Make your own REVERSIBLE Patio Chair Cushions

You have no idea how happy spring makes me.  It’s the welcoming committee for summer.  It’s proof that warmer weather exists.  It encourages new plant growth.  It beckons my children to come outdoors.  It encourages my pasty white winter skin to make an appearance. ;)  I just love it!

 

 We inherited an old patio set from my brother a few months ago (thanks Greg!) and let me tell ya……..we have enjoyed many days this spring, sitting in those patio chairs and having picnics up to our new hand-me-down table.  We’ve never had a patio set before but it’s actually kinda nice to have outdoor furniture to use while enjoying this beautiful spring weather.

 

The fabric that was on it was fine.  A little faded……..but still holding up really well.  However, you know me and fabric.  We start dreaming together.  So, I decided to recover the cushions with a happier print.

 

But I couldn’t decide on just one fabric.  So, I picked two……and made the cushions REVERSIBLE!!  You know, so that my chair cushions can change with my mood.  Ha!

 IMG_5531

 

 

 

Goodbye old seat cushions…..HELLOOOOOO new ones!!!

 

patio chair cushions

 

 

 

I kinda love that you get a partial view of the other fabric on the back, even when it’s not in use.

 

IMG_5502

 

 

 

Now, if you don’t have existing cushions to recover, I’ll share how to make them from scratch……..no worries!  The shape and technique is pretty simple.  Anyone can give this reversible seat cushion technique a try! :)

 

 

outdoor chair cushions

 

 

 

 

And in case you’re worried about fabric outdoors……this is an “Outdoor Fabric”.  So it’s pre-treated and nice and thick.  And perfect for our little patio chairs.

 IMG_5494

 

 

 

 

Oh, how I love the new punch of color this gives our back patio!  Makes me enjoy my favorite parts of spring, twice as much!

 IMG_5563

 

 

 

Would you like to recover some chair cushions (or start from scratch)?

 

***Remember, if you don’t have existing cushions, you can still make these from scratch.  I’ll show you below.***

 

 

If you have existing chair cushions that are in pretty good condition and the foam inside is still comfortable, just cover them.   It will speed the process up for you.

 IMG_5146

 

 

Just remove them from your chairs and take a look at them.  Most likely, they’ll be a rounded rectangle with some ties on them. 

 

Measure your cushion length and width.  And make sure when your measuring, to flatten out the foam a bit so that you can get an accurate measurement of the existing fabric.  My cushions were 20 inches wide and 37 inches tall.

 IMG_5154

 

 

However, if you don’t have cushions, measure your chair back height, seat depth, and chair width.  This will give you some measurements for your own rectangle shaped cushion.  Be sure to determine how high you want your cushion to go on the back and how much of the seat you want to cover.  I would have liked for the existing cushions to have more seat depth to them…..but I didn’t want to reconstruct them, so I just went with it.  But if you’re making from scratch, you get to determine that.  Also, the chair width is only a guide.  You may want your cushions a little wider.  My chair width is 17 inches but my cushions are 20 inches wide.  Also, when you fold the pads in half and place them on the chair, it takes some length away.  So, you may want to add a few inches to the length of the cushion to account for that. 

 IMG_5258

 

TIP FOR THOSE STARTING FROM SCRATCH: The easiest way to determine your fabric size is to cut your foam first. My foam is about 1 – 1.5 inches thick.  You don’t need super plush (and if it’s too thick it will be hard to sew through) but adding a little foam adds comfort to your cushion.  Hold your foam up to your chair, fold it to contour with the chair and trim down if necessary.  Now you can determine your fabric sizes by measuring around your foam piece.  (Just be sure to add a bit to the length and width, to account for the 1 inch or so foam thickness.)

 

 

 

After you have the cushion length and width measurements that you need, add an inch for seam allowance to both of those numbers.  So, my existing cushion measured 20 x 37 inches but after adding an inch, I knew I needed to cut out pieces at 21 x 38 inches.

 

Cut out 2 different pieces of fabric in the size you need.

 IMG_5164

 ***I purchased this fabric at Joann Fabric and I needed about 2.5 yards of each color to make all 4 seat cushions.  The fabric is OUTDOOR fabric and has been pre-treated to withstand weather conditions.

