Home » DIY Outdoor Pillow Tutorial: How to Make & Sew Weather-Resistant Pillows

DIY Outdoor Pillow Tutorial: How to Make & Sew Weather-Resistant Pillows

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Are you tired of constantly replacing your outdoor pillows due to weather damage? Imagine having beautiful, comfortable, and durable outdoor pillows that can withstand the elements, giving your patio an inviting and stylish look. In this blog post, we will guide you through a DIY outdoor pillow project, showing you how to make and sew weather-resistant pillows that will last for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Create stylish & weather-resistant outdoor pillows with the right materials and tools.
  • Enhance your DIY creations with embellishments and fabric treatments for long lasting results.
  • Add closures to make covers removable & washable, ensuring a beautiful outdoor space all season long!

Choosing the Right Materials for DIY Outdoor Pillows

A woman holding a stack of outdoor pillows

The journey of crafting your own outdoor pillows is enjoyable and fulfilling, beginning with the crucial task of picking suitable materials. The secret to long-lasting outdoor pillows is weather-resistant and durable fabrics, pillow inserts, and sewing materials designed for outdoor use. With the procurement of premium materials, your chic and cozy outdoor cushions will serve you for many years.

Outdoor pillows are exposed to various elements, such as sunlight, rain, and humidity, which can cause fading, mildew, and deterioration. Choosing weather-resistant materials will ensure your outdoor pillows maintain their vibrant colors and remain strong and supportive, even after continuous exposure to the elements.

Weather-resistant fabric options

Make sure to pick fabrics for your outdoor pillows that can withstand the elements, prioritizing weather-resistant options. Sunbrella, Olefin, and polyester blends are excellent choices for outdoor pillows, as they have significantly improved weather-resistant properties over the years. These fabrics are not only water, UV, and mildew resistant, but they also come in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to create outdoor pillows that reflect your style and personality.

Gore-tex fabric, PUL fabric, and woven polyester are viable alternatives to Sunbrella, Olefin, and polyester blends, all offering weather-resistant qualities. These materials are perfect for creating outdoor cushions and pillow forms that can withstand the elements without sacrificing comfort or style.

Outdoor pillow inserts

Selecting the right outdoor pillow inserts is just as important as choosing the perfect fabric. Outdoor inserts, such as poly-fil and foam, provide a comfortable and supportive pillow inside the cover. These inserts are specifically designed for outdoor use, making them more resilient and able to withstand the elements.

Some of the best outdoor pillow inserts include the MIULEE Pack of 4 18×18 Outdoor Pillow Inserts, the Pillowflex Pillow Insert, and the Utopia Bedding Throw Pillow Insert. These inserts are water-resistant and designed to be durable in outdoor conditions, ensuring your outdoor space remains comfortable and inviting.

Sewing materials and tools

Successful sewing of your outdoor pillows requires certain fundamental materials and tools. Here are the essentials:

  • A sewing machine
  • Vibrant thread
  • Sharp pins
  • A trusty pair of scissors

These tools are crucial for creating mildew-resistant outdoor pillows with durable and weather-resistant fabrics.

In addition to these basic materials, you may also need exterior-grade fabric, outdoor thread, and outdoor cushion fabric to provide excellent quality and durability. The recommended tools for sewing outdoor pillows include a sewing machine equipped with a zipper foot, scissors, a yardstick or ruler, and fabric scissors or a rotary cutter. These tools will help you sew outdoor pillows that are beautiful and long-lasting, able to withstand the elements.

Measuring and Cutting Your Outdoor Fabric

A woman measuring fabric for outdoor pillows

Before initiating the sewing of your outdoor pillows, the fabric must be measured and cut in line with the preferred pillow size and shape. Accurate measurements and precise cuts are essential to ensure your outdoor pillows look professional and maintain their shape over time.

This section provides a detailed guide on measuring and cutting your outdoor fabric, aiming for a perfect size and fit for your DIY outdoor pillows in your outdoor space.

Determining pillow dimensions

To determine the required fabric dimensions for your outdoor pillows, start by measuring the pillow insert or existing cushion. This will give you an accurate measurement of the pillow’s size and shape, allowing you to cut the fabric accordingly.

When measuring your pillow, don’t forget to add an extra inch to both the width and height for a perfect fit. This additional inch will accommodate seam allowances and ensure your pillow cover fits snugly over the pillow insert.

Cutting the fabric

Having established the appropriate dimensions for your outdoor pillows, you can proceed to cut the fabric. To do this, you’ll need a few essential tools, such as a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and measuring tape or yardstick. These tools will help you achieve precise and clean cuts, ensuring your outdoor pillows look professional and well-made.

