Fire Pit Season: Patio Cushions

How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly DogThe temperatures are finally dropping in Tucson, so while people in many parts of the country are covering up or storing their patio furniture, we are getting ready to make use of ours. The cooler temperatures mean we can finally take advantage of our fire pit and start toasting some marshmallows!

We have two lovely benches by our fire pit, but the Arizona sun takes it's toll on outdoor furnishings. The cushions were absolutely shredded by the sun. After my chair re-upholstery project a couple months ago, I felt confident that I could make my own cushions.

If you can sew in a straight line, making basic patio cushions is a snap. However, depending on the size of the cushions you are making, you may need a fairly large work surface to support the cushions while you sew.

Materials


  • outdoor fabric
  • 1 - 1 1/2 inch thick upholstery foam
  • cutting and sewing supplies

Directions


Before you go to the store and buy fabric, measure the cushions you are replacing to determine how much fabric you will need. (I made two bench cushions that were 60 inches wide and 35 inches high with 6 yards of fabric.) Outdoor fabric can be a bit pricey, so I recommend waiting until it's on sale or using a coupon.

It's also worth taking a minute to look closely at the condition of the foam inside your old cushions because you may be able to salvage it. Upholstery foam isn’t cheap and can be tricky to find depending on where you live. I decided to reuse the foam from the old cushions I was replacing.

How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Cut your fabric to the desired size. The width should be your cushion width plus 2 1/2 inches. (That gives you a 1 1/4 inch extra on each side.) The height of your fabric is twice the height of the cushion plus 1 1/2 inches. (It’s a 3/4 inch seam allowance in this direction.)
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Press and pin both sides of the fabric under 1 inch. Stitch 1/4 inch from the pressed edge.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Fold the fabric in half, widthwise, right sides together, as shown. Pin the raw edges together and sew using a 3/4 inch seam allowance.

Press the seam to one side.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Turn the fabric right side out. Carefully measure and position the seam so that the seat and back of the cushion are the desired height. Pin along the seam. Sew across the cushion along the seam.

How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Before I filled my cushions, I decided to make some ties (four per cushion) so I can secure them to the bench and they don’t blow away in the Arizona wind.

The fabric for each tie is 2 1/2 inches wide and 24 inches long.

Fold it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press to mark the center line.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Fold the edges lengthwise to the center, wrong sides together and press.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Fold in half lengthwise and press. Pin the tie and sew down the length about 1/4 inch from the open edge. The fabric I used was nylon based, so I was able to use melt the ends of the ties to finish them.

Once your ties are complete, it’s time to stuff the cushions and close them up.
How to make basic chair or bench cushions for your patio furniture | The Chilly Dog Slide the foam into the cushions. (Having both sides of the cushion open at this point made positioning the foam inserts a little easier.) Fold your ties in half and position them at the top and bottom of the seat back on each side. Pin the sides and sew them shut.

Apparently, we aren't the only ones who enjoy the new bench cushions. I caught this little guy basking on them the first morning they were on the benches. He ran up to the arm of the bench by the time I ran inside to get my camera.

How to make basic chair or bench cushions for patio furniture | The Chilly Dog


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The Chilly Dog: Fire Pit Season: Patio Cushions
Fire Pit Season: Patio Cushions
DIY Tutorial: Patio Cushions - If you can cut and sew in a straight line, making basic patio cushions for chairs or benches is a snap!
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