How Do You Sew Patio Chair Cushions

Patio chair with square cushions

People who ask how do you sew patio chair cushions are either looking to replace existing cushions or add to purchased chair frames that did not include them. While patio chair cushions are usually not as luxurious or fancy as indoor cushions, the crafter has to take care to make them hardy enough to withstand the elements. For starters, they should choose a weather resistant fabric, such as muslin, and a foam insert that is mildew resistant.

How Do You Sew Patio Chair Cushions?

Of course, there is more than one way to sew a patio chair cushion. However, beginners can start by completing the following steps:

Step One: Measure

Use a tape measure to determine the exact width of each patio chair's seat. If applicable, measure inside the arms instead of outside. Then measure the distance from the back of the seat to the front of the seat. If the seat is not square, make a paper template to use as a pattern.

Step Two: Cut the Insert

Purchase a 2" or 3" thick foam pad to use for the inside of the cushion. Use the measurements from the first step to cut the pad to the correct size. Place it in the chair to ensure it fights tightly. Trim as needed.

Step Three: Cut the Fabric

Center the foam on your piece of fabric. Trace around the foam with chalk. Draw a second line parallel to your first tracing that is 1" out. This will serve as your seam line. Draw a third line an additional ½" out to serve as your cutting line. Essentially, you will have three concentric rings. Cut along the outside ring. Now cut out another piece of fabric of the exact same size and shape, copying the seam line onto this piece as well.

Patio set with cushions

Step Four: Gather the Fabric

If the cushion is going to have corners, sew in gathering stitches for the 4" of seam line surrounding each corner on both pieces of fabric. Place the foam piece on top of each piece of fabric individually, with the fabric wrong side up. Adjust the stitches so that they line up with the angles of the cushion but leave about a quarter inch of extra space.

Step Five: Sew

Place the two pieces of fabric in a stack, both with their wrong sides facing out. Use the sewing machine to stitch them together along their seam lines, leaving one side open. Turn the fabric right side out, making sure it doesn't clump at the corners. Place the foam inside the cushion, filling any gaps with fiberfill.

Step Six: Adjust

Place the cushion on the chair and make sure it fits properly. If not, mark the areas that need fixing, remove the foam, turn the fabric inside out and resew. When the fit is exactly right, pin the unfinished edge along the seam line and sew the cushion shut with slipstitch. Repeat the same process to make additional cushions. When making back cushions, subtract the height of the bottom cushion when taking the height measurement or it will stick out over top of the chair.

Additional Information

For additional answers to how do you sew patio chair cushions, check out the following websites:

  • Sailrite has instructions for making hinged cushions, in which one cushion covers both the back and seat of the chair.
  • Sew 4 Home has instructions on how to make cushions that tie on the legs of metal patio chairs.
  • has instructions for creating a simple patio chair pad for most any style of seat.

To keep patio chair cushions in good shape for longer, it's a good idea to cover them with plastic or remove them if the furniture is going to sit out unused for an extended period of time.


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How Do You Sew Patio Chair Cushions