Start by marking the fabric with the measurements you calculated earlier, using a fabric marker or chalk. Then carefully cut the fabric along the marked lines, ensuring your cuts are straight and even. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful and durable outdoor pillows.

Fabrics for Pillows

Selecting the right fabrics for pillows is a crucial decision in both aesthetic and functional terms. When it comes to enhancing the appeal of your living space, the choice of fabrics for pillows plays a pivotal role. Cotton, for instance, is a popular option, known for its breathability and soft texture, making it ideal for those seeking comfort and easy maintenance. On the other hand, silk exudes an air of luxury, adding a touch of opulence to any room. Linen, with its natural fibers, brings a rustic charm and durability that can withstand regular use. For a plush and cozy feel, velvet fabrics for pillows are an excellent choice, providing a tactile experience that invites relaxation. Finally, considering outdoor spaces, weather-resistant fabrics like Sunbrella offer a practical solution, ensuring your pillows endure the elements while maintaining their vibrant appearance. In essence, the choice of fabrics for pillows not only influences the visual harmony of a space but also contributes significantly to the overall comfort and ambiance.

Sewing Weather-Resistant Outdoor Pillow Covers

A woman sewing a pillow cover

Having completed the measuring and cutting of your outdoor fabric, you can move on to sewing your weather-resistant outdoor pillow covers. Sewing outdoor pillows can be a fun and rewarding project, as long as you have the right materials and techniques at your disposal.

This section will walk you through the sewing process, from the alignment and pinning of fabric pieces to seam finishing, promising outdoor pillows that are both stylish and resilient against the elements.

Pinning the fabric pieces

The first step in sewing your outdoor pillow covers is to align and pin the fabric pieces. To do this, place the fabric pieces with their right sides facing each other, ensuring the edges are aligned. Then, secure the fabric in place around the edges with pins. This will help keep the fabric stable and make it easier to sew.

Pinning the fabric pieces together is a crucial step in the sewing process, as it ensures your outdoor pillows will have clean and even seams. By taking the time to properly align and pin the fabric, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the sewing process.

Sewing the seams

Once your fabric pieces are pinned together, it’s time to sew the seams. To do this, use a sewing machine to stitch around the perimeter of the pillow with a 12” seam allowance. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam to ensure your stitches stay secure and locked in place.

As you sew, be mindful of the seam allowance and stitch type, as these factors can impact the overall appearance and durability of your outdoor pillows. By sewing the seams with care and precision, you’ll create outdoor pillow covers that not only look professional but are also built to last.

Finishing touches

After sewing the seams, it’s time to add some finishing touches to your outdoor pillow covers. This includes reinforcing seams, snipping corners, and pressing seams for a professional finish. Backstitching is an excellent way to reinforce seams, while snipping corners helps reduce bulk and create sharp edges.

To press seams, use an iron or a Cricut EasyPress Mini to ensure they lay flat and smooth. This will give your outdoor pillows a polished and well-crafted appearance. By taking the time to add these finishing touches, you’ll elevate the look of your outdoor pillows and ensure they stand up to the elements.

Envelope Pillow Case: A Convenient Bedding Solution

An envelope pillow case is a versatile and practical bedding accessory that has gained popularity for its ease of use and stylish appearance. This type of pillow case is named for its unique closure mechanism, which resembles an envelope flap. Unlike traditional pillow cases with zippers or buttons, an envelope pillow case features overlapping fabric panels at the open end, allowing for quick and hassle-free insertion and removal of pillows. This design not only streamlines the process of changing pillowcases but also ensures a secure fit, preventing the pillow from slipping out during use. Moreover, envelope pillow cases come in a wide array of fabrics, patterns, and colors, making them a versatile choice to complement any bedroom decor. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern look or a cozy and rustic feel, there is an envelope pillow case to suit every taste and style.

Adding Closures to Your Outdoor Pillow Covers

A woman adding a zipper closure to a pillow cover

The closure is a key feature of any outdoor pillow cover. Closures not only secure the pillow insert inside the cover, but also make it easy to remove and wash the cover when needed.

This section delves into various closure options for your outdoor pillow covers, such as sewing a zipper and crafting an envelope-style closure. By choosing a closure that suits your needs and preferences, you’ll ensure your outdoor pillows are both functional and stylish, making them a perfect addition to your outdoor space.

Sewing a zipper closure

Sewing a zipper closure into your outdoor pillow cover is a great way to create a secure and removable cover. To sew a zipper closure, you’ll need a zipper, straight pins, and a sewing machine with a zipper foot attached. Start by laying the zipper face down along the bottom edge of the fabric, and pin the zipper in place.

