Are your chair cushions looking a little sad after the long winter? Do you want to recover your outdoor cushions for the summer? I can show you how to do it … quickly and easily.
First, my story: I’ve wanted rocking chairs on my big porch for years now. A couple of weeks ago, Greg bought us two beautiful wicker chairs. They were a brown that didn’t go with our house, so he painted them white for me. But the cushions were still the boring beige the chairs originally came with. I am NOT a beige kinda girl. So we went to the fabric store and picked out a bright and cheerful outdoor canvas. But the fabric sat around for a while without me working on it at all. Sound familiar?
But yesterday afternoon was a glorious day and I knew it was time to recover those ugly cushions. It took only about an hour to do both cushions, from start to finish. And my cushions were not even perfectly square. Let me show you how you can do it quickly and easily, too!
DIY Outdoor Cushion Recover Materials
- A cushion
- Outdoor canvas (3″ longer and wider as your cushion x 2 — I used a little less than one yard of fabric per cushion)
- Pins (about a dozen)
- A way to secure your fabric (I used a sewing machine first, and then hand sewed it closed with needle and thread, but you could also use Liquid Stitch)
How to Recover Your Outdoor Cushions: Step by Step
First, lay your fabric out on a flat surface, pattern side up, and position your cushion on it. Put your cushion in the top corner of the fabric, with the rear of the cushion near the top side, and allow enough space on the side for the fabric to wrap up the side of the cushion. If your fabric is too wide or too long, trim it now. Just be sure there is ample fabric on both sides of your cushion (I left three extra inches on each side).
Next, pull your fabric up and over your cushion so it is covered it entirely. Your fabric will meet at the top. Leave an extra three inches of fabric at the top and then trim any excess.
Once your fabric is in place on your cushion, pin the two sides closed. If your cushion is tapered at the back like mine, I recommend you skip the last pin and mark it in another way, such as pins on each side of the fabric in the spot you would have pinned it (just don’t close it) or a fabric marker.
Be sure to pin the other side of your cushion, too.
Now carefully pull the cushion out. If your cushion narrows at the back as mine does and you find it hard to remove, simply curl the cushion like a taco inside of the fabric, and you’ll be able to remove it easily.
Sew up each side where you pinned it, then remove the pins. In the photo below, you can see my black stitch lines.
Next, insert your cushion back into the fabric “envelope” you’ve made (do not turn the fabric right side out yet). Note the extra fabric at each of two front corners of your cushion. Pin the fabric together at both corner so it is taut against the cushion.
Remove the fabric from the cushion again and sew a line along the corner in the spot you pinned. Remove the pins.
Now turn your fabric right side out and insert your cushion. In the photo below, you can see how I’ve curled my cushion to fit it into the fabric envelope I’ve made.
Push your cushion all the way down into the fabric. Look at the beautiful corner this makes!
Now fold up the remaining fabric at the back of the cushion, just like you’re wrapping a present. Pin it into place.
Hand stitch the fabric closed. Double your thread for strength.
And you’re done!
Go put your pretty new cushion on your chair and enjoy the weather!
I hope you can see now how easy it is to recover your cushions. This only took me about 20 minutes tops to do. When this cushion fades, I’ll just get a new fabric and recover it again. Easy peasy! I also plan to make a padded headrest for these wicker rockers—stay tuned for that tutorial later on!
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