diy chair cushion covers
I inherited a terrific chair — a real wicker seat and ottoman — from my dear friend, Renee, who was downsizing her vast white wicker collection. It has been just sitting there in the corner of my bedroom and was hollering at me for some much needed cushions. My local fabric store had outdoor fabrics on sale, and since this chair sits right by the window, outdoor fabric is an ideal choice since it resists fading and is easy to clean. Read on to see how I started from scratch to add some cushions. It might be time to spruce up your old cushions for the patio or that favorite chair.
What you will need:
- Old newspaper
- A cushion slightly larger than the seat and the width you desire (I used a 4-inch foam cushion)
- Outdoor fabric to cover the cushion top, bottom and sides, be generous.
- Coordinating thread
What you will need to do:
Make a template of the area where you want to place the cushion. I used newspaper to get the dimensions. I just pressed it in and creased it all around and then cut along the creases for my template.
Using the template, I cut the cushion to the shape. I used some large shears, but depending on the type of cushion, an electric knife also works great.
Laying out the fabric, cut a top and bottom from the newspaper template adding 1/2 inch for the seam allowance. For the sides of the cushion, measure around the cushion and cut strips 5 inches wide (the width of the cushion plus one inch for the 1/2-inch seam allowances). Sew the side strips together until the length is equal to your measurement of the cushion plus one inch for the 1/2-inch seam allowances.
Join your side strip by stitching a 1/2-inch seam right sides together. It will form a big loop. Pin one side, right sides together, with the top of the cushion and stitch 1/2-inch seam all around. Be sure to position the seams away from the front of the cushion if possible.
Next, pin the bottom of the cushion to the other edge of the side strip (right sides together), and stitch a 1/2-inch seam. Don’t forget to leave a large opening to turn the cover and to insert the cushion.
Before you turn the cover right side out, slide in the cushion to check the fit. Yes, it is still wrong sides out, but it is easier to mark any changes you may need. I found that I wanted a very snug fit, and I ended up sewing the seams another 1/2 of an inch smaller to achieve the fit I liked.
Once you have seamed the cover to fit how you like, zig zag all of the edges of the seams. Outdoor fabric has a bigger weave and tends to ravel and this will keep everything all tidy. Now turn it right side out and iron the seams. Slip in the cushion and work to ease the cover in place.
Turn under the seams at the large opening and pin them in place. Whip stitch the opening closed. I made a cushion and cover for the chair and the ottoman. I even whipped up an easy square pillow cover in a coordinating fabric to set it off. I love the tropical print and it looks like I have a brand new chair.
If you already have cushions, try removing the existing cover to use for your template. It is amazing how a new cover can so simply freshen up the look of any chair.