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.

Before

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.

After

No Sew Decorating Ideas

No-Sew Cushion cover tutorial

How to make a no sew cushion cover

 

 

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Comments

    • says

      Hi Shelly-

      I learned early on in my career doing store displays that what you can’t see can easily be faked – which makes any project quick, easy, and inexpensive. Fun story – I once did a room for a Decorator Showhouse. There were many high-end designers doing other rooms in the house at the same time. I hot glued, spray painted, and stapled my way thru decorating my room. On the last day before the house was open to the public, one of the big name designers came to me pleading for my help to do something with the trim that he just recieved. There was not enough time for his seamstress to add it, so I hot glued $65.00 a yard trim to all his drapery panels. There were 6. No one ever knew the difference. To this day he told me he always uses hot glue now to add trim. Quick and easy techniques, though still expensive if you are using $65.00 a yard trim.
      Diane

  1. says

    You are brilliant! I have a canoe windowseat in my living room (it’s on the front page of my blog). I used the turkey knife to cut foam about 6 years ago for it. I have 2 microsuede blankets that fit pretty well over the top…but are always sliding just a bit. I never figured out how to get them to stay…until now. Yippee! AND I was heading to the $ store today. :) Yours looks fantastic. Love the happy stripes. I’m going to try that stain with my swing too. Thank you!!

    • says

      Hi Julie-

      If you find your fabric slips around, you can cut a piece of quilt batting the same size as the fabric and wrap them around the cushion together. It also helps make the cushion corners not looks so rigid. You will love the Solid color Stain.
      Diane

    • says

      Hi Kathy-

      One of the reasons I chose the fabric was because it was colorful and would go with everything. The other reason is that this deck gets full sun all day. I used to have pots of flowers all over the deck, but since I started working full time, I don’t have the time to water them and they died. This fabric is sort of a replacement for all those colorful flowers.
      Diane

  2. says

    so pretty, love the colorful stripes. I hope those pins are rustproof! If not, one bit of moisture and your fabric will be stained :-(

    • says

      It really doesn’t matter if the pins are rustproof or not. The pins are underneath and you don’t see them. Any outside fabric over time no matter how hard you try to keep it from getting faded, mildewed, and dirty is going to get stained and not last forever. I wouldn’t buy expensive fabric to cover anything outside because of this fact.

    • says

      I bought the fabric at Joann’s Fabrics. It was the very end of the bolt and just enough to cover the cushion. I was lucky. I looked and looked at a bunch of different stores and knew when I spotted this is was exactly what I wanted.
      Diane

    • says

      Hi Mindy-
      Thanks for the compliment. I don’t know if I am a genius, but I do love to find quick, inexpensive ways to make things look good.
      Diane

      • says

        No – you ARE a genius. I have been prowling around your site today and you have SO many clever and thrifty solutions that make me see some of the things in our house in a whole new light.

  3. says

    Beautiful and simple. I am going to use this on my existing cushions. They are in good shape I am just tired of the fabric. Thanks!

  4. says

    Such a great idea! You can easy switch out the fabric covers!! Ooooo Im thinking seasonal….I have a bench on my front porch that needs a cushion. Thanks for the idea!

    • says

      Hi Kara-
      Being able to change the cover quickly and inexpensively is one of the best parts about covering a cushion this way. I have made them for furniture inside my house as well.
      Diane

  5. says

    I love how it turned out. Thanks for the recommendation on the Behr House and Fence Stain. I also picked up an electric knife at a thrift shop just for the purpose of cutting foam. Love the easy way out!

  6. says

    Gorgeous!! And I LOVE the no sew cushion. I’m officially motivated to make a few for myself. I’ve cheated and just plumked down bed pillows instead but they never fit quite right. I’m crazy about this idea! Thanks for making my SNS sidebar look all purdy this weekend. :)

    Donna

  7. says

    I love the cushion fabric! I’m glad I’m not the only one out there using safety pins. I have a wicker ottoman in my family room that is pinned in the same way! I will probably be changing the fabric soon and I’ll probably pin it too :)

  8. says

    This is a terrific idea! I have been wanting to do some cushions for my porch furniture, but want the option to change. This is a genius idea that even I can do! Thanks!

  9. says

    Looks fabulous! and I love the no sew! Fantasic fabric for summer. Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase. Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  10. says

    That is gorgeous! And I love that it’s no-sew! I love projects that get non-sewers involved with home dec projects. Thanks so much for this, I’ll be linking.

  11. Denise says

    We are having a housewarming party soon, and are in desperate need of some new cushions for our outdoor furniture. With just having bought a new house, there’s lots of expenses, and I was lamenting how much the cushions would cost on top of everything else. BUT this….I can do this!!! Thank you so much for an awesome idea.

