Monday, March 26, 2012

How to Recover an Outdoor Patio Cushion

Last fall I neglected to bring the outdoor cushions and pillows from our patio furniture inside for the winter. Big mistake. You'd think I could have managed to do that sometime between the months of October and March, but no. I'm obviously a very busy woman. Anyway, when I took a good look at the cushions last week I knew something would need to be done.

Exhibit #A - Faded and worn looking cushions...


Contrary to popular belief there are some things I'd rather buy than have to make myself -- patio cushions being one of those things. A few days ago I set out to find some reasonably priced cushions for our patio furniture. What I found was that they are ridiculously over-priced. When I totaled all the pieces I needed for our three patio sets it was well over $200. I might be able to rationalize spending that amount of money if I could find some attractive cushions, but I couldn't. At all. Most of the chair pads, cushions and outdoor pillows look like they belong in a cabana in the Bahamas or a grass shack in Hawaii. While that might be nice if you live on an island or by the ocean, when you live smack dab in the middle of the Rocky Mountains tropical prints tend to look a little out of place. Also, most of the cushions I found were in dingy, dark and outdated fabrics. Once again, I turned to my faithful sewing machine and some fabulous outdoor prints from Hancock Fabrics and came up with the chair pad below. {Please ignore the bright turquoise chair -- it will be spray painted a deep espresso brown later this week.}

Exhibit B - Newly recovered chair pad...


Several other coordinating fabrics will grace the other pieces of furniture on our patio {I'll show those later}, but for now I'd like to show you how easy it is to refurbish and recover tired looking patio cushions.You simply need to use the fabric of the old cushion as a pattern for the new. Then you take the innards of the former cushion and use them to fill the new cover.

Start by taking apart the old cushion. This is what the cover of the chair pad looked like after I had deconstructed the old cushion and used it as a pattern piece to cut out the new fabric...


It's funny how the new piece looks larger than the old one, but they are the same exact size. As you take the cushion apart pay attention to how it was constructed and where to place the ties. This cushion is particularly simple, but even more complicated versions are fairly easy to reconstruct. For this version you simply fold the fabric in half and sew -- leaving a hole in the seam to use to fill cushion. It couldn't be easier. Make sure you put the new ties into the seams at the appropriate places, box the front corners, refill with the padding of the former cushion and sew up the hole! It's such an easy process and you can get remarkable results...

{fabric: "Kimono" by thomaspaul for Suburban Home}

This fabric cost $13.99/yard on sale (reg. $19.99) at Hancock Fabrics. Fabric.com has more reasonably priced outdoor fabric, but I fell in love with the prints at Hancock's. It will cost me about $120 to make all the cushion covers that I need for our patio furniture, which is kind of pricey for a DIY project, but I'm still saving a bundle and getting exactly what I love! This time when I'm finished making all the pieces I'm spraying them with Scotchgard as well. This will help prolong the life of them.

Here's a sneak peak at one of the outdoor pillows that I refurbished over the weekend also. 
First the old one...


...and below is the same form newly recovered
 in one of the coordinating fabrics I bought at Hancock Fabrics.

{fabric: "Bird Tree" designed by thomaspaul for Suburban Home} 

I'm going to be busy this week recovering the rest of the cushions and spray painting a table and chairs.  Luckily, it's going to be the perfect weather to paint!

 
Love those little birdies!
Check out more patio cushion redos here!

Linked to:
DIY Under $15 @ A Little Tipsy

Sew Cute Tuesday @ Creative Itch; Trash to Treasure @ Sassy Sites; Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog; Made by You Monday @ Skip to my Lou; Made Monday @ Toasties Studio

7 comments:

Holly said...

Very nice! I am in almost the same situation. I had finally decided I would just buy new cushions for some very old, wooden outdoor furniture we have even though it is so expensive, but none of the pre-made cushions fit my furniture. So I'll be making cushions instead.

Sandy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I really need to do this for my cushions too. Living in Arizona, the hot sun really fades my cushions in no time!

Linda Southworth said...

How pretty your birds are! I am sure you will enjoy! And I agree Fabric.com does have good pricing. I bought outdoor fabric last year to make new cushions/pillows. I did not sew them last year so I have the opportunity now. You have just reminded me. Enough procrastinating!

Jillian said...

Super cute fabric! looks good!

Chris said...

Very nice!! LOVE the trees!! :)

Creative Raisins said...

That looks so good, I love the fabric you picked

Jill ~ Jillify It said...

I LOVE cushions now!! I would love for you to share it at my party going on now at Jillify It!

Jill
www.jillifyit.com