Meet our tired old patio chair cushions. They’ve been faded in time, and this year when we sat on them, it was more than the fabric could take. The sad thing is, the chairs are still in great shape and very comfortable. The cushions themselves have held up. It was just an issue with the fabric that was covering them.
Hubby was convinced that there were only about three years old, but I was sure we’d had them much longer. A bit of research through my digital photo library revealed that they were entering into their 10th season.
The easy solution would have been to buy replacement cushions, but that was easier said than done. They are oversized and, of course, not a standard size. When I finally did locate replacements that would work, they were $100 to $125 per chair!
Then came the debate. For $500, we could easily replace the entire furniture set. While hubby was all for that, I just didn’t feel right about it. Clearly my conservationist daughter is rubbing off on me. Besides, as previously mentioned, the chairs are very comfortable.
I had some outdoor fabric I had purchased some time ago to recover the cushions for a glider that has since rusted out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough yardage to completely encase the old cushions for all four chairs. At best I could do two, but then what about the others?
So I did some measuring and determined a plan that would address all four chairs. Rather than completely encasing them, I could cover the main surfaces and secure the covers with velcro. Since I already had the fabric and the velcro on hand, it wouldn’t cost me a thing but my time.
Hubby still wasn’t convinced but after a shopping trip where we couldn’t settle on any new furniture that we liked better, he acquiesced.
The sewing potion itself was rather easy. It just involved some straight sewing. There was enough body to the fabric that I didn’t even have to pin the fabric. I ironed the first hems in place.
The second sides required a bit of measuring, but again, no pins, just a bit of ironing followed by straight sewing. Once all the hems were in place, I sewed the velcro onto the fabric by machine. It all went rather quickly and I finished it in a single afternoon.
Attaching the velcro to the cushions was a bit more work. I had no choice but to do so by hand. I used a curved upholstery needle. It took some pressure to punch through the velcro and get the stitches in place. The hand stitching wasn’t exactly pretty but the new fabric would hide it so I wasn’t concerned. It took me three nights to get all the velcro attached to the cushions.
Of course I could not wait to check out my finished project. The velcro securely held the covers in place and I was relieved that I didn’t have to attach any more pieces.
To be quite honest, I would have much rather been able to make proper covers. However, this solution works and we should get a few more seasons out of our furniture. With a long term goal of moving to a different house in three to five years, this will get us by so that we can purchase exactly what we want for the new place. But then again, if there is still life in the frames and cushions, maybe we’ll be revisiting the recover versus replace debate again. Shhhh! Don’t tell hubby!