Making Replacement Patio Cushions

What You'll Need
Sewing Scissors
Sewing Machine
Zippers (if replacing)
Cushion Infills, or Filling (if replacing)
Fabric Adhesive

Making replacement patio cushions is easy if you take it step-by-step. Doing it yourself opens up more options for choosing colors and designs. Fabric designs and prints are plentiful, and the chances of finding the perfect fabric for cushions is increased when making them from scratch. Fabrics and infills should be waterproof so that mold and mildew doesn't set in. Unpick the cushions to be replaced and you'll have ready-made patterns to follow. If the original infills and zippers are good enough to re-use, use them instead of purchasing new ones.

Outdoor Fabric

Outdoor fabrics like jacquard, canvas, and mesh are ideal to use for patio cushions. Sunbrella has a large range of fabrics to choose from and Bella-Dura offers funky prints, along with solid colors. There are thousands of designs available both online and from haberdashery stores.

Cord Trimming

If the cushions don't have cord trimming, there's a simple way to make your own using the same fabric as the cushions. When purchasing fabric, factor in the additional amount required for the cord trimming. Strips for the cords should be around 2 inches wide.

  • Measure the diameter of the cushion and cut fabric strips to the required length. Add 1/2 inch to the length for the seams.
  • Cut the cord slightly longer than the fabric strips so that they can be trimmed to size later.
  • Lay a fabric strip flat with the underside facing up.
  • Run a line of fabric glue along a piece of pre-cut cord. Leave 1/8 inch unglued either side of the cord.
  • Place the cord in the center of the fabric length-ways, with both ends slightly jutting out past the fabric.
  • Run a line of fabric glue along the top of the cord and another along the length where the fabric and cord meet. Again, don't glue right to the ends. The unglued fabric will be used for the seam, and the cord ends need to be cut before sewing the covered cording into the cushion.
  • Fold one side of the fabric over the top of the cord. Smooth down firmly. Use a fingernail to push the fabric tightly into the cord. Allow to dry.

Assembling the Cushions

Once all of the pieces have been cut out and the cord is ready to go, it's now time to put it all together. Because the covered cord has fabric overhanging, it won't be hard to sew it into place.

  • Sandwich the cord between the two sides that will be sewn together with the cord edge facing out. The four seams will be sewn together in one go.
  • If it helps to tack or pin each side first, do so before sewing into place.
  • Make sure the cord ends either in a centered position or on a corner of the cushion.
  • Sewing one side at a time, stitch right up against the cord, so the stitching is straight and all the seams are well hidden.
  • The zipper can also be sewn in together with the fabric and cord.
  • To finish off the cording, snip the cord to size and hand stitch the ends of the cord together.
  • Fold one seam of the cord cover under and then tuck the opposite seam underneath the folded seam.
  • Stitch or glue the seam in place.