{diy with style} The No-Sew Way to Reupholster Outdoor Cushions

'Out of sight, out of mind' is a real thing! Last fall, I had good intentions to get our outdoor cushions reupholstered so they'd be ready for this spring. But then we packed everything away, covered the furniture for the winter. I totally forgot about the cushions right up to the moment we uncovered them last month and I remembered that we couldn't use them in their current condition.

I made a few phone calls and quickly learned that getting the cushions professionally reupholstered would require dropping them off and waiting months {basically until the end of summer}, and it would cost much more than I wanted to spend! 

But I also knew that my basic sewing skills weren't going to cut it when it came to making completely new cushion covers. Instead I came up with a no-sew alternative that cost me less than $30 and took only an hour or so of time.

How to recover outdoor cushions
The original off-white cushions covers came with our outdoor furniture, and I never loved the color from the start. Such a light color is impractical to keep clean outdoors, and it just blended in too much with the concrete pavers.

Despite not loving the color of the cushions, they'd served us well for more than five years. But then the Colorado weather got the best of them.

Afternoon thunderstorms are a regular part of summers in Denver...

...and I usually try to get everything inside if the storm is predicted to bring hail. But last summer, we got hit with a fast moving storm and as I was trying to grab the cushions to move them to the garage, when the rain quickly turned to pounding hail and I had no choice but to retreat inside.

It was by no means the largest pieces of hail I've seen, but it was an intense and long and lasting storm. So much so that it shattered about half of the light bulbs in our commercial grade overhead string lights

The hail also completely shredded the cushions on our outdoor couch and chairs. The inserts weren't in bad shape, but the covers were just destroyed.

Once I determined that getting the cushions reupholstered this spring/summer wasn't an option in terms of time and budget, I needed to come up with a plan. The cushions are square at the front, but rounded in the back to fit the curve of the chairs, and my sewing skills simply aren't up to the challenge of sewing fitted, zippered covers.

The solution I came up with is so simple it's almost embarrassing. Or perhaps it's so simple that it's genius! ;)

I bought two yards of thick outdoor fabric and cut it into three pieces - each just big enough to cover the top and sides of each cushion, with a little overlap.

I then simply wrapped the fabric over the top cushions, folding it at the corners like I was wrapping a present, and then used safety pins to secure the fabric on the back side of each cushion.

I pulled the fabric taut and pinned it every couple of feet all the way around each cushion, then added additional safety pins in between to eliminate any wrinkles or gaps.

Talk about a lazy girl DIY, right?! But they look great, and if I didn't spill my secret, I don't think you'd ever know that these weren't professional cushion covers.

no-sew recover outdoor couch cushions

Since all the damage to the off-white cushions was on the top, there was no need for me to recover the bottom of the cushions in order for them to remain water resistant. My DIY cushion covers have already experienced a few major rain storms, and they've held up great.

No-sew way to reupholster outdoor cushions

My quick and easy fix is certainly not a permanent solution, and eventually I'll have to get new cushion covers made {hopefully with some kind of off-season discount}. But in the meantime, my no-sew reupholstery job looks pretty darn good, and it's allowing us to enjoy our backyard in comfort and style this summer!

I can even unpin the fabric from the cushions if I need to wash it, so I might be able to get away with this solutions for a few years. Although, even if it just gets me through this one summer it will be worth the low cost to delay spending hundreds on professional-made covers.

Fake your way to no-sew recovered outdoor cushions

I'm also loving the new gray fabric! The cushions no longer blend in with the patio pavers, and the color is much more forgiving to the dirt and wear and tear of the outdoors.

No-sew option to fake reupholstered outdoor cushions

Pretty tricky, right?! 

No-sew recover outdoor cushions

Now that you know my dirty little reupholstery secret, you might want to check out the rest of the backyard if you missed the tour last month! The goal was to make the patio an extension of our indoor living space, while also giving the kids a better place to play, and I think we accomplished both!

Here are some other backyard and outdoor DIY posts you might also be interested in:

linked up at Remodelaholic


  1. Great idea. I saw someone used duct tape to secure them on the back, also. Nice work.

  2. Genius!! Keep your eyes open at the end of the season for cushions that go on clearance....just bring along your chair and sofa measurements tucked in your billfold...you would be surprised at the low cost of brand new ones --- if you want! Your solution here might be cheaper to just keep recovering with new fabric every few years--like having new furniture all the time!!!

    1. Great idea! I will definitely keep my eyes open for end of season clearance sales! Our couch and chairs are a bit of an unusual size, but I will definitely keep the measurements with me!

  3. Mine are looking pretty rough too. I've priced out new ones and they are way more than I want to spend right now. I will be trying this method.

  4. Thanks so much! I actually bought some large table cloths to use for the material at the local Goodwill for $2(spray on rain protector)... I'm going to try this method to cover damaged cushion seats to a patio set I also bought from Goodwill for $16.99!!! It includes two chairs, loveseat, and table 😊

  5. What kind of outdoor fabric did you buy? Having a tough time finding it by the yard.

    1. Look for Sunbrella brand outdoor fabric which you can buy by the yard online or at fabric stores like Calico Corners and others that specialize in upholstery fabrics. I generally find the best prices online here: https://fave.co/2I0RTxV (affiliate link)

  6. Genius!! Will copy this!!! :) I'm trying to figure a way to cover a mattress for an outdoor daybed