Incorporating furniture into your outdoor living space is a wonderful way to create a warm and inviting area to enjoy and entertain friends. Eventually though, your outdoor furniture will need some sprucing up due to weather and wear. Lets look at how to recover your outdoor furniture cushions with durable, fade & stain resistant fabric.
After much research, I decided on Sunbrella fabric to recover my outdoor cushions. Sunbrella has a great reputation for durability and easy cleaning, without the worry of mold or mildew growth. This is particularly appealing to me because my original patio cushions mildewed during the first rainy season and after trying virtually everything to clean it off, the stains remained.
I priced replacement cushions for my patio set and they were $300 + shipping! My complete furniture set was only $500 brand new.
By measuring each of my cushions, I determined that I needed 3.5 yards of fabric. Here is a great tool to help you calculate how much material you will need for your cushions: http://fabric-calculator.com/box-cushions.aspx
You’ll also need:
- A zipper for each cushion
- Fabric scissors
- Pins (to hold material together while sewing)
- Sewing machine
- Polyester thread
- Seam ripper
After sifting through all the colors offered by Sunbrella, Charcoal Outdoor Fabric was the clear choice. This fabric has a slight sheen to it and is very soft compared to most outdoor fabrics which usually have a very rough texture. To get started, I used a seam ripper to disassemble the fabric on my current cushions and used this material as a pattern to trace and cut the Sunbrella fabric accurately.
Once all the pieces were cut out, I started assembling the zippers. To do this, you need to cut one piece of your boxing in half for each cushion you wish to have a zipper on. Attach the zipper to the two pieces of fabric using pins. This will help ensure that the zipper stays centered on the fabric strip during sewing.
Once the zipper is attached, flip it over and stitch on either side of the zipper to create a nice professional appearance.
Now sew all four pieces of your boxing together.
Pin your boxing to your top and bottom cushion pieces and sew together. Remember that your finish sides should all be facing inward and your rough sides and seam should be facing outward while sewing.
After you have sewn your cushions together, serge or use a zig-zag stitch (if you don’t have a surger) to finish the edges. This will ensure strong, long lasting seams. Now you’re ready to stuff your cushions. The foam from my original cushions was still in good shape so I was able to use these. If your cushions are in bad shape, you can pick up new foam at your local craft store.
Having never sewn cushion covers before, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually is to do. The Sunbrella fabric has already held up much better than the previous cushion material and it is far easier to clean. This is the only outdoor material I know of that you can actually use a diluted bleach solution on without causing damage!