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Custom-Made Cushions




Instead of settling for a print that's not quite right, make your own outdoor chaise cushions using inexpensive pillows and the fabric of your choice.

The fabric will protect the pillows from moisture, but it's best to take the cushions inside before it rains.

Tip: We used 22-by-18-inch pillows and a 46-by-77-inch length of fabric.


  • Four polyester-filled bed pillows (per cushion)
  • Waterproof fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Water-soluble pen
  • Ruler
  • Straight pins


  1. Step 1

    Fold fabric lengthwise, right sides facing, and sew the two short ends shut, leaving a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn fabric right side out.

  2. Step 2

    Using a water-soluble pen and a ruler, mark horizontal lines to divide fabric into four equal parts; pin, and sew.

  3. Step 3

    Sew two pairs of 12-inch lengths of twill tape to each opening. Insert pillows, and tie shut. 

Martha Stewart Living, August 2004



Reviews (9)

  • Janice Corse 21 Jul, 2012

    Sounds like a really good idea. Just what I have been looking for.

  • judymck 20 Jul, 2012

    Any reason not to sew the cover closed, assuming the fabric is waterproof?

  • April Maruca 20 Jul, 2012

    JBLOOM, right click mouse on page and creat a shortcut to it, so you can find it easier.

  • JBloom 20 Jul, 2012

    How do I mark this as one I want to keep? I can't find it now. This looks like a very comfortable idea!

  • Sewsirius 4 Nov, 2011

    I'm thinking they could also serve as a temporary sleep over bed for kids. Sorry if this idea has already been mentioned I'm on an iPad and it takes ages to scroll through more comments : )

  • RustySurfBoarder 20 Jun, 2010

    VicKnight- great idea! Thanks ! We live in Vancouver and it's a bit more 'moist' out here! ha-ha So this is a great solution for me. Enjoy the summer :)

  • VicKnight 11 Jun, 2010

    Buy some inexpensive waterproof "pillow protector" cases with a zipper closure. Put these on the pillows before putting them in the cover fabric and they'll be much more outdoor proof.

  • PeakMom 11 Mar, 2010

    You can also buy 4 standard shams (or pillow cases) and sew them close together between the sections (cutting away excess border fabric between sections, if necessary). Match styles or mix them - the possibilities are endless

  • hindi 30 Apr, 2008

    If you are going to take the cushions in anyway, a less expensive way to cover the pillows could be a double flat bed sheet. Depending on the size you need you might get more than one cushion. (chairs wouldn't need as much fabric) Also instead of twill tape, what about a strip of velcro?