Should she try to sew her own?
Finding Cheap Patio Furniture Cushions
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
Repurposing Items for Your Garden and Outdoor Living Space
How to Create an Outdoor Room on a Budget
Is It a DIY Job?
Finding Cheap Patio Furniture Cushions
The cushions on my patio furniture are very old and getting quite disgusting. I think they are beyond cleaning. I priced new ones and can't believe the prices I have found. Does anyone know of any sites or stores that sell cheap patio furniture cushions? Or can someone with little sewing knowledge (me!) make new ones? I think the foam padding inside the cushions is fine to reuse. What type of material would I need to buy that will last out in the moisture and where might I find some easy how-to instructions?
It's About the Fabric
First, I would see what is on sale at the online discount places and eBay. Failing that, I have done this myself.
Most fabric will rot in the sun in less than one season. You will have put a lot of money and labor into a DIY that will not last. It will be money and time you cannot get back. This is an area where the quality of your materials is all important. Sunbrella fabric (which can be $20 a yard) lasts more than 10 years in full sun without fading or rotting.
You can find DIY tips on YouTube. Take apart the old cushion covers to use as a pattern for the new ones. Reuse the zippers if they are in good condition. If the cushions in your set are still good, cheer loudly, as that means they were specially made to withstand weather and not grow mold. You will not have to replace them. That is a special foam, and it is very expensive to buy. Reuse yours if at all possible. Between the cost of good fabric and the special upholstery foam, it is actually cheaper to buy ready-made cushion sets on sale made of Sunbrella. The big manufacturers get price cuts that the individual DIYer cannot get.
Start with Vinyl Shower Curtains
Several years ago, I helped a friend recover the cushions on her patio furniture. We used two heavy grade vinyl shower curtains to make the covers. Using the old covers as patterns, we simply cut them out and machine-stitched the seams. Then we sealed the inside of the seams with some strong self-adhesive fabric tape for extra strength. After turning them the right way out and inserting the cushion pads, we sealed the last seam with the tape on the outside at the back where it was inconspicuous. They are still going strong and looking good. Of course, they are waterproof and easily sponged clean. The tape had belonged to my late father and I have been using it for all kinds of repairs for years now. I am sure there will be something similar to buy nowadays.
Wait for the After-Season Sales
Assuming your covers can be removed, I suggest a long laundry soak with a good detergent and OxiClean™. If they come out reasonably clean, consider dying them a dark color or use as is for one more season. It will be less expensive to replace them during after-season sales than to recover with outdoor fabric.
Keep It Simple
Buy some appropriate material (oilcloth or even a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth), cut down if necessary, wrap neatly around the cushion, and secure with safety pins on the underside. There is no sewing required, and it is easy to change out if you want to redo them in a different pattern later.
Try the store Old Time Pottery for relatively inexpensive outdoor patio cushions. Their everyday prices are great, and you can purchase matching sets for lounges, chairs, etc. They are online as well as have brick and mortar stores.
Shop home improvement for great prices at Overstock.com.
Buy Cheap and Make Them Last
At the end of summer, the cushions are marked down. My mother brings her cushions inside and does not bring them out until they are going to be used. Her cushions are over six years old and she has never replaced them.
Shop Big Lots
Big Lots has a good selection of patio chair cushions. I just bought a package of two last week for $19. If you have one of their cards and subscribe to their emails, they frequently email coupons for 20% off. Sometimes they have "buy one, get one half off" sales and sometimes $5 off for purchase of $25 or $10 off for a higher purchase.
Get Step-By-Step Instructions Online
Take the Next Step:
- Home improvements can be costly. For many projects, we can help you save. Just visit the Home Improvement section of the Dollar Stretcher Library before you start that next project.
- Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!
Have an idea that we didn't include? Send it to us and we'll add it to the article.