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A Cheap and Easy Way to Make Outdoor Cushions

– Posted in: Projects, Recycling, Sew

How to Make Outdoor Cushions Using Recycled Plastic Bags

Cushions for outdoor furniture are expensive!! I’m not even going to mention how much I paid for the cushions I bought for the furniture I built… Let’s just say they cost way more than the lumber to build the furniture!

Making your own outdoor cushions can sometimes be almost as expensive as buying them. The outdoor fabric can be very costly (there is no way around that) but there is no need to pay big bucks for the special outdoor foam for the cushion itself when the cushions can be stuffed with plastic grocery bags! Today, I’ll share how to make outdoor cushions using recycled plastic bags!

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Today, I’ll share my method of making outdoor cushions for a fraction of the cost of store-bought cushions that are just as attractive and comfortable!

Materials:

  • Outdoor fabric (the yardage depends on the size of the cushions)
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine & thread

Determine the size of the cushions – The chair I’m making the cushion for measures 22″ x 22″. I cut two squares of fabric at 23″ x 23″ which allows for a 1/2″ seam.

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Place the fabric wrong sides together and pin around three sides of the square leaving an approximate 2″ opening at the center of the sides. The openings are “vents” to allow air to escape when the cushion is sat upon. It will also allow for adding or removing of the plastic bags to adjust the “comfort”.

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Turn the fabric right side out and top-stitch around the vents on the side.

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Stuff the cushions with the plastic bags, as desired.

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At the open seam, fold the fabric over approximately 1/2″ and stitch closed.

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How’s that for recycling?? Now my only dilemma is what color to paint my chair… Any ideas?

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The plans for the chair can be found here. The tutorial on how to make outdoor cushions using recycled plastic bags is very easy, really cheap, and the cushions are actually very comfortable. The biggest problem I’ve had with them is that when the dogs “discover” them, I find plastic bags all over the yard ~ I guess the dogs like the cushions, too! Have any questions? Let me know at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot com!

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  • http://wraparoundmyhead.blogspot.com/ Erin

    That is just about the neatest thing ever! I am planning to make cushion for some outdoor chairs of mine and I will definately give this a try. Question: do the cushions make a crinkling sound when you sit down? Thanks!  

    • Cher-Ann

      Thank you! Unfortunately, yes, they do crinkle… but I look at it this way, if you’re outside no one will really hear it!

  • Peter Rockwell @wickrfurncover

    Very clever! This an original yet inexpensive way to add a personal touch to your patio furniture.

    • CherTexter

      Thank you very much, I appreciate it!

  • http://stepfordska-supruga.blogspot.com/ Stepfordska supruga

    It’s always great to find a new recycling idea! Great work!

    p.s. stopping by from SITS

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  • ashlee

    I had never thought about using plastic bags! What a great way to recycle them! And I think the chair should be a light blue or grey (usually I’d say white, but it would look so bright, so a more muted color I think?

    • CherTexter

      Thanks for the color suggestions, Ashlee! The plastic bags work really well – especially if you accumulate a ton of them like I do! I’m in the process of saving more to redo the cushions on my patio set and can’t wait to get them out of the house…

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  • MrskatDelgado

    When it rains will the bags catch any water and get smelly??????

    • CherTexter

      I normally hang them on the clothes line after it rains to let the water drain out. The only drawback to making and using these cushions is that sometimes the dog likes to pull all of the bags out of the vent on the side… I have to round them up and stuff them back in before they blow away in the breeze! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Sandra O Callaghan

    Fantastic! I would paint them in teal.

    • CherTexter

      Thank you very much! Teal is one of my favorite colors… Thank you for stopping by!

  • Lakeesha Hargis

    Are they really noisy? I’m very intrigued! :)

    • CherTexter

      Not so much, really – unless it is very quiet outside then you can “hear” the bags when you sit on the cushion. Otherwise, they are not at all! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Tammy Kinney

    Oh this is too funny. I saw a neat burlap creation/wall hanging the other day and it was stuffed with fiberfill and I thought why couldn’t I do this but stuff it with grocery bags and low and behold I see this with the seat cushion. So I guess it is a GOOD idea. :) Thanks for sharing.

    • CherTexter

      LOL! It is much cheaper than fiberfill, too… You can get them “free” just for grocery shopping, ha ha! Thank you for stopping by!

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