 

 

Now, you could leave the cushions square but that may create very pointy corners with such stiff fabric.  So, rounding them helps with that.  Fold your fabric in half and round off two corners at the same time.  Just take off a little so that the rectangle shape is still there but there’s no more pointy corners.

 IMG_5167

 

 

Then fold it in half the other way and use the rounded corners as a guide for the other corners.  (This will assure all curved corners are exactly the same.)

 IMG_5171

 

 

There you go……a rounded corner rectangle piece of fabric.

 IMG_5172

 

 

Now, place together with the other piece of fabric (right sides together), match up the sides, and cut each corner exactly like the top piece.  Trim any wonky edges if needed, so that both pieces match up.

IMG_5181 

 

 

IMG_5192 

 

 

Now, leave those pieces together and start cutting strips of fabric for the ties.  Each of my ties were about 12 inches completed.  But I added 2 inches to that for seam allowances.  So, I knew I needed 8 total ties per cushion at 14 inches long and 2 inches wide.  That’s one long piece of fabric that’s 112 x 2 inches.  You can make each strip in separate pieces but it’s easier to make it in one long piece (or 2) and then cut them after turning into a tube, etc.

 IMG_5197

 

 

 

Then, because this fabric is so stiff (and would have been hard to sew into a tube and turn right side out), I folded it in half lengthwise, opened it up, and folded those edges in towards that center fold and ironed again. You know, just like making Bias Tape.

IMG_5205

 

 

Then I sewed the strip closed, making it about a 1/2 inch wide.

IMG_5213

 

 

Then, I cut my long strip into 14 inch long pieces.

IMG_5221

 

 

Next, I folded an end over a 1/4 inch, another 1/4 inch, and then sewed into place.  You only need to do this on one end per strip.  The other end will be attached to the cushion and doesn’t need to be finished off.

IMG_5237

 

 

Then, determine where your strips will go.  I just added mine exactly where they were on the previous cushion.  But, if you don’t have existing cushions, go look at your chair and see where you can tie the cushion on.  The bottom ties should sit right above where the fold of the cushion will be.  Then, take one of your fabric rectangle pieces and pin your ties right to the sides.  (If you’re starting from scratch and your chair is like mine, the chair back is taller then the seat is long…….so be sure to measure your chair and determine how tall you want the back section to be, compared to the seat.  My seat cushion is divided so that the top section is 20 inches tall and seat portion is 17 inches……just to give you an idea.)

IMG_5227

 

 

Be sure to pin the unfinished ends right along the edge of the fabric……and then sew in place, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

ties for patio chair

 

 

Then, place your other rectangle piece right on top (with sides together) and match up all the sides and corners.  Pin in place.

IMG_5246

 

 

And then sew around the entire thing, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance……….but leave a large opening along the bottom.

IMG_5250

 

 

Turn right side out and lightly iron flat.  And I say lightly because you don’t want hard crisp lines because this has to curve nicely around the foam.

IMG_5430

 

 

If you’re using your old cushions, cut the old ties off…….

IMG_5437

 

 

……and slide right into the new covers.

IMG_5442

 

 

Adjust until it fits nicely inside.

IMG_5449

 

 

Then, fold the edges of the opening towards the inside, a 1/2 inch.  And then hand-stitch the opening closed.

IMG_5485

 

 

Now, determine where the old center fold was (where the cushion folds in half) by feeling with your fingers…..

IMG_5450

 

 

…..and then mark with chalk or pins.  (If you are starting from scratch, just mark where you want your cushion to fold.  If your chair is like mine, the chair back is taller then the seat is long…….so be sure to measure your chair and determine how tall you want the back section to be, compared to the seat.  My seat cushion is divided so that the top section is 20 inches and seat portion is 17 inches……just to give you an idea.)

IMG_5452

 

 

At the sides, I pleated the fabric inwards to help with the fold of the cushion.  It’s fine if you skip this but after it’s folded in half on your chair, it will poke out a bit.  So, pleating it inwards about a 1/2 inch will help eliminate that.

IMG_5465

 

 

Pin the pleat in place.

