SEW // CUSTOM PATIO CUSHIONS

Patio Cushion Final-3I’m gearing up for Memorial Day weekend and plan to spend some quality time hanging in our sweet little patio garden. My fiance and I love to hang out with our pups and a cocktail in hand, but our chairs, while cute, are not comfortable. After finding black and white stripe Nate Berkus fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics’, I knew it would be a great fabric for seat cushions. Since my chairs are round, I needed to get a little creative in making the cushions since simple DIY pillow covers wouldn’t do. If you need to add a little cushion for your tushin’, here’s a simple way to make custom cushions.

Patio Cushion Final-4Patio Cushion Final-1

Patio Cushion-1

supplies + tools

How to

First we need figure out the size of our cushions. Use a tape measure or yard stick to measure the diameter of the seat. My seats are 15″ across.

Patio Cushion-2For the top and bottom circles of the cushion cover, we are going to add ⅝ inch to the diameter twice for the seam allowance since it’s a circle. The diameter of the cushion is now 16 ¼”.

I didn’t have a circle matching the seat size so I used a quick method to make a template by marking a circle of dots and connecting them. You can use paper or fabric to create the templates. Just utilize the appropriate scissors for your template material. For the cushion cover template, use your ruler to make three marks: one at the 0, one at the diameter (16 ¼”) and one in the middle (8 ⅛”). Rotate your ruler in a circle, keeping the 8 ⅛” center measurement over the center mark, and mark both ends. This creates the circumference of your circle. Add tape to your ruler at the measurements for easier marking. Use your marker to connect the dots. Make a second circle template the size of the cushion (15″) without the seam allowance (1 1/4″). Cut out the circle templates.

Patio Cushion-3To make the top and bottom of the cushion, place the 16 ¼” template on your fabric, use a marker to trace or pin down the template, and cut out two circles for each cushion.

Patio Cushion-9For the actual foam cushion, trace the smaller circle template (15″) on the foam and use your electric knife to cut out the cushions. Line the template up to one corner for an easier cutting start and trace. Hold the cushion straight up and cut in a downward motion following the outline of the circle while keeping the knife horizontal. This will make a clean even cut.

Patio Cushion-4Next we want to cut out long rectangles for the sides of the cushion. To create these, first measure the depth of your foam (mine is 2″) then add the 1 1/4″ to this measurement for the seam allowance. For the length, we need the circumference of our circle: Circumference=3.14*diameter. Use the diameter of the top and bottom fabric circles (16 1/4″). My circumference is 60″. My rectangle pieces are 3 1/4″ by 60″. You need one rectangle for each cushion. Measure and mark the dimensions on the fabric and cut out. 

Patio Cushion-5To assemble the cover, match up the edges of the circles and rectangle side and pin together. Leave about a 5 inch opening to inserting the foam. This is one of those awesome tricks with sewing. The straight line of the sides and the curve of the circle will match up creating the 3D form!

Patio Cushion-6Use a straight stitch to sew the cushion pieces together. Sew with a ⅝ inch seam allowance. We factored this into our measurements in the beginning.

Patio Cushion-7Use your fabric scissors to cut small notches in the seam allowance. This allows the curve seams of the cover is sit nicely when turned inside out. (Another great sewing technique.)

Patio Cushion-8If you selected indoor fabric, turn the fabric right side out through the opening and then spray the fabric with water proofing spray following the instructions on the bottle.

Patio Cushion-10After you turn the cushion right side out, fold the foam into a taco shape and insert into the cushion.

Patio Cushion-11We are now going to hand sew the opening closed. Before we sew anything, we want to add notches in the seam allowance of the fabric at the opening to help the fabric lay better.

Patio Cushion-12Fold in the edges and use a slip stitch to close up the cushions. Slip stitches keep the thread hidden for a professional look. You are ready to sit back, relax and enjoy a cocktail!

Patio Cushion Final-3Patio Cushion Final-2Patio Cushion Final-1This is only the beginning of my patio transformation. Stay tuned for more! QV signature no bolt

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