How To Make Patio Cushions + No Sew Project

How to make outdoor patio cushions. Easy DIY water resistant cushions to freshen up add style to your outdoor living space.

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you that I found outdoor wicker furniture in the trash, but I did! In fact, you might be appalled by how many fabulous things I find on the curb on trash day, but I guess we’ll leave that for another time.

The fact is that we found the best addition to our outdoor patio, but it came with one simple problem. This wicker furniture didn’t come with patio cushions. An easy DIY project if I do say so myself.

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This is our own personal experience. Be sure to seek professional guidance and use proper tool safety.

Ok, maybe it came with a few problems, but none of them were big enough for me to turn my nose up at (almost) perfectly good furniture. Furniture that has been on my wish list a long time, along with a few other wants. But since we’ve just made a big move across several states, we need to settle in and live with what we have for a while.

And that’s perfectly fine with me.

Table of Contents: How to make patio cushions + no sew project

DIY blue patio cushions with a blue and white stripped pillow.

HOW TO MAKE PATIO CUSHIONS

I use the word “make”, loosely. And the reason I decided to make them in the first place came about by sheer sticker shock when I saw how expensive new patio cushions were.

There had to be a mistake.

Not only was the price shocking, but I couldn’t find the style and size I needed to fit our “new” outdoor furniture. So I decided to do what any sane person would. Order replacement covers online and make the inside filling myself.

Patio cushion materials including foam, batten, and tools.

OUTDOOR CUSHION MATERIALS LIST

TOOLS

  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Serrated knife
  • Square
  • Sharpie

DIRECTIONS

The first thing you need to do is measure the space for your outdoor patio cushions. Once you’ve decided on the size, you can order the right cushion covers, foam, and batting, easily from Amazon.

CUT THE FOAM- Lay the foam padding flat and allow to fluff up. Take a square, measuring tape, and sharpie, and mark where you’ll need to cut the foam padding to make your cushion.

Use a serrated knife to easily cut the foam where needed.

Marking the foam batten to be cut.

ADD UPHOLSTERY BATTING- We’ll be using a nice thick batting on each side of the firm foam cushion to both fill out the cushion replacement covers and add additional comfort. Use the square, measuring tape, and sharpie to mark out where you’ll need to cut the batting to fit the cushions. Once cut, place individually in the dryer to fully fluff up.

Surrounding the foam with comfortable batten.

INSERT IN COVERS- Take the cushion covers and wiggle the new foam cushion and padding into the insert, making sure everything is flat and smooth as you push them in.

Note- You may find it easier to use fabric glue, as my first thought. However, the foam is so course that the soft batting does not move and almost clings to the foam on its own.

Repeat for all cushions. Cut foam to size, measure and cut batting, fluff in dryer, surround foam in batting, insert into cushion covers.

Blue patio cushions with a blue and white flower pillow back.

MAKE THE PILLOW BACKS- We decided to use extra large pillows as the backs to our outdoor furniture. This allowed us to choose the exact design we wanted and could be ordered in a water resistant material at a reasonable price.

THINGS WE’D DO DIFFERENTLY + LEARN FROM US

As with any DIY project, you come across a few obstacles and learn a few things along the way. Once I had finished one set of cushions, I proudly sat down to enjoy my work on this hot hot day.

Sadly, I wasn’t comfortable. Although the normal standard for outdoor cushions is around the 4 inch mark, I did not like how 4 inch thick cushions felt on our furniture. It brought the seating up too high and wouldn’t allow my elbows to use the armrests as it should.

The second problem I faced were the pillows. They were absolutely beautiful but unusable as sofa backs because they gave no support and were too soft.

Third. The replacement cushion zipper was showing. I’m sure that isn’t normally a problem, but my outdoor furniture was more deep than wide, making me turn the cushions to fill the area. Which exposed the big, white, zipper.

  • Cushion too thick
  • Backs too soft
  • Zipper showing

GOING ROUGE AND CHANGING THE PLAN

After sulking on my trash furniture for a good 20 minutes, I had a few options.

