Outdoor Pillows

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at The Five to Niner, and I am a little embarrassed by how long it has been since my last post.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy creating things…so stay tuned for all sorts of goodies coming up on the blog!

This week I am focusing on the pillows I made for our outdoor furniture!  We spent our first year and a half in our house fixing up the inside and making it our own.  Several gallons of paint later, a couple rooms worth of new (grownup) furniture, and an unplanned kitchen makeover (we had a little water issue with an upstairs bath and got a bit of a kitchen update in the process), we decided to spend this summer making over the outside of the house!!

The great fabric I found at Joann's to compliment our new patio furniture.

The great fabric I found at Joann’s to compliment our new patio furniture.

We decided to expand our existing patio (more on that later) and wanted to get some nice outdoor furniture so that we could start really entertaining at our home in the summers and actually have somewhere nice for people to sit.  Last year I threw the MR a surprise 30th birthday party…and it almost turned into a BYOS (bring your own seat) since we really didn’t have any outdoor furniture!  Lucky for us, our parents were nice enough to bring some of their stadium chairs for us to use!

Our tiny pre-reno patio, and our lonely two chairs!

Our tiny pre-reno patio, and our lonely two chairs!

So after several trips to various stores in town that sell outdoor furniture this spring…and spending a few hours on line weighing our options, we narrowed it down to a few different sets.  One morning I was out running a few errands while the MR caught up on sleep and I happened across one of those sets at Lowes on clearance!  It was a special order that someone else had placed, and when it came in they changed their minds!  That helped us make up our minds pretty quick on which of the two sets we wanted!  We ordered the remaining pieces of the set we still wanted (the other people had only ordered part of it) and a few weeks later it was all in our back yard!  But something was missing!  I wanted some fun bright pillows to help give it a little something extra!  I check around at some of my favorite places in town, but I couldn’t find anything I liked…so I managed to talk the MR into taking me to a HUGE Joann’s while we were in Nashville one weekend and I stumbled upon some great outdoor fabrics while I was there!!  So without further ado…let’s make some pillows!!

IMG_5546

Well first, let’s admire the HUGE fabric wall at this Joann Fabrics just outside of Nashville!!! It extended behind me about another 30′, but I didn’t want the innocent shoppers to be subjected to my photo taking!

For this project I used:

Outdoor Fabric (I can’t remember my exact yardage, but I know I got a couple yards of each fabric.)

Coats & Clark thread

Coats & Clark All-Purpose Zippers

Soft n Crafty Premier Pillow Forms (I used 16″x16″ and 14″x28″)

Pillow forms, fabric, thread and zippers.

Pillow forms, fabric, thread and zippers.

I decided to give myself  a 3/4″ seam allowance, so for my 16″x16″ pillow I would be working with two 17 1/2″x17 1/2″  pieces of fabric and for my 14″x28″ pillows I would be working with two                 15 1/2″x29 1/2″ pieces of fabric.

Since you typically get jagged uneven edges when you get fabric cut from the bolt, I began by trimming the edge of my fabric so that I would be working with a nice clean straight edge.  After I knew I had an even edge to work with I left my fabric folded and measured and cut 17 1/2″ from the end.  I unfolded the fabric and cut off just a bit more than 17 1/2″ so that I could go back and trim the end of the fabric that wasn’t printed.  You should have plenty of fabric left over to measure another 17 1/2″ to get the other side of your pillow.

While still folded in half, lay out your fabric so that you can cut a clean straight edge.

While still folded in half, lay out your fabric so that you can cut a clean straight edge.

I used my yard stick and rotary cutter to trim my edge, but you could also mark the edge with a fabric pencil/marker and trim with fabric shears.

I used my yard stick and rotary cutter to trim my edge, but you could also mark the edge with a fabric pencil/marker and trim with fabric shears.

A nice clean edge to work with!

A nice clean edge to work with!

Measure out your fabric, notice I have left a little extra hang over my mat so that I can go back and trim the edge of the fabric that isn't printed.  (You could trim this first, but I chose to do it after!)

Measure out your fabric (in this case, 17 1/2″ for the smaller pillow). Notice I have left a little extra hang over my mat so that I can go back and trim the edge of the fabric that isn’t printed. (You could trim this first, but I chose to do it after!)

