Thursday, August 15, 2013

No-Sew Chair Cushion Cover

I bought a beautiful outdoor dining set seven years ago at the end of August for a  steal. It's time to get new cushions but, hard as I tried, NO WHERE had the correct dimensions to fit my chairs. I do not sew and needed an alternative. A friend of mine told me about using drop clothes from Lowe's to cover them. I have twelve chairs, so I needed a reasonably priced fabric. 

I gathered my supplies:
9x12 Blue Hawk washable and reusable drop cloth $25 x 4
Fabric Fusion $11 x 2
Heat Bond $5
Pins $3
Straight edge razor, scissors and iron were already in my "tool box"

Besides sewing, I also hate measuring, so the first cut was a little off, but I figured I could use the scraps for crafts with B at some point. 

I ironed the first piece to the cushion with the heat bond. I did melt the original cushion a little, note to self, hot iron and somewhat plasticky fabric do not work well together :(  

Another note, if you don't like peeling permanent fabric glue off of your fingers for days, this may not be for you. I, on the other hand enjoy peeling things, weird, I know. Like the first good burn of the summer... Probably why I've had skin cancer three times before I was 40 years old, but that's an entirely different story for another day.

I iron the fabric as I go too so that I can get sharp sewn-like angles. This fabric is great because it has sewn edges that give the illusion of sewn seams.

Once it's ironed, I match up the "seams", apply a gooey line of Fabric Fusion as close to the edge as I can without going over and pin it. I tried pinning it the way I've seen people do when they were sewing, but that left little ridges when it dried, plus I kept sticking myself. I don't know how to sew, why would I have a thimble? Sticking the pins straight in seems to work the best. 

I used the straight edge razor to slice a tiny opening where I could pull through the Velcro pieces that are on the original cushions. I could not figure out how to make them look pretty. They still do the job they were created to do, they are behind the cushion, so I kept them. Any shag /fringe I got from opening the fabric up I just trimmed and I'm hoping it doesn't fray. Although I did see a "no fray" spray near the Fabric Fusion at Michael's, so if it does, at least I know there is something I could do about it.


I fold up the edges as if I'm wrapping a present. I use the natural "seam" on the drop cloth fabric whenever possible. But, because I cut the original fabric into thirds, I wouldn't be able to get a "pre-sewn" seam on both sides. Some people may not like that. It is completely up to you. I figured, at least one side will look sewn. If I have any persnickety guests in my backyard, I'll make sure the sides of the cushions that look sewn face their seat. Ha ha! 

The other side without the "pre-sewn" seams doesn't look too shabby, in my opinion. Some may choose to do both sides the same, just for uniformity. Either way, the cushions get covered :)

After 2 - 4 hours (I just let them dry over night because this is a nap time project for me) you can remove the pins. I used needle nose pliers because those straight pins can really be difficult to take out, especially with my stubby inept fingers and the fact that they've been pierced through permanent glue!


The final product. I scored a cute pillow at Bed, Bath & Beyond with my 20% off it came to $5.21. DONE.

What DIY projects have you been working on?

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