Next, use the sewing machine’s zipper foot to sew a straight line along the outermost side of the zipper, stopping and backstitching when you reach the zipper pull. By following these steps, you’ll create a professional-looking zipper closure that makes it easy to remove and wash your outdoor pillow covers.

Creating an envelope-style closure

A step-by-step guide on creating an envelope-style closure for your DIY outdoor pillow project

An envelope-style closure is a simple and elegant alternative to a zipper closure. This type of closure doesn’t require any zippers, making it an excellent option for those who may not be comfortable sewing zippers. To create an envelope-style closure, all you need to do is fold and pin the bottom open end of the pillow cover, then sew a straight line along the bottom edge to secure it.

This straightforward process results in a removable and washable cover for your outdoor cushions and pillows, ensuring they stay clean, fresh, and looking their best throughout the season.

Enhancing and Protecting Your DIY Outdoor Pillows

A woman adding embellishments to an outdoor pillow

Upon finishing your DIY outdoor pillows, you might consider adding some final touches and taking measures to ensure their longevity. This section imparts tips for customizing and safeguarding your outdoor pillows, helping them stay a delightful and useful part of your outdoor space for many years.

Whether you choose to add embellishments or apply fabric treatments, taking the time to enhance and protect your outdoor pillows will ensure they stand up to the elements and stay looking their best.

Customizing with embellishments

Adding personalized content to your outdoor pillows is a great way to make them unique and reflective of your style. Consider sewing beads and sequins, using fabric glue to adhere lace and ribbons, or applying your own design or premade accents with stencils and sharpies.

When selecting embellishments, keep in mind the overall color scheme and design of your outdoor space. By carefully choosing colors and patterns that complement the existing decor, you’ll create a cohesive and visually appealing outdoor area that you and your guests will love.

Protecting your pillows with fabric treatments

For your outdoor pillows to endure for years, protective fabric treatments are a must. Using fabric protectants like Scotchgard Water Shield can enhance the weather resistance of your outdoor pillows, preventing water damage and prolonging their lifespan.

To apply the Scotchgard Water Shield, simply follow these steps:

  1. Flip the pillows right side out.
  2. Work in a well-ventilated area.
  3. Coat the fabric with the water shielding solution following the instructions on the bottle.

Once dry, your outdoor pillows will be better equipped to withstand the elements and maintain their vibrant colors and comfortable support.

How to Sew a Pillow for Beginners

Learning how to sew a pillow for beginners is a great way to kickstart your journey into the world of sewing. To begin, gather all the necessary materials: fabric, thread, a sewing machine (or a needle if you prefer hand-sewing), scissors, and a pillow form or stuffing. Choose a simple, non-stretch fabric like cotton for your first project, as it’s easy to work with. Next, measure and cut your fabric to the desired size, leaving an extra inch on each side for seam allowance. Once you’ve cut your fabric, pin the pieces together, ensuring they’re facing each other with the right sides in. Finally, using a straight stitch on your sewing machine or a simple running stitch if you’re hand-sewing, carefully sew around the edges, leaving a small opening to insert the stuffing. With a little practice and patience, you’ll soon have a beautifully crafted pillow to proudly display in your home.


In conclusion, creating your own DIY outdoor pillows is a fun and rewarding project that can transform your outdoor space. By choosing the right materials, measuring and cutting the fabric accurately, sewing weather-resistant pillow covers, and adding closures and protective treatments, you’ll create outdoor pillows that are stylish, comfortable, and built to last. So gather your materials and get started on your outdoor pillow project – your patio will thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What filling is used for outdoor pillows?

CumuPlush is the perfect filling for outdoor pillows; it quickly drains, releases moisture, resists mildew, and provides soft yet resilient support.

What makes an outdoor pillow?

Outdoor pillows are made with durable and weather-resistant materials such as Sunbrella or polyester, ensuring a long life even in harsh conditions.

They’re also water-resistant, so they won’t fade or mildew in the sun.

What are the best weather-resistant fabric options for outdoor pillows?

For outdoor pillows, Sunbrella, Olefin, and polyester blends are excellent choices thanks to their weather-resistant properties.

How do I measure and cut the fabric for my outdoor pillows?

Measure the pillow insert or existing cushion, add an extra inch for seam allowances, and use a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and measuring tape to cut the fabric – it’s easy and quick!

It’s simple to make your own pillow covers with a few basic supplies. All you need is fabric, a sewing machine, and a few other tools. With a few simple steps, you can create a custom pillow cover that fits your decor perfectly.

What type of closure should I use for my outdoor pillow covers?

Zipper closures and envelope-style closures are both great options for outdoor pillow covers, offering easy removal and washing.

Andrea Michelle Hunter
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