IMG_5470

 

 

And then sew all the way along the center of the cushion, including the pleats at both sides.  (I used my regular sewing machine and had to really help it through.  Just be patient and go slowly.)  Be sure to follow along the pins or the chalk line that you drew, so that your cushion fold is even.  However, if your line wavers and isn’t exactly straight (like mine on the left), it won’t really matter after you fold it.  You can’t really see it (like show on the right).

patio chair cover

 

 

My cushions had horizontal lines sewn into the seat back portion and the seat base.  It just helps keep the cover in place……so I decided to do that again.  So, I felt for the line of stitching, added pins as a guide, and sewed right on top, just like I did above.

IMG_5481

 

 

And thats it!!  Brand new seat cushions to enjoy! :)

 

Now go and enjoy your good weather!

-Ashley

 

 

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Featured Sponsor:


 

Related posts:

Filed under Featured, Home Decor, Sewing

Comments

36 Responses to “Make your own REVERSIBLE Patio Chair Cushions”
  1. 1
    Toni says:

    Hi there! I’m a new reader here and love, love those cushion covers. Thank you for the tutorial!
    Have a great weekend.

  2. 2
    Pam says:

    You are amazing, I love all your projects and your tutorials are wonderful. I’ve learned so much from you.
    Thank You, Thank You!!!

  3. 3
    Amanda says:

    Did you hand sew along the fold line and stitching lines? Or did you make it fit into your sewing machine?

  4. 4
    Amanda :) says:

    I love it, thanks for sharing!

  5. 5

    I love it! Good jod Ashley.

  6. 6
    Allyson says:

    Love these, and your tutorials. Just wondering what type of thread you used and needle size?

    • 6.1
      Ashley says:

      I just used regular thread and a universal needle. I’m sure using a sturdier needle would be a great choice…..I just didn’t have one. :)

  7. 7
    Sarah says:

    Adorable! Like always- you rock!

  8. 8
    Virginie says:

    Those cushions are great! I love the fabric you chose, and the tutorial is very clear. I love your tutorials, they are so good! (I made the Cinderella dress for my daughter from your tutorial, she loved it!) Thanks for sharing so much with us like you do.

  9. 9

    I love this, thank you so much! I live in AZ and our cushions get destroyed by the sun every summer! And btw, I love your view from the backyard, so pretty!

  10. 10
    May says:

    Love the tutorial. Looks so easy, but again I LOVE to sew. My sister wants new cushions, I will let her know bout your tutorial. I love your site….

  11. 11
    Kate says:

    yay, my husband just made some patio chairs so I needed this!

  12. 12

    How much fun are those cushions!! I love how they add such great impact to your outdoor chairs!

    Jenny
    Seamingly Smitten sewing patterns
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/SeaminglySmitten

  13. 13
    Benji says:

    I love the look of the cushions, what inspired your choice of patterns?

  14. 14
    Christine says:

    What kind of foam should you choose for making them from scratch so it’s good for outdoor use?

  15. 15
    Kris Lee says:

    These are great,and it gives me the incentive to tackle my cushions that have needed this for several years, yes I have procrastinated this again!!
    one thing I would do is to paint your table and chairs to match the cushions….Maybe blue, or bright green?

  16. 16

    Absolutely wild about these cushions. You’ve got our office excited to sew some for their respective patios!

  17. 17

    Absolutely wild about these cushions! You’ve got our office excited to make some for their respective patios :)

  18. 18

    These processes usually involve the use of a
    mouth tray that is sometimes formed to fit your exact
    bite. There are hundreds of different whitening products
    on the market that promise to make your teeth whiter.
    A naturally brilliant smile with improved whiteness is offered by its products.

  19. 19
    Penny says:

    I got a lot of help from your pictures and the explaining of how to do the seat cushions.Thank you so much for posting that!You’re a real life saver!

  20. 20

    First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which
    I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I’ve had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts
    out. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any recommendations or hints? Thanks!

  21. 21

    Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!

    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to
    him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  22. 22
    Cathyjo says:

    I’m saving this, you are so wonderful at sharing, thank you for explaining and
    Using great photos! Very well done!

  23. 23
    Kelli says:

    Thanks! This tutorial is great. I love the detail you give. Our readers are always looking for easy to follow tutorials from great ideas. We will definitely be mentioning this post and point our readers your way.

  24. 24
    Katy P says:

    Excellent post! I searched for instructions to sew patio chair cushions and found this – could not be more detailed and helpful. Thanks so much – I’m ready to sew!

Notes and Comments