  12. says

    Thank you for this! I have been putting off making a cushion for our porch swing because it was so intimidating to me. How easy is this? I’m going to get my fabric this weekend!!

    • says

      Hi Tiffanei-
      I cover most of the cushions in my house this way. No one ever knows the difference and it is so easy.

  13. Wana says

    THANK YOU. I’ve been searching for a cushion for my rocker for 4 years and never thought of doing this.

  14. Linda Palmer says

    Hi! Years ago my friend and I used the safety-pin method to slipcover the cushions on her deck chairs. We used inexpensive flannel-backed tablecloths from a discount store to cover the seat and back cushions so the cushions were waterproof! the pins were on the back so were hidden. They lasted several years, until she was ready for a decor change. This is inexpensive enough to do just for a special occasion or a holiday.

    • says

      Hi Linda-

      Thanks do much for taking the time to write such a nice comment. I do subscribe to the easy way – that works just as well as the more traditional way of doing things. I even have done this on my sofa. I like to call it Home Dec in a Sec

  15. Diane says

    Thank you, Thank you!!! Our patio furniture cushions have faded beyond ugly. I knew I had to make some covers because the actual cushions are so expensive, but had no idea how since I do not sew. Your tutorial is perfect!!! I am now so excited about that project. I know this is a silly question, but could you tell me how to go about measuring for the amount of material? Thanks again.

  16. says

    This is so fun. So bright and cheery it actually makes me crave summer. Now I just neeed to find a swing so I can do it!!

  17. Debbie says

    looks fantastic what a great idea thanks for the paint tips will certainly buy some for outdoor projects

  18. says

    That fabric is just gorgeous!!! I love the colors and stripes…what a perfect addition to your porch! You did an awesome job…I’d love to sit there any day with a glass of lemonade. :)

  19. T Laird says

    Thank you for posting! I just got home from Joann’s with the same foam and a very similar fabric. I purchased them on a whim because they were half off today. I googled how to make a cushion cover and was all ready to break out the sewing machine, with which I am terrible. I never thought of doing it like this. Thanks again.

    • says

      HI Tracy-

      I am so glad you found the directions for the no sew cushion. Did you make the cover yet? How did it turn out?

  20. says

    Beautiful, simple, easy and cheap perfect a safty pin, why didn’t I think of that, I thought of duck tape.. Great job…. A++

    • says

      Hi April –

      Thanks. Duct tape would probably work when you needed a cover super quick. It does just about everything :)

  21. Laura says

    This is Great!! I’m going to do this but I will use self adhesive velcro tape. Then i won’t have to remove all those pins to wash!

  22. Linda Palmer says

    Safety pins are a whole lot less expensive and reuseable! But if you are really pressed for time, self-adhesive velcro tape is the ticket!

    • says

      Hi Linda- I love using Velcro, but it can be expensive. I recently found a big roll at a yard sale for $2.00 I grabbed it knowing what a deal it was. Thanks for sharing your idea.

      • Linda Palmer says

        Lucky you! That is the kind of bargain I look for. I’m about to use the safety pin method on cushions on my balcony chairs. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  23. Carmen says

    I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT USUNIG SAFETY PINS! :-)
    Every year I’ve been buying cute plastic table cloths and wrapping my cushions like a package, then i use electrical tape in a coordinating color to tape the back. It works great for the back cushions, but not so great for the seat cushinos that have to support more weight. Now I’ll use safety pins!

  24. says

    I’ve done this for years..so easy to unpin, wash and put back on..which I need to do because….like you….I’ve got company comin’…:)

  25. says

    Thank you so much for this… I have been needing to put some cushions on the gliders on my back patio and did not want to figure out how to sew them. I bought some foam at Wal-mart, home dec weight fabric 50% off at Joanns, and voila… now I have some nice cushions that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.. or a lot of my time either! Now I’m off to make some pillows to match!

  26. Linsey at Farmhouse Porch says

    This idea is a keeper. I’m sitting here mulling over what I can cover or cushionize in my house. I’m also wondering where a dollar fabric store is in Houston…

    ♥Linsey

  27. says

    We stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to checking out your web page yet again.

  28. Maureen says

    I have actually done this several times, except instead of pins I have used, believe it or not, DUCT TAPE, lol….if it works for my husband it works for me too, lol

    • says

      HI Maureen –

      This made me smile. Duct tape is amazing. As I like to say – what you can’t see can easily be faked! Improvising sometimes is fun and works just as well as sewing in many applications!!!

  29. Adie says

    That is beautiful and clever. I’m thinking of using the idea to add a colorful cushion to an old piano bench in a corner of my entry way (to create a little reading nook). I’m wondering though…will the safety pins scratch the wood? Trying to think of an alternative……Also, does usage of the cushion result in the pins tearing the material? Or does it stay strong because of being that thick outdoor material?

