Friday, March 20, 2015

Simple removable cushion covers

On Monday I posted about how exciting it was to finally get real patio furniture. Aside from being extremely happy with the style of the sofa, I was extra excited to try to tackle a new and semi- big project that I'm unfamiliar with. I am by far not a seamstress by trade or anything. The thought of making cushions were pretty scary for me. I've tackled DIY cushion covers for our formal living room sofa before so I was confident I can tackle this project with ease. I promise if you can sew a pillow cover, you can make removable cushion covers. 

For my patio sofa, I estimated I needed about four yards of fabric. I also bought extra fabric to make new cushions and pillow covers for our dining chairs that I bought a while ago. I was able to score a deal on my fabric because I used Hancocks 50% off fabric coupon at Joanns. I ended up spending under $40 for 6.5 yards of thick duck outdoor canvas fabric. So I will be making new cushions for six chairs and the sofa for under $40. Not bad in my opinion. 

Steps to make the top cushions of the sofa

1.  Measure how much fabric you should cut by wrapping your fabric around your cushion. Sew one end shut first and then stuff your cushion inside and measure/mark where you should sew next.  I left the opening in the middle because I wanted to save fabric and make removable cushion covers. 

After sewing the ends together, the cushion cover should look like a open back regular rectangle pillow cover. So far so good right? Nothing hard and impossible to do yet right? I promise its very doable!!!

2. Keep the cushion inside the cover for now. Make an angled fold at the corners and sew it shut. Mark both sides of the fold so when you take the cushion out you still remember where to sew. Do the same fold and mark for all four corners. (I pinned it down just so I can take pictures. No pinning is required). 

3. After marking all four corners, take out the cushion. Sew the marks shut.

Cut off the excess fabric after you've sewed the corner shut.

4. Flip your cover over and you should have four clean corners. Stuff your cushion back inside and jump up and down because you are almost done. At this point, you should have a fitted cushion cover with four corners that look like this:

5. To complete the unfinished missing pieces, I sewed two smaller fabric pieces onto them and made a tie to keep the cushion closed. 

I decided to make the two top cushions this way because its super easy and the cushions didn't really have good shape. I was able to make both cushions in under 20 minutes while my kids were eating their breakfast. 

To make the bottom cushions, it was a little trickier. 

First I doubled my fabric and laid it flat on the floor. Then I put the cushion on top of it and used a regular pen to trace the cushion. My cushion had a little indentation on the corner so I followed that shape also. Cut both pieces of fabric out and put to the side. 

Then for the sides, I measured how thick the cushion was and cut stripes of fabric with a 1.5 inch cushion. So for example, my cushion was 6 inches thick so I cut a 7.5 inch strip of fabric. I sewed the ends of the strips together to get one long continuous strip of fabric.

Finally, I just sewed the pieces together. For the corners it got a little tricky so I just pinned the fabric onto the cushion, marked it and took it off and sewed it. 

For the back layer, I ended up cutting a big square in the back so I can removed the cushion and made a tie just like the top cushions. 

I initially wanted to make my top and bottom cushions using the same technique but the bottom cushions had an indentation that I wanted to keep so doing it this way was better. I highly recommend using the first technique for beginners because its super easy. I copied that technique from here

Our patio sofa sat like this for a whole day until I was able to repaint the wood frame. 

I didn't sand anything. I seriously used the paint brush and dusted off the dirt. LOL 

The back of the sofa had some of the original fabric so I did the biggest no-no in DIY history.. yep… I painted over fabric  :)  I am all about quick and easy DIY so I wasn't planning on removing the original fabric and upholstering so paint will do for now. Plus you can barely see it and when we sit on the sofa, you don't even touch it at all. I used some left over darker gray paint I had and mixed it with white paint to get to my desired color. Its not an exact match but it will work for now. 

I can't wait to find more accessories for our patio. I'm on the lookout for side tables, maybe an outdoor rug, and updating the dining area. 

Project review:  I thought this project was quite easy. I was fortunate to have some left over black and gray paint from previous projects so I only had to spend $30 for the sofa itself and $40 for new fabric. I have been able to use just one quart of black paint for sooo many projects. I have been able to paint Binh's black office desk, DIY office clock, DIY pendant, $5 chair, and now patio sofa. I'm sure I've used it for so many other projects but I can only think of those on the top of my head. I still have just a small amount left so it might be enough for one more little project. Not bad for a $15 quart of Behr paint. 

Heres the before and after:

Total cost was $70 ($30 for the sofa itself and $40 for fabric). I'm one happy girl for a quick and easy makeover. 

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