Inexpensive Ways to Fix Up Patio Cushions

By Alex Burke

Stretching those patio cushions just one more season can be a relaxing and inexpensive do-it-yourself project. Hide small tears and rips, create new patterns to replace old ones or design a quick slip-on cover to fix up patio cushions. Prevent further damage by bringing patio cushions indoors or hiding them in a storage area when the weather turns ugly.

Paint Plastic Cushions

Redecorate plastic patio cushions with paint. Clean the surface of the cushions using a mild soap and water mixture. Rinse the suds off the cushions thoroughly, and allow them to dry completely. Spray on a plastic paint primer to give the paint a surface to adhere to. Then spray with a color spray paint. You can find spray paint for plastic that has a built-in primer but the color choices are usually very limited. To add a decorative touch, place a stencil pattern onto the patio cushion by using painters tape cut into appropriate shapes. Spray the exposed areas with a colored spray paint, and allow them to dry. Peel off the tape to reveal a new patio cushion cover. To protect the paint, seal with a clear spray sealer.

Recover Fabric

Cover patio cushions quickly using a vinyl tablecloth or vinyl-coated fabric. Fraying is usually not an issue with a vinyl cloth, making it a good fabric to use when a quick inexpensive, solution is needed. Cut the fabric in two squares that allow the whole cushion to fit in between. Place the squares face to face and stitch three sides together. Turn inside out, and slip the cushion inside. To prevent the cushion from slipping out, seal the fourth edge using Velcro. Fold one side of the cloth up against the cushion, place the Velcro along the surface of its face. Place the other half of the Velcro on the inside of the other flap, and then press the Velcro together. Vinyl cloth is sometimes called vinyl oilcloth. Find vinyl oilcloth at local fabric stores or through online retailers.

Add More Pattern

Sometimes patio cushions may have a few rips or tears that need patching. Fix them up by stitching a new patterned fabric right on top of the tear. Locate a fabric finish that matches the existing one—vinyl with vinyl, cloth with cloth. Take a look at the overall pattern of the existing cushion, and choose a patching fabric that has a pattern with a similar color palette or one that is a solid color used in the existing pattern. Cut an over-sized patch of fabric (triangle, square, circle, leaf shape, half moon) that is appropriate to the existing pattern. Make it larger so that it covers the opening and has plenty of room for you to stitch around it—a 1-inch rip could use a 1½-inch patch. Remove the covering, place the patch over the top of the tear and stitch it directly to the covering. Stitch all the way around in the shape of the patch to secure the repair. If the cover cannot be removed, use a strong fabric glue or permanent fabric adhesive for cushions that get a lot of use.


About the Author

Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.