  1. Buy actual cushions
  2. Live with it
  3. Go rouge and adapt

I decided to throw caution to the wind and see what we could do to make this work.

Adjusting the foam thickness- The first problem was the thick cushion. Taking off the batting I measured the foam at two inch thickness and cut the cushion down the thin middle using a serrated knife.

Cutting the foam into 2 inch cushions.

Surprisingly, this was a lot easier to do than I had expected and each cushion was now a comfortable two inches thick. I then added the batting on each side for comfort and inserted it back into the cushion cover.

And it worked! It was down to a comfortable level and with the batting it still looked full.

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Note- The outdoor foam is very course, you can use garden gloves to protect your hands.

Fixing the pillow backs- The next issue I needed to address was the soft pillows. We needed extra support for our backs and since I now cut all the foam in half, I had a fair amount to use for my pillow project.

I removed all the fluff from the pillow and added the now square foam into the pillow insert. I then added the fluff back into the pillow, surrounding the foam evenly. This made the pillow so much more supportive and thick. Perfect for acting as a cushion back.

Blue cushions against a bright green tree line.

Zipper- The last problem is the exposed zipper. The plan is to find a color matched sharpie and just color the zipper with blue marker. But that’s a problem for a different day.

Making these two adjustments really made a big difference with the comfort of our outdoor patio cushions and was pretty easy to do once I had opened myself up for solutions.

WHAT TYPE OF FOAM TO USE FOR OUTDOOR PATIO CUSHIONS

The foam we used for this project- Sundrox DryFast Foam All Weather Outdoor Cushion Replacement- Amazon

It’s important to use a special outdoor cushion foam as it allows water to penetrate through the cushion and not soak into the cushion. Because it’s made different from other foam, it’ll also dry faster.

Using the wrong type of foam can lead to mold or mildew when exposed to the outdoor elements.

Stripped pillows with a red flower in the foreground.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATIO CUSHION REPLACEMENT COVERS

Patio cushion replacement covers come in all different shapes and sizes. You can find bench replacement covers, L- Shaped sofa replacement covers, and things right along those lines. Just be sure to measure properly and take everything into consideration.

  1. What size do I need? Be sure to measure how deep, how wide, and how thick you need the cushion covers to be.
  2. What color should I choose? Are you trying to match existing furniture? An outdoor rug? Or keeping it neutral. Another thing to consider is how much shade your furniture will be under. If it’s exposed to full sun then darker colors can become very hot to the touch. Or maybe you have little ones and darker covers will hide popsicle stains.

Cushion covers we used: Sqodok Patio Covers + Waterproof set of 4- Amazon

Pillow covers we used: Clemens Cabana Navy Outdoor Pillow Covers + Set of two- Amazon

Used patio furniture with blue diy cushions.

DID YOU SAVE MONEY MAKING DIY PATIO CUSHIONS

The entire reason for this project was to save us a little money since new cushions can be pricy. However, there are a lot of costs that add up when making your own. Outdoor foam, batting, replacement covers, pillows, ect. With all of those things added together we saved a little bit of money but if you can find a sale on new cushions, then you might just break even.

Another big factor that comes into play is if you can find the size you need paired with how many cushions you’ll be making. I could not find the size I needed for the furniture, which in turn had me searching for other options. Also, I only had 4 chairs to make cushions for, but if I had a large sectional I would be doing the math, weighing my options, and searching for a sale price.

Used wicker patio furniture with no cushions.
Used patio furniture with new DIY patio cushions against a small garden.

I absolutely love this little nook we created on the back patio. Every weekend morning our family gathers around with books, crayons, coffee, and anything else we can carry in one trip. We talk about what the day holds, places we want to explore, and how our week went at work and school. It’s a short time that I’m sure will fly by and we’ll be empty nesters all too soon.

But until then we’ll enjoy our DumpStore furniture and a good book.

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