If you didn't do it first, line up your fabric on your zero mark, and measure to cut off the unprinted edge.

If you didn’t do it first, line up the clean edge of your fabric on your zero mark, and measure to cut off the unprinted edge.

Both sides of my pillow cut out!

Both sides of my pillow cut out! Time to start pinning and sewing!

I hadn’t really had much experience sewing zippers before this so I did a little research on Pinterest and found several good tutorials.  I turned the pieces right side together so that I could begin sewing.  I pinned along one edge and sewed my 3/4″ seam.  I used my longest straight stitch for this initial seam.  I pressed the seam open and pinned my zipper down.  I adjusted my machine to a shorter straight stitch and sewed the zipper in place.  After the zipper was secure, I used my seam ripper to open the first seam to expose the zipper.  I unzipped the zipper, pinned my remaining open edges and sewed those seams shut using the same stitch I used on my zipper.

Turn your two pieces of fabric right side together.

Place your two pieces of fabric right side together.

Pin your edge so that the fabric doesn't shift when you're sewing.  Sew this edge using the widest straight stitch you have.

Pin your edge so that the fabric doesn’t shift when you’re sewing. Sew this first edge using the widest straight stitch you have.

Once your first edge is sewn, it's time to press your seam open.

Once your first edge is sewn, it’s time to press your seam open.

Press your seam!

Press your seam!

Once your seam is pressed completely it is time to add the zipper.

Once your seam is pressed completely it is time to add the zipper.

Lay your zipper right side down on your seam, lining the teeth of the zipper up with where your seam splits. Pin it down to secure it for sewing.

Lay your zipper right side down on your seam, lining the teeth of the zipper up with where your seam splits. Pin it down to secure it for sewing.  Be sure to adjust your stitch to a shorter length so that the zipper will be more secure.

Once all my edges were sewn properly, I cut my corners so that when I turned it right side out it would look nicer.  I turned my pillow case right side out and then I stuffed the pillow form in and zipped it up!

My inside out pillow case once all the seams were sewn.

My inside out pillow case once all the seams were sewn.

I used my fabric shears to trim the corners so that when I turned it right side out the corners would be nice and crisp!  I like to do a double cut to take away as much bulk as possible from the corners!

I used my fabric shears to trim the corners so that when I turned it right side out the corners would be nice and crisp! I like to do a double cut to take away as much bulk as possible from the corners!

The pillow case all sewn up and turned right side out!

The pillow case all sewn up and turned right side out!

Stuff the pillow form in the case.

Stuff the pillow form in the case.

Once you have your pillow form situated in the case, all that's left is to zip it up!

Once you have your pillow form situated in the case, all that’s left is to zip it up!

All zipped up and ready to go outside!

All zipped up and ready to go outside!

I followed the same steps to finish the other three 16″x16″ pillows and then used the same steps, placing my zipper on the short edge of the 14″x28″ pillows (I made three of those).

Each of our chairs got one of the square pillows, and I wanted to give the love seat a little extra so I added the long pillow!

Each of our chairs got one of the square pillows, and I wanted to give the love seat a little extra so I added the long pillow!

Each of our chaise lounges got a long pillow!

Each of our chaise lounges got a long pillow!

I am really pleased with how these turned out!  I think it definitely gives the furniture an extra little something and brings a little more color to the patio!!  They are even MR approved!!!  He loves the long ones on the chaise lounges (he claims they add a lot of lower back support!)!!  And as you can see, in these later pictures we have poured new concrete and expanded the patio!!!  Be sure to check back later this summer as the MR and I plan to tile the entire patio to give it a nice clean finished look (as opposed to two very obvious different slabs of concrete) and I plan to document the whole process here!!!

 

Do you have any big plans for outside your home this summer?!?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!!

 

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10 thoughts on “Outdoor Pillows

  1. So glad you posted this! We have been wanting to redo our pillows for both outside patio and inside the house. I looked at a bunch of tutorials on pinterest….but I’ll follow yours 🙂

    • Awesome!!! Make sure you share your results!!! I love seeing everyone’s creations!!! And if you have any more questions while you’re working, just let me know!!! I’m happy to help in any way is can!!!

  2. Pingback: Pretty Pillow Decor Crafts - 100 Directions

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