I love the outdoors! One of my favorite summer pass times is sitting on our deck with a cold drink and enjoying the warm summer breeze. This week, I’m making some DIY Outdoor Pillow Covers to freshen up our space.
Much of our outdoor furniture is dated and old, so I’m updating it one project at a time. We purchased our patio set from a big box store many years ago. I never liked the cushions that came with the set, but the price was right!
There are three reasons I decided to cover the pillows instead of buying new ones. First, outdoor pillows and cushions are really expensive and I have a lot of them! Second, I can’t ever seem to find the colors and patterns I’m looking for. And third, the ones we have are still in decent shape.
Here is how they look now.
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Sewing Machine (I have an old Kenmore)
- Size 14 or 16 Universal Needle
- Outdoor Thread
- Outdoor Fabric
- Fabric Scissors
- Clear Fabric Ruler
- Pen for Marking Fabric
- Straight Pins
- Soft Measuring Tape
- Old Pillows
MEASURE & CUT FABRIC
Place your fabric upside down on a flat surface and place your old pillow on top of it. Then fold the fabric over the pillow, leaving extra for your seam allowance.
Then place your clear fabric ruler on the fabric and line it up with the stripes. You can see in the picture below that the black lines on the ruler are lined up with the stripes on the fabric. Then mark a line with a pen. This is the back side of the fabric, so your line won’t show.
Cut along your line. The fabric is 54″ wide, so I was able to get two pillows, sided by side, out of one strip of fabric.
With the pillow inside the fabric, press down a little, and mark where your seam will go. Be sure to line up your stripes and pin them in place with a strait pin. Then do the same for one of the ends.
Then remove the pillow. Mark a line with your ruler for the seam and then use strait pins to hold it in place. See image below. My pillows were all the exact same size, so I used my first one as a guide and cut/pinned all four pillows at this time.
If you are new to sewing and need help setting up your machine, there is a good video here.
Starting at the fold, sew a strait stitch along one end of the cover. Don’t forget to back stitch to lock the thread in place.
When you get to the end, leave your needle in the fabric, raise the presser foot, and pivot the fabric. Then lower your presser foot back down.
Then continue sewing the long end of the cover, removing the pins as you go. Don’t forget to back stitch again at the end of the seam.
INSERT PILLOW AND HAND STITCH
Flip the cover right side out and stuff the pillow in the end.
Fold the edge of the fabric in toward the pillow. Then hand stitch the pillow closed with a regular needle and matching thread.
Note: After the first pillow was done, I closed the other three pillows with my sewing machine. I pressed the pillow down and slowly fed the folded edge of the two fabrics through the machine. It was a little tricky, but this was much faster then hand sewing them closed. Here is a picture of both the hand stitched edge and the sewing machine edge. The hand stitched edge (left pillow) looked better, but not enough to be worth the extra time.
MAKING YOUR PILLOWS LAST
When not in use, I store all of my pillows in outdoor deck boxes. My pillows were more than seven years old before I covered them. If left out in the sun and rain, pillows will rarely make it past two seasons. Another option for making them last a little longer is to cover them in waterproof fabric spray.
I have not tried fabric spray personally. It seems to get mixed reviews online. But, I just wanted you to know that the product exists.
Did you find this post useful or inspiring? Hover over the image below and save this pin to your DIY Projects Board on Pinterest. 🙂
And one more pin.
Let me know what you think. Are you going to update your deck or patio furniture with outdoor pillow covers?
Thanks for stopping by!