    Thank you!

    • says

      HI Adie –

      If your bench has very nice wood – the pin may scratch. You could cover them with fabric or another option would be to use self adhesive Velcro instead of the safety pins. It is sold at fabric stores and Walmart. I have done this dozens of time and never had a problem with the fabric ripping – heavy duty or light weight – so I would not worry about that. Just make sure you have the fabric snug when you place your pins -that way it will stay secure.

  30. Karen says

    Thank you so much for this idea! My hubby and I bought a super old camper this spring and I couldn’t handle the cushion covers for the dinettes. They were so ugly. But this idea saved me time and money on replacing them. Now I can relax when we go camping :)

  31. says

    Thank you so much for this idea… I have absolutely so sweing skills and am planning to upholster my sofa as it was a give away and looking worn out. For everything else I can use staples and glue but I was struggling to figure out how would I get the cushions done! This is a good solution maybe even temporarily while I convince someone to get it done to us…

  32. Sara says

    You are AWESOME! I am moving my daughter and I into my boyfriend’s home, and have a lot of things on my to-do list to make this feel like home for us. One of the first is to tackle the kitchen. He has this really neat custom made mini table with benchs that have removable tops (you can use the benches as storage) and custom made cushions on the tops. He didn’t make the piece and neither of us are crafty or know how to sew. I was searching for cuhions to replace the existing cushions but there was nothing the correct size out there. Now all I have to do is buy large safety pins and fabric!!! I have added your site to my favorites bar!! Thank you so much. I need soooooooo much help with this house!

  33. says

    Hi Diane –

    I am really enjoying your blog. You have the best ideas. In fact, I included a link to this post that you wrote about making no-sew cushions for our readers on our blog, naptimenotebook.com. You should check out the post about sewing a new cushion cover for a piano bench I picked up the Habitat for Humanity Restore Resale Outlet. I actually tried to sew the cushion though. You can read all about it (and the multiple attempts to get it right) at http://www.naptimenotebook.com/2012/10/restore-remodel-piano-bench.html

    Thanks again for all your posts!

    Mary Beth/Mrs. Williams at naptimenotebook.com

    • says

      Hi Cate –
      I buy my foam at JoAnns Fabrics, but most fabric stores sell it. It is not cheap, so I always wait until it is on sale or I have a 50% off coupon to buy it.

  34. Michelle says

    I am not someone who sews so I was more than thrilled to find your blog! I have wanted to replace my porch swing cushion for sooo long but now I don’t have to!!! I am curious…how much fabric did you purchase for your cushion? Mine looks to be the same length/width as yours. I just don’t have a clue how much to get. My cushion is 51 inches long and 22 inches wide.
    Thank you!!!!

    • says

      Hi Michelle – I can’t remember exactly how much yardage I bought, but not much. 1 – 2 yards at most. It really will depend on the width of the fabric 36″ or 54″ and the way the pattern runs. I used outdoor awning fabric. Not sure how wide it was. I do know I had just enough to cover the sides. My safety pins along the sides were pretty close to each end of the cushion to hold the fabric on. Normally I like to take the fabric into the underside of the center more. If you have your cushion – take it to the fabric store with you so you can get exactly what you need. I recently covered my kitchen banquette cushions this way. The fabric was solid which made it easier – no pattern to center or match up.

  35. Susan says

    Just a quick thank you for this posting. I’d looked for an hour for new cushions for the two chairs on my front porch. I wasn’t having any luck and by chance I stumbled on your idea. The chairs are pretty much just for show and only sat in a few times a year so when I saw this idea, I knew it was perfect for me. I went to Joann’s, bought the fabric and the saleswoman also talked me into a small pillow for each chair. I used a coordinating fabric for the pillows and they all look wonderful. It only took 1 hour to do both chairs and both pillows. In fact, it took longer to get the fabric than it did to cover the cushions/pillows! Oh! And I did go to the $ store that was right next to Joann’s and bought the safety pins as you suggested. Total cost was $65 for both chairs and pillows. For that price I can re-do them every year! Thanks again!

  36. Ashley says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I needed a SIMPLE way to recover my old patio furniture cushions that have faded from the sun. I do not own a sewing machine, nor would I know how to work one. I know how to wrap a present though and work a safety pin! So excited to update the furniture for my husbands man cave birthday present!

  37. Louise says

    Hi,
    Thank you so much for this easy and practical idea. I covered my outdoor cushions with a shower curtain, which makes them completely waterproof and I don’t need to bring them inside when it rains (which it has been a lot here in Johannesburg, South Africa in the summer that we are enjoying).

  38. TQ Fabulous says

    Love it! I’m going to look for colorful plastic table cloths to use to cover my narly old cushion for a cheapy update. We get sudden rain and high heat and they will need to stay outside. Diane, your ideas will make this our best summer ever!

