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Easy Ways to Make Indoor and Outdoor Chair Cushion Covers

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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.

How to make outdoor chair cushion covers

In this post I am sharing my step-by-step tutorials that will show you how easy it is to make new covers for those faded, time-worn, covered in bird droppings, outdoor chair cushions! 

Outdoor Living room complete with chairs and pretty 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 mildew stains and shows dirt very quickly. 

Easy Sew Outdoor Furniture Cushion Covers

I found this fabric at JoAnn Fabrics. I waited to buy it until I had a 40% off coupon. It is indoor/outdoor fabric like Sunbrella that is easy to clean and maintain.

The pillow back cushions were made using Solarium Rydell Summer.  The fabric on the seat cushions is: Solarium Dazzle Ocean

Outdoor Patio Furniture Cushion Covers to make

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.

How to make outdoor chair cushion covers the easy way

The back cushions are simply big outdoor pillows that I made really simple covers for using one long length of fabric.

How to Make Outdoor Chair Cushion Covers

At the end of this post you will find a listing of all my cushion cover posts so you can choose which one will work the best for the seating cushions in your home.

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.  :-)

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.

These are removable cushion covers that are tied onto the underside of the cushion.

supplies needed:

  • fabric 
  • thread
  • 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
  • Scissors
Hoe to make chair cushion covers without piping or zippers?

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.

how to make covers for chair cushions

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.

An easy alternative to making boxed chair cushion slipcovers

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.

Step by step photo tutorial on how to make chair cushion covers

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.

Cushion slipcover tutorial that has no piping or zippers.

6. Place cover back onto cushion.  It will look like this with the corner seams going up and over the bottom of the cushion.

Easy sew home decorating with fabric projects.

7. If it fits OK, then remove again, turn right side in and sew a finished edge/hem along all raw edges.

Alternatives to using zippers when making chair cushion covers.

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.

How to make a box style cushion with no piping or zippers.

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.

How to make a chai.r cushion without using a zipper to close it

10. Once each piece of ribbon is sewn on, tie opposite sides together so cushion cover is secure.

Easy to make chair cushion covers

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

How to make outdoor chair pillows.

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 Cushion fabric – no longer in stock

How to Take Care Of Outdoor Chair Cushion Covers

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?

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 Outdoor Cushion Cover Tutorials

No-Sew Chair Cushion Covers

How to make a no sew cushion cover for any size seat, chair or sofa.
No SEw Banquette Cushion covers to DIY
Easy to make no sew decorating ideas
Cover stool or any chair seat with colorful dishcloths. They are fun and affordable when decorating on a budget.

Easy Sew Outdoor Chair Cushion Covers

Monogrammed pool chaise cushion covers DIY

Indoor or Outdoor Cushion Covers

These can be made either for indoor or outdoor use depending on the fabric you choose.

Easy sew custom box cushions to fit any chair shape or style. Full step by step tutorial shows you how to make thick box style chair cushions that are perfect for dining chairs
How To sew a simple slipcover for an ottoman cushion
Make this fun and flirty pom pom trim for a slipcover. The pom poms are attached in a way that can be easily removed so you can launder the slipcover and not the pom pom trim. Easy home decorating project.
How-to-Recover-Your-Outdoor-Cushions-and-your-Indoor cushions, too

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32 Comments

  1. Love this post, Diane. Do you leave your pillows and cushions outside all the time? I don’t have a covered patio so they will get rained on. I usually put them in my tool shed when I think it’s going to rain, but I hate having to take them out and put them back all the time.

  2. We used a storage box similar to the one you are considering for years and it really added to the ‘longevity’ of the cushions. One suggestion is to give it a good ‘bug spraying’ before winter, so that you do not find a newly established family having taken up residence over the winter :).

  3. Hi my lifesaver. I cannot believe that you could make this slip now.I am at the moment planning on slip covering my cushions on my rattan chairs and love seat. Now my only problem is can I do this with the cushions that rest at the back of the chairs (they are not pillow like, they are the same shape of the seats but smaller.As far as the larger love seat I would just put more ribbons on it to draw it tight. This procedure sounds so easy. Now what about the back cushions. I am not sure if you see the back through the rattan. Anyways this whole idea is fantastic. …Betty from Ontario, Canada. P.S. I love your waterfront home.

  4. You are a godsend Diane. Thank you again for such a wonderful, timely post…now to get busy!