Weekend DIY: Turn an Old Shower Curtain into Super Cute Patio Furniture

I have a thing for cushions. Pretty cushions. Comfy cushions. Pottery-Barn-looking-cushions. (For this I blame the man I was dating last summer; he used to save his ex-wife’s Pottery Barn catalogs for me and oh how they made me drool!)

The thing is, I have… what do they say? Champagne taste on a beer budget? Yes. Except I hate beer, but you get the point.

To go along with my awesome lime green patio set (which I love, PIC’s comments on the matter notwithstanding), I picked up some super cheap outdoor furniture cushions at my favorite thrift shop.

The naked patio table, in all its lime green glory

The naked patio table, in all its lime green glory

There was only one problem with the cushions: they were waaaaay ugly.

These colors are SO 1990s...

These colors are SO 1990s…

Okay, actually two problems: they were also not the right size. But the cost $6 a piece and I was carrying the mortgage on my own at that point so what can I say?

Fortunately said thrift shop also had not one but TWO amazingly cute fabric shower curtains.

May 2015 158

And so I got to work.

Here’s what you need:

  • Outdoor furniture cushions (the uglier the better)
  • Several large pieces of fabric (shower curtains or table cloths work great)
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors

Here’s what you do:

  1. Measure your cushions to determine how large you’ll need to cut each fabric piece. I laid mine out on the floor to make it easier (which really only works if you have no furniture, but hey, there are some perks to being a first time home owner). Add 2 or 3 inches to your cushion measurements to allow for seams and a bit extra width since cushions aren’t, you know, flat.
  2. Cut two pieces of fabric for each cushion, one for the front and one for the back. If your fabric is large enough, you can eliminate some time and some sewing but utilizing a folded edge for one of your seams, just be sure to cut your piece twice as large so it can wrap around your cushion front to back.
  3. Sew your fabric pieces together leaving one of the shorter seams open. I made sure to cut my fabric so that I was utilizing one of the original hemmed edges of my shower curtains for the opening (less to hem for the finished product). I also thought the original grommets looked cool so I left them there as a design element.
  4. If desired, add matching ties by sewing them into the middle of the longer seams. I used leftover fabric and made my ties about 3/4″ x 10″. When you’re done, flip the whole thing right side out.
  5. Insert your cushion into the new cover; I chose to leave the opening as is (i.e. I didn’t sew it shut) for easy removal and laundering of the cover. And by “as is” I mean that I did employ a few safety pins to keep everything in its proper place during my house warming party…
Use your cushion to measure the fabric for your cover

Use your cushion to measure the fabric for your cover

After cutting your fabric, lay the front and back pieces together

After cutting your fabric, lay the front and back pieces together

Keep your pins perpendicular to the seam to avoid f*cking up your machine (Sewing 101)

Keep your pins perpendicular to the seam to avoid f*cking up your machine (Sewing 101)

Use scraps for ties (and if you select your scraps wisely, you don't even have to sew them)

Use scraps for ties (and if you select your scraps wisely, you don’t even have to sew them)

Zip right through those babies...

Zip right through those babies…

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Notice how the teal stripe matches my spray painted portulaca planter PERFECTLY!

Notice how the teal stripe matches my spray painted portulaca planter PERFECTLY!

Here's the back of the cushion with the ties I added to keep it attached to the chair.

Here’s the back of the cushion with the ties I added to keep it attached to the chair.

The shower curtains yielded enough fabric to cover 4 cushions and make 2 matching throw pillows.

The shower curtains yielded enough fabric to cover 4 cushions and make 2 matching throw pillows.

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5 Responses to “Weekend DIY: Turn an Old Shower Curtain into Super Cute Patio Furniture”

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