My former next door neighbor was a super lovely woman with an interesting life history. She also had a love of outdoor furniture, and I had asked her once where she had bought a particular set because I was looking for something similar for our screened in porch. She didn’t
remember, but several years later when she decided to replace that set, she gifted it to us.
Technically she said it was a loan, but we both knew she was never going to ask for it back.
The main piece is a glider, and it was probably built in the late ‘60s. It isn’t that cool vintage kind of piece, it’s just an old glider that had seen better days. Some scrubbing and some WD-40 fixed up the metal glider part, but the outdoor cushion covers were a whole other story.
The main fabric was stiff and scratchy, and they had bare spots from use and from where mice had burrowed into them when they were in winter storage.
My plan at the time was to replace them, so I threw an old sheet over them and we used the glider that season. At the end of the season I saw outdoor cushion covers go on sale and tried to find three that matched in the size I needed, and that wasn’t possible.
I repeated this scenario for, uh, 10 years. Didn’t mean to, just never remembered to do anything about it, or refused to pay the price for new cushions. I really don’t understand why outside furniture and accessories are so expensive.
At the beginning of this summer, Mom handed down a really great sewing machine. And I saw on another blog a post about how to make simple outdoor cushion covers. The technique didn’t really work for the cushions I had, but it got my wheels turning.
And then I saw this tutorial on making an envelope style pillow case, and I began to wonder if I could make something like that for my
cushions. Make cushion covers, not buy new cushions.
At the beginning of the summer, Target had a sale on beach towels. Boom! (that’s the sound the confetti cannon in my mind makes when a project comes together).
I didn’t use a pattern, but the process was pretty straightforward – sew two towels together on the short end, right sides together.
Set the cushion on the new double long towel and overlap the top and bottom so the tucked in envelope portion would be invisible on the back.
I measured and pinned the sides, and sewed using the stripes as my guideline.
I sewed double seams to make this extra sturdy. And while each cover is defective in it’s own way (I often lose track of right sides and seam allowances when I work), they are light years better than what was there before.
Wrestling the cushions into the covers was also a little challenging, but it was worth it, because the finished look is great, and they can come off and run through the wash if needed.
And if they get super grungy or I just get tired of the color scheme, I bet Target has a towel sale again 🙂