Or how about swapping the pompom trim for an Oxford cushion or piping edge with these easy instructions.

Finished size: 40 x 40cm

To make an elephant cushion you will need:

  • 50cm of 140cm wide 28 count Cashel linen fabric in Blue Spruce
  • 3 skeins of white stranded cotton embroidery thread
  • size 28 tapestry needle
  • 1m 80cm white pompom trim
  • matching sewing thread
  • 40cm square cushion pad
  • Elephant cross-stitch chart – Download PDF

How to work cross stitch:

How to cross stitch an elephant cushion

Each cross stitch is taken over three threads of the fabric with three strands of embroidery thread in the needle. Each square on the chart represents 3 x 3 threads of the fabric. Bring the needle to the right side at the lower-left corner and insert it three threads up and three threads to the right, forming a diagonal stitch. Bring the needle to the right side three threads down. To complete an individual stitch, insert the needle three threads up and three threads to the left, making a diagonal stitch. Alternatively, continue to make a row of half-stitches then work back, completing the upper half of the crosses.

How to cross stitch the elephant embroidery:

  1. Cut a 30 x 30cm square of linen. Measure 6.5cm in from the left-hand edge and 9.5cm down from the top edge. Start here by embroidering the tip of the elephant’s tail (shown red on the chart). Copy the chart, the red square on the trunk will be the end of the tail of the next elephant. Embroider three elephants in a continuous line.
  2. Work the next row nine threads down, reversing the elephants this time so they are marching in the opposite direction. Repeat these two rows to make a total of four rows.
  3. Twenty-one threads out from the elephants at each side and thirty-six rows from the top and bottom of the elephants work a line of cross stitches.
  4. When complete, press the work face down on a towel. With the embroidery centred, trim the fabric to a 27 x 27cm square.

How to make the elephant cushion:

Add the pompoms to the edges of the elephant cushion

Stitch seams with right sides facing and raw edges level, taking a 1cm seam allowance.

  1. Refer to the diagram below to cut two pairs of borders from linen. Pin the borders together in pairs. Stitch one diagonal edge, starting and finishing 1cm from the straight edges.
  2. Open out the borders. Pin together. Stitch the other diagonal edges, starting and finishing 1cm from the straight edges. Press all seams open.
  3. Pin and stitch the short straight edges of the borders to the embroidered square, pivoting the seam at the corners. Press the seam toward the borders.
  4. On the right side, pin and tack the pompom trim to the upper edge of the border, placing the top of the pompons 1.5cm below the raw edge and 2cm in from the side edges. Cut off the excess trim. Repeat on each edge of the border.
  5. Cut two 42 x 29cm rectangles for the back from linen. Press under 1cm then 1.5cm on one long edge of the backs. Stitch close to the inner pressed edges to hem the pieces.
  6. With the outer edges level, pin the backs to the cushion front, overlapping the hemmed edges. Stitch the outer edge using a zipper foot to accommodate the pompoms. Clip the corners, turn right side out, and insert the cushion pad.

Border diagram