How to Make Outdoor Bench Cushions

Making outdoor bench cushions can be a great way to spruce up your patio or deck while adding comfort to your outdoor seating area.

Whether you’re looking to create a cozy reading nook or a spot to gather with friends and family, custom-made bench cushions can be a great addition to your outdoor space.

In this article, I will share some tips and tricks for making your own outdoor bench cushions.

Before you get started, it’s important to consider the materials you’ll need for your project.

You’ll need foam padding, fabric, scissors, a sewing machine (although hand-sewing is also an option), and waterproof silicone spray (if you’re making outdoor cushions).

Additionally, you may want to consider adding piping cord for a more professional look.

Once you have your materials, you can begin the process of measuring and cutting out your foam and fabric to fit your bench.

With a little bit of patience and attention to detail, making your own outdoor bench cushions can be a fun and rewarding project.

Not only will you have a custom-made cushion that fits perfectly on your bench, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you created it yourself.

So, let’s get started!

Understanding the Basics

When it comes to outdoor bench cushions, there are a few basics that you need to understand before you start making your own.

In this section, I will cover the types of outdoor bench cushions and the materials you will need to make them.

Types of Outdoor Bench Cushions

There are two main types of outdoor bench cushions: flat cushions and tufted cushions.

Flat cushions are simple cushions that are made from a single piece of foam or batting. They are easy to make and are perfect for beginners.

Tufted cushions, on the other hand, are more complex and require more skill to make. They are made by sewing buttons through the cushion to create a tufted effect.

Materials Needed

To make your own outdoor bench cushions, you will need the following materials:

  • Foam or batting: This is the material that will provide the cushioning for your bench cushion. You can use foam or batting, depending on your preference.

  • Fabric: You will need a durable, weather-resistant fabric that can withstand the elements. Look for fabrics that are specifically designed for outdoor use, such as Sunbrella.

  • Thread: You will need a strong, durable thread that can withstand the elements.

  • Sewing machine: You will need a sewing machine to sew your cushion together.

  • Scissors: You will need a good pair of scissors to cut your fabric and foam.

  • Measuring tape: You will need a measuring tape to measure the dimensions of your bench.

  • Pins: You will need pins to hold your fabric in place while you sew it together.

Measurement and Cutting Process

Measuring the Bench

The first step in making outdoor bench cushions is to measure the bench.

Measure the length, width, and depth of the bench. Add an inch to each measurement for seam allowance. This will be your cut size for your fabric panels.

Cutting the Fabric and Foam

Once you have your measurements, it’s time to cut the fabric and foam.

Lay the foam on a flat surface and use a straight edge to mark the dimensions of the foam. Use a sharp knife to cut the foam along the marked lines.

Next, cut the fabric according to the dimensions you measured earlier.

Use a rotary cutter or sharp scissors to cut the fabric. Cut two pieces of fabric for each cushion – one for the top and one for the bottom.

If you want to add piping to your cushion, cut strips of fabric on the bias.

Bias strips are cut at a 45-degree angle to the grain of the fabric. This allows the fabric to bend and curve around the cushion. Cut the strips 1.5 inches wide.

Sewing Process

Stitching the Fabric

To begin the sewing process, I first measure the length, width, and depth of the bench seat. This helps me determine how much fabric and foam I’ll need to make the cushion.

Once I have my measurements, I double the length to find out how long my piece of fabric needs to be.

Next, I lay out my fabric and cut it to the appropriate size.

I then pin the fabric together with the right sides facing each other.

To make the corners easier to sew, I add some “V”-shaped notches around each corner.

I use my machine to sew all the way around the edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Inserting the Foam

After stitching the fabric together, I insert the foam into the cushion cover.

I make sure the foam is the same size as the cushion cover, and then I carefully slide it in.

If the foam is too large, I trim it down to size using a sharp pair of scissors.

Once the foam is in place, I close the cushion cover by hand stitching it closed.

Finishing Touches

When it comes to finishing touches for your outdoor bench cushion, there are a few options to consider.

Two popular options are adding ties or velcro and waterproofing your cushion.

Adding Ties or Velcro

Adding ties or velcro to your cushion can help keep it in place on your bench, especially on windy days.

To add ties, simply cut strips of fabric and sew them onto the corners of your cushion.

To add velcro, sew velcro strips onto the bottom of your cushion and onto your bench.

Waterproofing Your Cushion

If you plan on leaving your cushion outside, it’s important to waterproof it to protect it from the elements.

One way to do this is to use a waterproofing spray.

Simply spray the spray evenly over your cushion and let it dry completely before using it.

Another option is to use a waterproof cushion cover.

These covers can be easily removed and washed, and they provide an extra layer of protection for your cushion.

Maintenance and Care

As someone who has made outdoor bench cushions before, I can tell you that maintenance and care are important factors to consider when choosing the fabric for your cushion. Here are some tips to help you keep your outdoor bench cushions looking great:

  • Choose a fabric that is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Look for materials that can be spot-cleaned or washed in a machine. This will save you time and effort in the long run. Avoid fabrics that are difficult to clean or require special care.
  • Protect your cushions from the elements.
  • Even if your fabric is water-resistant or water-repellent, it’s still a good idea to protect your cushions from rain, snow, and other outdoor elements. You can use a cover or store your cushions indoors when not in use.
  • Clean your cushions regularly.
  • Dirt, dust, and other debris can accumulate on your cushions over time, so it’s important to clean them regularly. You can use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and debris, and a mild detergent and water to clean stains and spills.
  • Store your cushions properly.
  • When you’re not using your cushions, it’s important to store them properly. Make sure they’re clean and dry before storing them in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or in a damp area.

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