The V Spot

Rants, observations and home decorating from a woman with no time for a blog.

No Sew Project: How to recover your outdoor cushions using fabric and a glue gun.

I recently was fortunate enough to get to play around with some beautiful fabrics from Riley Blake Designs.    There is lots to choose from, and whenever you want to inject some color into a room, paint and fabric are always sure things.  I recently shared this quick tutorial over on Mom It Forward, but thought I’d share it over here, in case you missed it.

We do a lot of entertaining and much of it is on our patio.  Because we are in Southern California, we’re able to change up the look of our patio furniture pretty regularly with just a little fabric and a glue gun.
If you can wrap a present, you can re-cover a cushion.


Riley Blake Designs has some amazing fabrics and I knew this fun paisley inspired print was just the thing to bring a shot of color to my patio.

We recover our cushions regularly because they were looking a bit worn, but are still perfectly comfortable.  Because we use a glue gun we can change the fabric as often as we like.  The last fabric we had on our cushions was a black and white combo for a Halloween Party.


Start by measuring the widest part of the cushion and the sides.  The width of the cushion was 25″ and the sides were about 3″ high.  25+3+3 = 31″  then I add another 6″ to ensure it will wrap around to the back.  I cut a total length of 37 inches.

The next step is to pull the old fabric off of the cushion.  The fabric always pulls off and the old glue sticks to the cushion.  This allows me to toss the fabric into the washing machine and save it for future projects.  I love that I am able to use these materials over and over again.

Take the cushion and center it on the new fabric.

See?  The old hot glue sticks to the cushion, not the fabric so you can reuse the fabric over again.

This is just like wrapping a present, but instead of paper it’s fabric and instead of tape, you’re using hot glue.


Just like a present… fold up the sides and glue.  Then fold the “ends” and secure them as well.


The fact that this “seam” is present doesn’t matter on most furniture.  No one sees the bottom of the seat cushion, and most chairs have a back support that hides the seam on the back cushion.

Is it going to last forever?  No… but then again, I don’t want it to.


I love being able to change up my patio, depending on the event. These chairs were perfect for the Mother’s Day Brunch we recently hosted.

Colorful cushions and a Mother’s Day Mimosa… Nice!

So remember: It’s OK to recover old cushions.  It’s OK to use a glue gun to do it.  It’s your patio… do what you want!



Connie Weiss said...

May 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm
That fabric is beautiful!
2. said...

May 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm
Love this idea! Thanks for the suggestion!

Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon said...

May 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm
This is my kind of project! They look fabulous!

Take care,


MiMi said...

May 30, 2012 at 8:18 pm
If only that would work here!

Becca @ R We There Yet Mom? said...

May 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm
You make it look so easy!!


Richella said...

May 31, 2012 at 12:58 am
This is wonderful, Vivienne! I use hot glue a LOT, but I haven't tried it for something like this. I think I was afraid that it wouldn't hold up. But you're right: it doesn't have to last forever. Thank you for giving me courage to try this.

And your new fabric is gorgeous, by the way!

Kristy said...

May 31, 2012 at 2:45 am
OMGSH! See... there ya go again! Inspiring me to not BUY replacement cushions, but simply cover the one's I've got! ;) heehee They're great!

Jen said...

May 31, 2012 at 11:08 am
THANK YOU for giving me permission to do this :) Our cushions are 5 years old at this point & needing a re-fresh. I've thought about sewing new covers or having some made, but wow they're expensive! Think I'm going to need a bigger glue gun though, my little mini one won't cut it for this....

Can you believe May is over already??

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

June 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm
Nothing that some glue gun can't fix! Turned out great!

Tammy Nunn said...

May 9, 2014 at 4:34 pm
I can't wait to try this! I bought 2 good but brown rockers at the thrift store and an ottoman at a yard sale. I painted them all bright red and put black/white cushions in the rockers. My problem: the cushion that was in the ottoman was the wrong color but perfect condition. I have spent more time searching online for a coordinating cushion than I had spent painting! Now, I can't wait to get to the fabric store!!!! I believe you just saved me a lot of time and money!!

vivienne said...

May 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm
That's so great! I hope this helps you out!

