The first step is to examine your cushions' interior material. If you find after checking one seat cushion or back cushion that they are free from any nasty little bugs or mold or mildew then congratulations - your work just got easier. It is much easier to re-cover using the already covered ones than to strip them all as it retains its shape better and the work lasts longer.
Note: If you do find that the interior is rotted then it is best to buy mold resistant foam cushion blocks.
Fabric: The best time to buy fabric is at the end of the season as often it is on clearance for 50% off or more. Choose a very sturdy weather resistant (duck cloth, canvas, marine grade vinyl, polyester outdoor canvas). The choice of material really depends on the exposure your chairs will have to inclement weather. Finding one that is completely waterproof and still comfortable is impossible. Make the job of measuring, cutting and lining up while sewing easier by choosing a stripped or geometric pattern. Consider the vast array of colors available - there is no need to match it with your indoor color scheme. The great thing about patio furniture is that you can have some fun with mixing and matching designs. Plain back cushion, geometric seat cushion and stripped throw pillows all in the same tones will look fabulous. Remember to wash and dry the material before measuring and cutting.
- Heavy duty scissors - I like using zig-zag scissors for canvas-like material to keep unraveling to a minimum.
- Measuring tape or stick.
- Ensure you have a heavy gauge needle and appropriate thread for the job.
- These are average measurements so please double check the size of your own seat cushions. The average cushion on outdoor furniture will need about one yard of fabric for each, assuming the fabric is fifty-four inches wide.
Those with advanced sewing techniques may wish to include contrasting piping or zippers but to keep it quite simple for everyone, sewing with a gift-wrapping box like shape in mind for the final look is the fastest and easiest to accomplish.
1. Lie material face down with the foam or upholstered cushion on top.
2. Wrap the fabric length-wise leaving at least a 1/2 inch seam allowance on the 2 sides and enough fabric to be able to fold over the entry end of the cover.
3. Pin to ensure the tightest fit without squeezing the foam.
4. Sew double seams on 2 sides starting from the folded end leaving 1 end completely open.
5. Fit over foam with the right side out and tack the two corners with a pin.
6. Remove cover, turn inside-out and sew the two corners on an angle (think gift wrapping).
7. Return the foam into the cover (right side out this time), fold the end fabric to form and 'envelop' gift closure with an over-lapped folded edge and hand sew the final large seam and four small 'tucked' seams.
Voila - complete, fresh, renewed, jazzy and oh so simple!
For more outdoor fabric options visit http://www.linkoutdoor.com.