How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

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Learn how to recover outdoor patio cushions the EASY way!

Are your chair and patio cushions looking a little sad after the long winter? Do you want to recover patio cushions for the summer? Just the thing to sit in to enjoy your garden and DIY birdhouse! 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?

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

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 recover both patio cushions, from start to finish. This is a super easy sewing project … and if you don’t want to sew, there are options for that, too. And my patio cushions were not even perfectly square. Let me show you how you can recover patio cushions quickly and easily, too!

How to Recover Patio Cushions the Easy Way! - Full Tutorial

If you love to sew like me, be SURE you get a free ticket to the Sewing Summit coming up June 1-5, 2020. This is a free online sewing event with 25+ free classes, workshops, and sew-alongs for everyone from novice to advanced! I’m one of the “speakers” and have a detailed video on how to sew and assemble the Couch Caddy — this is the only place you can get my video tutorial, so be sure to sign up!
The Sewing Summit Fabric Crafts Edition Invitation

This is a full step-by-step tutorial on how to recover patio cushions! Some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!. Read my full disclosure policy.

DIY Outdoor Cushion Recover Materials

How to Recover Your Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

  • 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)
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter
  • 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 Fabri-Tac or Liquid Stitch)

How to Recover Patio Cushions: Step by Step

First, lay your fabric out on a flat surface, pattern side up, and position your patio cushion on it. Put your patio 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 patio 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 patio cushion (I left three extra inches on each side).

How to Recover Your Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Next, pull your fabric up and over your patio 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.

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Once your fabric is in place on your patio 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.

How to Recover Your Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Be sure to pin the other side of your patio cushion, too.

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |
In the above photo, you can see that I’m marking the narrow top with pins, rather than pinning it together.

Now carefully pull the cushion out. If your patio cushion narrows at the back as mine does and you find it hard to remove, simply curl the patio cushion like a taco inside of the fabric, and you’ll be able to remove it easily.

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Sew up each side where you pinned it, then remove the pins. In the photo below, you can see my black stitch lines.

How to Recover Your Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Next, insert your patio 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 patio cushion. Pin the fabric together at both corner so it is taut against the cushion.

How to Recover Your Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Remove the fabric from the cushion again and sew a line along the corner in the spot you pinned. Remove the pins.

How to Recover Your Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Now turn your fabric right side out and insert your cushion. In the photo below, you can see how I’ve curled my patio cushion to fit it into the fabric envelope I’ve made.

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Push your patio cushion all the way down into the fabric. Look at the beautiful corner this makes!

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Now fold up the remaining fabric at the back of the patio cushion, just like you’re wrapping a present. Pin it into place.

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Hand stitch the fabric closed. Double your thread for strength.

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

And you’re done! You’ve successfully recovered a patio cushion!

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Go put your pretty new recovered patio cushion on your chair and enjoy the weather!

How to Recover Your Old Outdoor Cushions Easily & Quickly |

Get my free sewing pattern PDFs to make amazing and useful things!

I hope you can see now how easy it is to recover patio cushions. This only took me about 20 minutes tops to do. When this patio cushion fades, I’ll just get a new fabric and recover it again. Easy peasy! I also made a padded headrest for these wicker rockers—if you want a tutorial for that, let me know in my sewing group here!

May 2020 Update: I recovered these patio cushions over three years ago and they’re STILL holding up! But the fabric has faded because I always forget to take them in for the winter. So it’s time to use this tutorial to recover them again! The question is — what lovely outdoor fabric should I use this time? Finding the fabric is going to be harder than recovering the cushions because our craft stores still aren’t open. I may have to get creative!

I hope this tutorial has inspired YOU to recover your outdoor patio cushions, too! I’d love to see what you do to make yours beautiful again. Please share a photo in our Sew Easy Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.


Want to remember this? Please pin this How to Recover Patio Cushions tutorial to your favorite DIY Pinterest board!

Recover Cushions for Outdoor Furniture Quickly and Easily | How-To Tutorial

Recover Cushions for Outdoor Furniture Quickly and Easily #outdoorliving #cushions #homedecor #diy Recover Your Patio Cushions Fast & Easy with this Sew/No-Sew Technique #patio #outdoorliving #diy #homedecor

Learn how to recover your outdoor cushions to freshen up your patio this spring with this quick and easy tutorial. #diy #tutorial #patio

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  1. Thanks for the tutorial on this. My next door neighbor gave us her glider and the covers on the cushions are very worn and even worse, very scratchy and itchy. My temporary solution has been to cover them with a bed sheet, but it looks terrible. I’m not a great sewer, but this looks very doable.

    1. This is definitely doable! The sew lines are straight and are pretty quick to do, even if you had to do it by hand. I should re-cover my old nursing glider, now that you mention it. Those covers are nearly 13 years old now!

      1. Hi Jennifer – I wanted to tell you I finally got brave and recovered my ratty and scratchy cushions.

        I didn’t exactly use your technique but it gave me an idea and the push to think of my own way (I used beach towels as my “fabrics”)

        I seriously think I never would have attempted this project if it wasn’t for all the encouraging posts you write throughout this blog.

        1. Oh, so happy to hear that, Susan!! Are you happy with them? And I love that you think of beach towels as one of your fabrics — that’s a wonderful idea!!

  2. I LOVE this tutorial! Pretty cushions can breathe new life into anything. I can totally relate to the feeling of buying stuff for a new project and letting it sit around for weeks on end before I finally get around to doing it. haha

  3. Wow! I came here for the cricut ideas, and found 2 other DIY’s that I want to do as well. One of them being recovering cushions. Thanks so much for all the ideas and tutorials 🙂

  4. Hi. I used your tutorial to cover my wicker chair cushions and they turned out perfect! Thank you! I now need to make new cushion covers for 2 chaise lounges. I suppose the same method could be used, making allowances for the 3 places they bend. If you have suggestions I would welcome them!

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