I don’t know about you, but I think patio furniture is pretty overpriced. It sits on the porch, gets beaten up by the elements, and clobbered by the pollen (especially if you’re in Florida). Also? It’s rare that I ever find patio furniture that’s actually comfortable. My husband and I have a rocking chair and short table set that we love. We love it because it’s fairly sturdy, it was free (a hand-me-down from my parents), it fits on our tiny back porch, and it’s very comfortable. This past weekend I cleaned up the back porch and realized that our furniture was looking a bit ‘weathered’. Here’s a quick way to revamp your patio furniture.
New Cushions/Slipcovers: If you already have cushions on your chairs, you can recover them and use the same padding. If you don’t have cushions (or want to ditch the existing padding), you can purchase new foam at any craft store (or even Wal-Mart). I used the existing cushions.
1. First I wanted to put a zipper in the back of the cushion so I could remove them for easier washing (pollen…remember the pollen). I sewed the back seam with a long stitch.
2. On the wrong side of the fabric, I pinned down my zipper (face down). Using a zipper foot, I sewed in my zipper (the face of the zipper facing the ‘ugly side’ of the seam).
3. I then re-sewed the rest of the back seam with a shorter stitch. Once secure, I flipped the fabric over and pulled out the stitches only on the zippered portion.
4. Before sewing the rest of the seams, I pinned down some smaller sections of ribbon to make ties. Since chairs differ so much, be sure you make them long enough to tie around the bars on your chairs.
5. ALSO, be sure to unzip the zipper before you sew up all the other sides of your cushion. If not, you might say a bad word as you look for your seam ripper. :-)
6. Stuff your new cushion covers with either your old cushion or new and tie to your patio chair. Because our chairs are able to fold up, I tied them loosely to keep the ribbons from getting caught and/or broken when folding up the chair.
Neck Pillows: This is an idea I would LOVE to take all the credit for, but my mom helped me come up with it. Granted, we thought it up about eight years ago, but these little pillows are still a favorite. You know that void of a space behind your neck when you lean your head back against a chair? This little pillow fills that void and is SO comfy.
1. Make a small rectangular pillow (same process for a regular pillow). Mine measured about four inches tall and six inches wide. Turn it, stuff it, and sew up the hole.
2. Attach ribbons to the middle of the back of the pillow. You can either do this on your sewing machine before you sew up and stuff the pillow or you can do it by hand after stuffing. I always forget and end up sewing mine by hand.
3. Tie the pillow to the back of your chair. You’ll probably want to sit in the chair to determine placement (comfort is an exact science!).
Table Top Cover: Sometimes outdoor tables ‘turn’ and, no matter how much you scrub and clean them, continue to look dirty. This little table cover gives you a clean look with the ‘wash and wear’ capability.
1. Spread your fabric over your table and cut along the edge. I left about three inches dangling from the lip of the table.
2. Sew up a casing along the edge. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect…it’s for the porch!
3. Run elastic through the casing, and either tie off the ends or sew them together. I personally like sewing them with the sewing machine. I once had a tied piece of elastic came apart on me and now I always sew them together on the machine.
4. Your tablecloth is complete. Slip it over your table and voila. A simple to clean tablecloth for the back porch.