Looking to replace the outdoor chair cushion covers on your outdoor patio, porch or deck seating? Outdoor furniture cushion covers can take a beating from the weather and every few years can use a refresh. Here are 5+ DIY Ideas that will show you how to make new covers for them, some of them don’t even require sewing
I have been blogging for 9 years now… in posting terms that means I have posted many “get your outdoor living spaces ready for the summer posts”. If you have been thinking about ways to refresh your porch, patio or deck now that the weather is turning warmer, one way to do it is to add a few stylish and colorful outdoor chair cushions to accent the space.
I know there are literally hundreds of tutorials already out in blogland and on Pinterest about how to make outdoor chair cushion covers. I am going to add one more only because I want to emphasize that they can be made in so many ways that there should be nothing stopping you from making your seat cushions yourself to make your outdoor spaces shine.
Also at the end of this post, I am listing some of my early cushion cover posts that I did here on the blog “B.P.” (Before Pinterest). All of them step-by-step that will show you how easy it is to make new covers for those faded, time-worn, covered in bird droppings, outdoor chair cushions!
Even if your outdoor chair cushions are in good shape like mine are, covering them using any of my easy techniques will give you options to change the color and pattern for special occasions or just on a whim. I wanted to cover my cushions since the solid off white color gets dirty very quickly.
I found this fabric at JoAnn Fabrics. I waited to buy it until I had a 40% off coupon. It is indoor/outdoor fabric that is easy to clean and maintain.
I made these outdoor chair cushion covers the same way I made the covers for the cushions on my DIY slipcovered sofa that I used to have in my living room. I call it semi-sewing where I still use a sewing machine, but skip the standard box cushion cover that usually has piping and a zipper.
The back cushions are simply big pillows that I made really simple covers for using one long length of fabric.
One question I always receive when I post about outdoor cushions and pillows is: “Do you cover your outdoor furniture when not in use?” In the past I have tried using vinyl covers, but found it is easier to just bring the cushions inside my house when not in use. It is not ideal and I am currently looking into purchasing this outdoor cushion storage box. Does anyone have one of these or something similar? Does it make it handy to store cushions in when not in use and easy to retrieve when you want to use them?
How to Make Outdoor Chair Cushion Covers
If you are a seamstress or simply a better sewer than I am, then I know you will have your own way of making boxed style cushion covers for seating cushions. I never learned to sew like a pro. The only instruction I received was in 7th grade Home-Ec class where we didn’t learn a lot, only how to make an unflattering skirt that the teacher made everyone in the class make. :-)
Since then I have learned a few things on my own along with some tricks I learned when I worked in retail display and we needed to create decor in an afternoon using only what we had in the store’s prop room. I became resourceful and the best part about DIY’ing is that you can to…and do it all in your own style.
For anyone who may be saying, I can’t sew or I don’t have the time, I know you can do it and maybe seeing all the different types of cushions I have made may inspire you and give one a try.
- ribbon – 8 lengths cut about 12″ or longer depending on the size of the cushion you are covering.
- yardstick or measuring tape
- sewing machine
- straight pins
1. Measure your cushion (height, width, depth) and determine how much yardage you will need. I usually eyeball this and look at the whole process as if I were wrapping a gift box with wrapping paper.
2. Lay cushion on a small table or stool. Place fabric right side down on cushion. This allows the fabric to hang down so you can easily work on all four corners.
3. Bring two sides of the fabric together at one corner. Use straight pins to fit the fabric to the corner. This will become a seam. Repeat on the other 3 corners of the cushion.
4. Cut away excess fabric at each corner, leaving about 2 inches of fabric away from line of pins.
5. Remove fabric from cushion and sew all the seams on a sewing machine. Turn fabric right side out.
6. Place cover back onto cushion. It will look like this with the corner seams going up and over the bottom of the cushion.
7. If it fits OK, then remove again, turn right side in and sew a finished edge/hem along all raw edges.
Place cover back onto cushion.
8. The next step is to add ribbon ties to the edges of the fabric that will hold the cover on. They will be hidden on the underside of the cushion. I have found that adding 2 ties to each side will keep the cover taut and looks like a traditionally made box style cushion cover.
9. Fold over end of each ribbon to make a finished edge and pin to fabric edge as shown in the illustration above. The ribbon does not have to be exactly placed like this. You just want to se the ribbon on so each is across from one on the other side. #3 can be up closer so it is in line with #6 and #2 with #7.
10. Once each piece of ribbon is sewn on, tie opposite sides together so cushion cover is secure.
I made two covers and since you never see the ties, I used scraps of black and green ribbon that I had to make the ties for the second cushion.
How to Make a Large Pillow Style Cushion Cover
The back cushions on my chairs are large pillows, not box cushions like the seat cushions. To make the cover for these is really easy. You can read a more detailed tutorial on how easy it is to make them in this post: How to Make a Pillow Cover Without Using a Sewing Pattern
Outdoor Cushion Fabric Resources:
Pillow Back Cushions: Solarium Rydell Summer
Seat Cushions: Solarium Dazzle Ocean
How to Take Care Of Chair Cushion Covers
If your outdoor chair cushions are in good shape and just need a little sprucing up, check out this post: How To Clean Outdoor Patio Cushions
More Tutorials: No-Sew Chair Cushion Covers
Easy Sew Outdoor Chair Cushion Covers
Indoor or Outdoor Cushion Covers
These can be made either for indoor or outdoor use depending on the fabric you choose.