Vicki A Grubbs said...

June 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm
Wow! Thank you so much for this DIY projest, just love your idea. Don't sew to well so this is great.

Melissa said...

June 17, 2014 at 11:25 am
You have saved me (I think). I have 6 (no, 12 counting the backs) nasty, torn, recently decorated with paint by my 6 year old, cushions for a perfectly good patio table that stay outside year round (I too, live in So Cal). Here's the problem…I have never done an arts or crafts project and my wrapping is so bad, one year everyone thought it was "super awesome" that I let my then 3 year old wrap all the gifts herself. (naturally I replied "yes, didn't she do a wonderful job?!"). Normally my husband does all the wrapping. I desperately want to be the mom who can whip up a bunch of fabulous party favors out of some rope, and construction paper and left over buttons, but at 45, the only thing I've been able to do is crochet one incredibly long string. I have a glue gun…not sure where it is…never used it. However, this time I swore it would be different. We just can't afford the outrageously priced cushions for sale, so I scoured the internet about making my own cushions. Then I came across yours and it hit me, duh…the filling is still in good shape, all I need is fabric and a glue gun! I used to run multi-million dollar business, surely I can do this, right?! So, I guess my question is, would it be wise to use some quilt banting (see, I don't even know the right word but I think you know what I mean) to keep the fabric from slipping? Also, what is the best "type" of fabric to use (sunbrella?). I am very intimidated by Joann fabrics, even though my mother worked there (on East Coast) for eons because, of course, she is a master seamstress, making all our clothes growing up (it was the 70s so it was ok then), my sister's wedding gown, quilts and curtains to die for and the most exquisite baby clothes you could imagine. If she didn't live 3000 miles away, trust me, I'd hire her. She always said it was the tragedy of her life that NONE of her 3 girls picked up her gift for this. I'm not allowed to have a sewing machine after the last "incident" (let's just say my idea to hem the curtains didn't turn out too well). I'm hoping I won't have a repeat using a hot glue gun, but I will have paramedics standing my just in case. Wish me luck! And thank you for making it seem like even I could do this!

Melissa said...

June 17, 2014 at 11:27 am
OMG, I just saw your comment about Erma Bombeck…I LOVE her! I was recently in Cambria for a little r & r and The Olalliberry Inn. While browsing an antique shop I came across 2 of my favorite books by her "If life is a bowl of Cherries then why am I the pits?" and "Just wait until you have children of your own". I had to buy them!

vivienne said...

June 17, 2014 at 11:31 am
Melissa, your comment made my day. You can totally do this! The word you were looking for is "batting" and no, I don't think you need to use it. Seriously, just pretend that the fabric is wrapping paper and that the cushion is a gift, and you will be fine. Don't be intimidated at the fabric store. Part of what is so great about this project is you can get inexpensive fabric and give it a try... change it up a lot or a little. I'd recommend giving it a try for the summer with something fun and summery (don't worry about heavy duty, expensive outdoor fabric) Just get the hang of it first.

Karen said...

June 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm
Going to give this a try. One question though, won't the glue remelt in the hot sun as my patio furniture is on my back deck and gets a lot of sun (thus my black fadded year old cushions)?

vivienne said...

June 30, 2014 at 8:01 am
Hi Karen, I have never had a problem with the glue melting in the sun. Thanks for reading!

Outdoor Chair Cushions said...

August 29, 2014 at 4:47 am
The content was really very interesting. I am really thankful to you for providing this unique information. Please keep sharing more and more information......

Carolyn Hodgen said...

February 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm
I am definitely going to try this. I have been at my wits end about recovering/replacing my cushions. They are so expensive and my cushions are awesome. The covers are faded and when I washed one it fell apart. Has anyone else out there done this? I have ordered swatches of different fabrics and am going to try one! TThanks for this idea!

Sandra Zimmerman said...

March 10, 2015 at 12:24 pm
Thank you for your great idea. I have a three cushion glider that needs to be redone. The seat cushions are all one piece. What I mean is the bottom and the back of the cushion are sewn together. How can I do this project on this kind of cushion? Do you have any ideas? I would appreciate any help. Thanks

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