DIY: More Outdoor Upgrades
June 26, 2009
Last year, I purchased a long iron sofa and matching outdoor chair from our local antique fair. I love the look of those iron outdoor sofas from Restoration Hardware, but was completely unprepared to pay those prices.
I bargained the vendor down to $300 for my set – she didn’t want to have to load it back up on her truck, so it came home with me. My next mission was to have custom cushions made with Sunbrella fabric, but I had sticker shock at the amount the local upholstery shops wanted to charge me for foam, batting, fabric and sewing. So I decided to make them myself.
Last year, I found an online retailer to custom cut high density foam and wrap it in Dacron. I wish I could remember the retailer, but I can’t now. But there are plenty of them online.
Then I ordered Sunbrella fabric in ‘Dupione Maize’ to cover my cushions. I love the color in this fabric, because up close there is a deep yellow color woven together with a bit of watery blue.
Because Sunbrella fabric is a bit expensive ($12 to $20 per yard), last year I only purchased enough to do the bottom cushions. But last month, I ordered enough for the top cushions, hoping the colors would still match. I was surprised and delighted to find that after a year of summer sun exposure and multiple washings, this fabric hadn’t changed.
Here’s an up close of the bottom cushions with the fabric from last year, and the top cushions, which I just finished yesterday with the new fabric I ordered last month.
I’m sure I will offend serious sewers out there, but my technique for sewing outdoor cushions is a bit barbaric. I simply cut a long strip of fabric to wrap around the cushions, then pinned two rectangles to the sides, and sewed them together.
Confession: I haven’t even finished the openings yet. Sewing zippers frustrates me to no end, so I’m just going to sew a quick seam and add some Velcro strips later so I can remove these slipcovers for washing. But I was so tired last night, I didn’t have the energy. Right now, the back is simply safety pinned. Sssshhh. Don’t tell my guests that I’m entertaining this weekend.
Here’s what the sofa looks like now, sitting in my courtyard. This sofa is 94” long, so my 6 foot tall husband can actually lie down on it.
Pay no attention to that one seat cushion on the chair that I have yet to finish. But you get the idea.
This wall fountain is also from Target – I bought it last year, and it has a nice patina.
For my master balcony, I redid a pair of chairs that I picked up from the local thrift. I am really loving the new look given to this pair of chairs. I used a spray primer, Rustoleum’s ‘Heirloom White’, and added some new foam and festive fabric to upgrade these vintage chairs. Now they sit on the balcony off my master, which sadly was unused and lacking in any decor.
Chair Before and After:
Lime green hanging hurricanes from Joann’s Fabrics, melamine pitcher from Walmart.
Can you tell I am drawn to green patterned fabrics ? How do you feel about decorating with green?