Outdoor Suite Refresh & Easy Envelope Cushion Tutorial


Since we are putting in the pizza oven and hanging herb garden in the back patio area, we have had to do a little shuffle of plants and furniture into other outside areas.

Our outside alcove area that sits between our master bedroom and dining room has always been a bit of a ho-hum area.  We really have struggled to do something with it that we like.  Up until recently we had a water feature out there but I have been waiting for inspiration to hit. With no idea in sight and sick of not utilising the area, I just took the bull by the horns and started.

We had to move the couch from the back patio to make way for the pizza oven so I moved it to the alcove.  Here is a pic of where it once stood.

Its green covers were looking less than  their best, so I investigated recovering the cushions as they were in satisfactory condition.   Good outdoor appropriate material was going to cost me near $50 a metre and the sewing would have taken a good deal of time and sewing skill, which I don’t really have.  I was beginning to think I would have to put up with the green covers a little longer.  But once again, the Ikea Gods looked favourably on me and provided a solution.

I took a look in their outdoor furniture section, which I have never have done before and I found on clearance, seat pads and cushions exactly (well almost)  the size I needed for the suite.  They came in a nice neutral tone which suited me as I often  like to change things up with scatter cushions in different colours and prints.

Picking up some canvas material from the local craft store, I decided to make some envelope cushions for the suite.  You too can make these with little investment of time or sewing ability as they have only 4 seams and no zip.  If you want to cut this work down even more, pick up a nicely printed large tea towel for your cushion material and you will only have to sew the side seams.

Firstly you must determine the size of your cushions by measuring the size of your cushion insert.  I work with the metric system but I know many of you use inches so I will give you both (please note the conversions are are approximates but won’t affect the final outcome of your slip, as long as you always work with the one unit)

My pillow is 13 x 13 inches (35 cm). I was a little generous with this measurement making sure I didn’t under-measure.

Cut your fabric to the following guide: Width of cushion + 1 inch (3 cm) x length of cushion x 2 + 6 inches (15 cm)

So my material ended up being 14 inches x 32 inches or 38 cm x 85 cm

Hem the two small edges of your fabric.  I used a 1/2 inch (1 cm) seam allowance.

Fold the small edges of your fabric towards the middle allowing these edges to overlap by 4 1/2 in or 12 cm.  Makes sure you fold the material so that the printed side is facing the inside.  Sew along the side seams using a 1/2 in or 1  cm seam allowance.

Turn your cushion right side out and fill.

I have added only a little wiggle room for the cushion – 1/2 in or 1 cm for both the width and length as my cushions did no have much height and I like my cushion to look generously stuffed. If you have particularly lofty cushions, or like a softer looking cushion, add a little more width and length to your cut material. 

So here is my finished suite with my new scatter cushions.  As it is a public holiday here in Brisbane, I think an afternoon refreshment on the ‘new’ lounge is in order.

The rest of this alcove area will get a little bit of a overhaul when I claim some free time.  I have a project I am itching to start that involves some serious garage sale shopping and spray painting.


21 responses »

  1. Your fabric is very pretty, love the color and pattern. It really makes your seating pop! Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial Jade! I love that fabric! Isn’t Ikea just the happiest place on Earth? LOL! Thanks for sharing this at my party 🙂 I’ll be featuring this post on my Facebook page ♥

  3. This material has the exact same shades as my new family room color palette! I have been searching for a nice fabric that had all three forever! Where did you find it?! I need it!!! 🙂

    And I love your tutorial, I just learned to sew, so I am definitely coming back to make some pillows… as soon as I find the right fabric. Thanks for linking up to our Keep Calm & Link up party – hope to see you again next week!

  4. Hey! That was the easiest sewing pillow I’ve ever seen or thought of! I believe I might even be able to pull that off!
    Thanks for the tutorial!
    I’m your newest follower. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Take it on Tuesday (TIOT) #44: Kindle Cover « Romance on a Dime

  6. This is really a great tutorial. I really like these pillows. It makes me less afraid to do my outside pillows. I actually never thought of doing my outside pillows. Thank you so much for sharing with Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party last week. This weeks Link Party is opened at http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/08/free-bee-sweet-hat-pattern-crocheted.html
    Hope to see you there.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

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