How-to Make a No Sew Cushion Cover

I have been trying to get all my overdue outdoor projects done this past week.  I have been pretty successful.  I wish I could tell you that I just love to do these projects, but that would be lying.  The biggest reason this project is complete in a timely manner is because friends are coming to stay with us for a few days.  This was the motivating factor in my sudden burst of energy to give this swing that hangs from the pergola on our deck a makeover.  I don’t think  there is anything more motivating to get DIY projects done than having guests to your home whether it be for over night or a party.

How to make a no sew cushion cover

This swing is very comfortable, but I wanted to add a cushion to it,  not only for comfort, but to add a pop of color as well.    I love the upholstered look of cushions, but also love instant gratification and being able to easily make something with fabric without sewing  a stitch.


Here is my swing in my garage waiting for it’s makeover.  It was covered in a greyish cast of worn off  stain and mildew.

porch swing makeover

I washed it with detergent and mildew remover, then rinsed and let it dry out in the sun.  Look at the arm, do you see how it is worn.  I won’t have to sand this – it is very smooth.   I didn’t paint this it, I used solid color stain that just wears away over time.  This was after 3 years outside, except when it stored in the basement during the winter months.

porch swing makeover

I have found Behr House and Fence Stain the best product for outdoor wood. It  holds up beautifully, is easy to apply, and best of all, easy to clean up with soap and water – my kind of product.  You can see from this beaten and battered can – that it  has been used many times.    If you have ever painted with oil based outdoor paint, you know it smells and can take days to dry.  When it gets old, it gets chippy and needs to be sanded before painting, not so when you use a solid color stain.

Behr Solid Color Stain

I set the swing up on a table in my garage and gave it 2 coats.  I let it dry for 1 hour between each coat.

Outdoor Furniture Makeovers

I then hung it back on the deck under the pergola.  This is my favorite place to sit in the evening, especially in the fall when it starts to get cold. I bring out a blanket, some hot tea,  and get all snugly and gaze at all the stars in the night sky.

No sew outdoor decorating ideas

How to Make a No Sew Cushion Cover

For the cushion: I went to my local Joann’s Fabrics on a day when all the foam was 50% off.  I had no idea that it was on sale and was happy to get such a great deal!  I needed about 5 feet.  Cost was $24.00.  It is 2″ thick foam and very dense.  To cut it to the exact size I needed, I grabbed the electric knife from my kitchen drawer. (The only other time this knife gets used is to carve the turkey on Thanksgiving.)  I have a T-square and measured and marked where I needed to cut.

How to cut foam

Super easy to cut foam with an electric knife.  If you don’t have one, take your exact measurements to the fabric store and have them cut both width and length for you.   Take the excess home to use for another project.

How to cut foam

To make the no-sew cushion cover: pretend the foam is a gift box and wrap it as you would a gift, using fabric instead of wrapping paper.

No sew techniques and tips

Use large 2- inch safety pins instead of tape.  I got mine at the dollar store.

safety pins

Fold over the raw edge of the fabric and pin every few inches along this no-sew seam to hold the fabric onto the cushion.

No sew decorating techniques

No Sew chair cushion

Wrap the corners neatly and pull taut and then pin.  The width of my foam was almost the width of the fabric. Normally I would like to have a bit more fabric to pull over the side edges, but this works.  No one will see the pins.

No Sew Decorating with fabric ideas

Flip it over and then it is ready.  I placed it on my freshly stained swing.  I wanted this cushion to be easy to take on and off.  I didn’t want any ties to deal with, so I made sure the foam fit very snugly, so it stays put when I sit on it and easy to grab to take inside when it suddenly starts to rain.


No Sew Decorating Ideas

No-Sew Cushion cover tutorial

How to make a no sew cushion cover




  1. Donna says

    Great idea. Was able to inexpensively recover outdoor furniture in a few hours. Looks great and so simple. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Cara says

    Absolutely love this idea and have used it to make new cushions for my patio chairs and have recovered the old ones. I have young kids so I love that I can just take the fabric off to wash it too! Thank you for taking the time to post your project.

  3. Ashley says

    Hi there,

    I’m curious how the foam stands up to the elements (ie mildew from rain) ? Thanks! :)

    • says

      Hi Ashley – I have had the cushion for 3 summers now. I try my best to bring it inside when it rains, so it does not stay out 24/7 during rainy times. It has no mildew on it. If you want to leave yours outside, get Sunbrella fabric and add a vinyl tablecloth over the foam first, then your fabric. The foam will not get wet or damp this way if you plan on leaving it outside when it rains.

  4. Theresa says

    I’m copying your idea with our old bench
    May I ask where you got that fabric from? I love it. What type of fabric is it?

    • says

      Thanks Theresa –
      It is indoor/outdoor fabric that I bought at JoAnn Fabrics. It is sold in the decorator fabric area that are on bolts, not the fabrics displayed on long tubes.

  5. Robin Potwora says

    Great idea, now share with me how I use the technique for the back pillows? The back is made up of strips and the pins I think will show.


    • says

      Hi Robin – To wrap the back cushions, wrap the fabric around so the pins will be low on the back of the pillow. When placed on a chair you should not see the pins.

  6. says

    Love the bright fabric. I use vinyl tablecloths for covering my bench cushion on our front porch. It is super cheap and stores carry them for every season so it makes it fun to always change my cover to match the season. I pick them up when I find them on sale and just hang on to them for when my cushion needs updated.

  7. NancyNurse says

    Just what I was looking for. I have a porch glider that I want to place at my daughters wedding reception. It is a burlap and lace themed wedding. I want to use a muslin fabric in a natural color for the cushions. I will add some burlap and lace bows to the throw pillows that i will be making too!! Thanks for the post, I was really dreading all that sewing, but now I am excited to work on that project. :o) Happy Mom here.

    • says

      Hi Nancy – So happy that you found inspiration in my post about the no-sew cushion cover. The wedding theme sounds beautiful. Congrats to you and your daughter.

  8. says

    Love the fabric! Where did you get that? How much a yard please? I have 8 boat cushions to do on our sailboat… thanks!

    • says

      Hi Maura – I bought the fabric a few years ago at JoAnn Fabrics. It was inexpensive, around $7 yard. I always use their weekly 40% – 50% coupons to get a deal.

  9. Maudie says

    OH MY GOSH! I just used your idea to cover some foam for my new front porch bench and it is perfect. It makes me want to keep my eyes pealed for several other fabrics to switch out since it is all pinned and will be an easy change to make! Love it! Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Maudie – Thanks for taking the time to leave me such a nice note. Even though I have a sewing machine and can sew a cover, I always cover cushions this no sew way. It works beautifully and like you mentioned so easy to switch out when you want a change. XO


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