Easy Outdoor Pillows

May rolled in like a hero and brought some fantastic weather. Off went the pants and on went the shorts! The city was flooded last weekend with legs and arms and all sorts of skin that had not seen the light of day since September.

Not to be outdone by the short wearing masses, I dragged out our daybed mattress and headed outside. Two minutes into my afternoon book and a cocktail on the daybed, I remembered the promise I made to myself to sew some new outdoor cushions. The ones I currently had were either too stuffed and hard or too empty and flat. I was Goldilocks in a house full of uncomfortable cushions.

Not willing to compromise, I grabbed a few scrap yards of outdoor fabric and a couple spare Ikea pillow inserts, and twenty minutes later I had a pair of cushions that were just right.

DIY Outdoor Pillow

Easy Outdoor Pillows

Measure your pillow form, or better yet read the size on the package. If it is a throw pillow, your form will most likely measure 20″x20″. I had two $4 Ikea inserts on hand (because I really know how to party). Cut yourself a piece of fabric 20″ wide and 50-55″ long. Yes that’s right, only 20″ wide! No, I did not forget about seam allowance. If you have ever purchased an Ikea throw pillow form you will note it has a certain characteristic underwhelming volume. Ikea forms are notoriously flat. I however, have the easiest trick in the book to get more volume out of your ikea flat pillow. Make your pillow cover 1″ smaller than your form. This makes your pillow form have to squish into the case, and plump up. Its like a push up bra for throw pillows.

Now take your cut piece of fabric and fold it in half lengthwise. Mark the halfway point with a small piece of sewers chalk, or if you’re desperate mark with a pen along the side of the fabric. Now measure out 9 1/2″ on either side of your center mark. That’s it, that’s all the marking you will need to do. Now take your fabric over to your iron, and iron a double hem on the short ends of the fabric. Sew down those double hems. Now with your fabric inside out fold your fabric along each of those two off center marks, and sew along the sides. Turn it right side out, and stuff that pillow form in.

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BAM! Plump pillows!

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Now…who is going to bring me another cocktail? Margarita please!


Scrap outdoor fabric (1/2 yard) – Designer Fabrics
Upholstery thread – Designer Fabrics
Pillow Form – Ikea

Fabric Scissors
Measuring Tape
Sewing Machine
Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

one out of five

Total Time: 30 minutes

Total Cost: $15/each

Author: Kristen

Kristen & her husband El Granto & their Vizsla Odin live in a converted Storefront in downtown Toronto.

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