Good morning, all! I hope you had a fabulous weekend! I spent some time working on my little patio area, and my first weekend project was making weather-resistant outdoor pillows for my Adirondack chairs. I love the color they add to the dark stained chairs! And now my little green side table makes a whole lot more sense. It’s almost like I planned it that way! 😀
I decided to make my own outdoor pillows because I’m never pleased with the ready-made weather-resistant pillows I find at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other stores. The colors always seem a bit “off”, the quality appears less-than-desirable, and the price is always more than I want to pay for a product like that.
So today I want to show you how to make your own outdoor pillows.
To make outdoor weather-resistant pillows, you have to start off with a weather-resistant pillow insert. I found mine at JoAnn Fabrics, and they’re about $20 each, so be sure to use a coupon!! I found mine on sale for 50% off. The thing that makes this pillow insert special is the laminated fabric that makes up the “shell” of the pillow.
In addition to the special pillow insert, you’ll also want to use a weather-resistant fabric, like an outdoor canvas. This fabric also has a special coating so that water won’t soak through, and I generally find a good selection at JoAnn Fabrics. It’s pricy also (about $20/yard), so again, be sure to use your coupons!!
Tools & Supplies:
- Weather-resistant pillow insert,
- Outdoor canvas,
- Polyester zipper,
- Matching thread,
- Sewing machine with a regular foot and a zipper foot,
Begin by cutting two pieces of outdoor canvas that are one inch larger than the pillow insert in each direction. My pillow insert was 12″ x 18″, so I cut my canvas 13″ x 19″ to allow for a 1/2″ seam on each side.
Next, place the two pieces with the right sides together, and determine which side will be the bottom of the pillow. Line up the zipper along the bottom edge, and place pins in the fabric to mark where the zipper begins and ends. Then use the sewing machine to sew the fabric together from the edge of the fabric to the pin on either side of the zipper opening using a 1/2″ seam.
Now place the canvas on your work surface with the right side facing up, and position the zipper in the opening between the two areas that you just sewed together. Turn the fabric under 1/2″, and place the folded edge on the zipper so that the folded edge of the fabric runs along the center of the zipper. Pin the fabric to the zipper.
Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, stitch the fabric to the zipper close to the zipper teeth.
Repeat the same thing on the other side of the fabric and zipper.
After the zipper is sewn in, be sure to unzip the zipper before moving on to the next steps.
Now pin the other three sides of the pillow cover together with the right sides of the fabric together (in other words, the pillow cover should be inside out). Then sew the pieces together along these three edges using a 1/2″ seam.
Before turning the pillow cover right side out, trim the corners. This reduces the bulk of fabric, and creates sharper corners on your pillow cover. After the corners are trimmed, turn the pillow cover right side out.
At this point, if we were making a regular pillow with regular fabric, we would iron the seams to give a really professional, finished appearance. However, you do not want to iron outdoor canvas!! The coating on the canvas that makes it weather-resistant will shrink if you apply too much heat to it.
So instead of an iron, simply use your fingers to crease the fabric along the seam and make a finished edge.
Now you’re ready to put in the pillow insert. This can be a chore, especially with the weather-resistant pillow inserts (the fabric doesn’t slide easily at all), so just be patient and work with it until it’s in there and the corners are all lined up.
Once it’s stuffed and zipped, you have a weather-resistant outdoor pillow that will add great color and style to your patio, deck or porch!
I really love the color my new pillows add to my dark stained Adirondack chairs. They go great with the rug I’m painting!