Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The recovered patio furniture is still going strong!

Could you ever guess what one of the most popular posts is from this blog?  Popular based on number of times someone has clicked onto it after doing an internet search.  It's the post How an Uncrafty Person Recovers Patio Furniture from May 9, 2010.

I laugh about this because my method of recovering that outdoor furniture is well, comical to say the least!  Not exactly a Martha Stewart approved method. 

But, y'all it worked!  And what I'm here to say today as an update is that it still works!

The furniture still looks great now, over 2 years later!  I haven't had to repair or recover any of the cushions!  They've stayed on even under heavy kid use!  The fabric I bought was the kind they make the reusable grocery bags out of and it has really stayed very nice for being on outdoor furniture (granted our patio is covered by a roof)!

I never expected the recovering job to hold up this well, I would have predicted back then that it would only be a matter of time before we'd need to buy new cushions!

So, uncrafty friends, take heart, if I can do it, you can too!

Original post from May 2010:

** Disclaimer I had no idea what I was doing. I just made up a process as I went along. I am happy with the outcome but have no guarantee it will hold up to the test of time! **

So here you go.

How I, an uncrafty person, recovered my patio furniture cushions:

Before my cushions (2 chair cushions and 1 bench cushion) were terribly stained. Too many times hosting kid birthday parties, too many nights of our neighbor's cats sleeping on them, too many coatings with yellow pollen that blows through the air freely for a couple months every spring all contributed to the ugliness.

I went to the fabric store and because I am cheap I limited my choices to the discount fabric. I found some great fabric for around $2.00 per yard. The material is not technically outdoor fabric, but the furniture is under a roof and the material is rough textured and stiff so it seems like moisture would not absorb too easily and some debris would brush off.

I am uncrafty so I didn't really closely measure and pretty much just guessed and got 5 yards (I ended up with a bunch extra but I'm glad to have spare in case a cushion needs to be recovered in the future.)

I cut the fabric to wrap around each cushion and then pretended like I was wrapping a present.Only instead of using tape, I hand stitched the fabric to the cushion in a few different spots using heavy-duty thread. The heavy-duty thread I had on hand was a beige type color and it would have been much better to use a color that exactly blended with my fabric, but I was worried that adding another trip to the store for this project just may have been enough to put it over the edge into the land-of-projects-I-plan-but-never-accomplish, so I foraged ahead with the mismatched thread, knowing the goal was not perfection!

I folded over the edges that would end up showing on the outside before I stitched them to the cushion to get a clean edge without hemming.

And the finished product:
And here's what they look like on the furniture:
I did the bench cushion first. I wanted to tackled the hardest part first because I thought once I got it over with then I'd surely be motivated to finish the other cushions because I'd just have the easy chair ones left. But, in hindsight, I wish I'd done the bench last because I learned so much during the process and got better with each cushion. For the bench I actually used a combination of stapling the fabric and sewing it, but I realized the staples didn't work very well and hated the areas where I could see staples showing. I ended up adding a ribbon trim to 2 ends to cover staples, but that step would have been unnecessary if I'd just stitched it all to begin with!
I really love the way it turned out. I hope it holds up over time. But if not, I'm only out about $10 and a few hours of my time (the bench took me a couple hours and the chairs about 45 min. each) and for now it looks so much better than the stained fabric!!

If I can do it, you can too! From a girl who actually managed to poke herself in the lip with a needle during this process, trust me on that one, and also trust me that you should not attempt to hold the needle with your mouth while you position fabric!

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