  39. June says

    Wow! I’ve been trying to figure out who could reupholster my faded bench cushion with the fabric I already bought. Now I’ll just do it myself over the Easter break. Thanks SOOOOOO much for a wonderfully simple idea!

  40. Rachel says

    Thank you for your post. I followed your instructions and my swing came out beautiful. It was so easy. Your we’re a blessing to me.

  41. Jennifer says

    Very clever. I will be stealing this idea from you. Thank you. I was going to sew mine by hand. This is so much easier. Love it.

  42. Tricia says

    Brilliant! I have chair cushions that need to be recovered. I just washed them with oxiclean and have them hanging in the sun, but I don’t think they are ever going to look great again, so they need to be covered. I thought about slipcovers, but I don’t sew at all. I definitely know how to wrap gifts though!

  43. Bonnie says

    What an awesome idea! I have cats that just LOVE to sleep on my wicker patio set and I have been using sheets to cover the cushions because the cat hair sticks so bad to the fabric that is on the original cushions. I hate the bedsheet look so now I can use your pin method and simply take them off and wash as needed!
    I am so happy I stumbled upon your website. Thank you!

  44. Pam Jacob says

    I buy my fabric at Hobby Lobby and if you have a smart phone, you can pull up the 40% off anytime!

  45. says

    LOVE this no sew diane! love, it I tell you! I saw it on pinterest, quickly re-pinned it, then clicked through and saw that it didn’t go to your site, but did link to your site. SEW (hahaha) I deleted that pin, and repinned from YOU! :)

    have a super day friend!

    gail

  46. Marilynn says

    Every year I spend a fortune ordering a new cushion cover for my wicker(resin) sofa on my screen-in back porch. I like changing things up. I thought about learning to sew my own, but I haven’t sewn in years and it felt like a heck of a project.

    Your instructions are so easy that I might very well change the cover when my mood changes – rather than once a year, and save hundreds of dollars in the process.

    Thanks – Bravo!

  47. Kari says

    I was just thinking of this the other day, I’m trying to make cushions from scratch for our patio chairs on a very very low budget and was just wondering if i could use any kind of foam or do i need to get foam specified for outdoor use? What would be more cost effective, using a shower curtain or plastic table cloths to cover the cushions with if they are going to stay outside the whole summer?

    I love coming to your blog to get ideas! Its helped me out more ways than i count! Thank you!

  48. Linda says

    Kari: my friend and I pinned plastic tablecloths over her old cushion covers and they lasted the whole summer. Recently I discovered that another friend (she told me because I could not tell by looking) has used two old bed pillows to make a long cushion for her swing. She used outdoor fabric and sewed it into a long tube to slip the pillows into. Plastic tablecloths–esp. the flannel backed ones–could be sewn like this, too, or pinned, and so could plastic shower curtain liners. These ideas might not be as durable as other materials, but should work for the whole summer.

  49. Janice says

    Hi! I came across your website typing into google: DIY seat bench cover easy cheap! This is exactly what I am looking for! I just finished a DIY project (got to give a lot of thanks to my DAD!!) and need to make a cushioned, long seat cover! I love this idea, and it is right up my alley!! EASY AND CHEAP…yet it looks so FABULOUS!! Thank you :)

  50. Kimberly says

    Thank you!

    I have been searching for a custom cushion and these tips certainly helped out!

  51. sumi says

    I have bay window (actually looks like 3 bay windows joined together in a half hexagon shape) in my kitchen breakfast area. I also have 3 thick fabric window treatments from my old house. After I stumbled upon your idea, I thought it is GREAT IDEA!!! I went and checked out Hobby Lobby. They have 2″ poly foam. Since it is kitchen, I will be able to take out the fabric and wash when it gets soiled.

    The kitchen window is painted. So it is smooth surface. My only fear is the cushion shouldnt keep slipping off the window. What do you think is a a way to prevent it?

    I dont have an electric knife. How much does one cost? Can I use big scissors to cut the foam? What extra precautions do I have to take where one cushion meets the other? I will have to make 3 such cushions to cover all the 3 windows. Do you think I should measure some extra foam so that the cushions fit snug?

    Your answers will be very hepful!!

  52. Maxine says

    I’d like to add to your idea. A few people asked if it was weather proof. Use the same technique but with vinyl table clothes for around $3 or $4. If you prefer fabric, purchase a can of waterproof spray by Scotchgard or Aqua Armor found at most hardware stores. Not sure of the price but it will protect the fabric for longer usage.

  53. Donna says

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

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. Theresa says

    Beautiful!!
    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.

  57. 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.

    Thanks!

    • 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.

  58. 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.
    http://www.itsybitsypaperblog.com

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