Freshen Up Your Patio Furniture With DIY Outdoor Pillow Covers

I love the outdoors! One of my favorite summer pastimes 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!

Before picture of outdoor pillows.

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.

Before and After outdoor pillows.

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Lay 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.

How to make outdoor pillow covers.

Next 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.

How to make outdoor pillow covers.

Cut along your line. The fabric is 54″ wide, so I was able to get two pillows, side by side, out of one strip of fabric.

How to make outdoor pillow covers.

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.

Tips for making pillow covers.

Remove the pillow and mark a line with your ruler for the seam, using strait pins to hold it in place. See the 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.

Tips for making pillow covers.


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.

Sewing outdoor pillow covers.

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.

Sewing outdoor pillow covers.

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.

Sewing outdoor pillow covers.


Flip the cover right side out and stuff the pillow in the end.

How to make outdoor pillow covers.
How to make outdoor pillow covers.

Fold the edge of the fabric in toward the pillow. Then hand stitch the pillow closed with a regular needle and matching thread.

Sewing outdoor pillow covers.

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.

Updated outdoor pillows.


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.


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Do you like learning budget friendly ways to spruce up your home? Follow me on PINTEREST. Did you know that you can hover over the images below, click on the red Pinterest circle and save it to your SUMMER HOME DECOR or DIY PROJECTS BOARD on Pinterest? It’s so helpful to Pin It now and save it for later, when your ready to start your project.

Updated outdoor pillows.
Outdoor pillow covers on a budget.

Let me know what you think. Are you going to update your deck or patio furniture with outdoor pillow covers?

Thanks for stopping by!



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