4 DIY Outdoor Pillows + the finished outdoor look

I know things have taken a huge turn from house updates but this should be the last of the outdoor posts until I start up the garden ‘diaries’ of a newbie in the near future. The plan is to have at least two house posts with a garden update or two in between. One day we’ll be up to speed on the house.

After the outdoor furniture and accessory updates/paint marathon last summer, there was an itch to finish the look with some outdoor pillows. And pillows, my friends, are quite easy to whip up in a short amount of time.

One day when browsing the local Joann fabrics, I stumbled across this print in the outdoor section. Let’s just say it was love at first sight, I don’t know if anything could have been more perfect. I love the leaf design and the colors brought in from everything previously spray painted.

So the cheapie in me bought a yard to make two small accent pillows for $8 (using a 40% off coupon). I also used left over thread and finally opening a 5 year old box of stuffing (back in the day when Wal-Mart sold it in the box for $5). So for $4 a pillow, it was a steal. I figured I could always purchase a few yards in contrasting colors for larger pillows down the line.

Anyway, on with pillow making. Just following instinct and no patterns here is how I accomplished the task.

The first step was to fold the fabric in half and pin the raw edges to help hold the fabric in place to aid in cutting the perfect straight line. Since everyone knows by now that I cannot cut a straight line for the life of me.

It was then time to Iron. By far, the pinning and ironing is my favorite technique to achieve a straight line. However, I find that most of the time I’m too lazy to bust out the iron.

Cut along the line:

Fold each piece in half with the good side facing each other. Essentially, you will be sewing the pillow inside out. This time you won’t be cutting because by folding the pieces in half you have one less seam to sew. Then pin a straight line the left and right sides of each ‘pillow.’

Followed directly by sewing each pinned line which forms the seams. Make sure to leave about a ¼ inch on the raw edge side which will be used when closing up the pillow. After sewing it should look like this:

Pull the fabric from the inside and reverse the pillow. The ‘good side’ of the fabric should now be showing. Make sure to push out the corners as best as possible.

Then fold in the raw edges to form a ¼ inch seam allowance and pin about 75% in, followed again by sewing the line.

Fill the pillow with stuffing to your desired comfort.

Here is where I cheated. Typically you should hand sew pillows shut but since I avoid hand sewing by all means, I then pinned the pillow shut:

squished the stuffing as far away from the end seam as possible and carefully squeezed the pillow through the sewing machine one more time.
My machine has a removable drawer which came in handy to aid in my laziness.
It takes a bit of finagling to finish up the seam but, to me, it is well worth the shotty/messy line that I end up with when trying to hand sew. It’s just as easy to fluff the stuffing right back where it belongs.

After one done:

After both done:

Some styling:

The newly transformed planter/bucket was filled with (free) transplanted chives. We dug them up from one of the two randomly placed gardens we had in the backyard.

And some more just for fun:

And my favorite part a look at the before and afters:

I have to say, the outdoor side tracking mini updates and the whole it-should-be-spring-right now has us itching to work our curb appeal since it’s severely lacking.
We definitely have a bit of cabin fever up in here and have tons of planned outdoor projects up our sleeves.

Random Outtake:
The rug was burned because I was too lazy to bring out the ironing board.  Instead I opted to use the felt lining of an ironing board cover and accidentally went off the edge a bit when ironing the seams. It’s much more noticeable in person because the rug is hard and crunchy feeling on that corner. We lived with it for a while (just turning the burned spot to a less traffic area) but ultimately decided to replace it since it was only $19.99 at IKEA.

Do you have the outdoor itch? Waiting to catch some much needed Vitamin D? Excited that bulbs are starting to spring? Maybe you’re ready to get your mother-nature on?

Want to see the progression during the mini-outdoor update? Here's painting the bench and updating some accessories

Psst: I don’t know if some of you noticed but I’m super ecstatic to announce that I finally took the plunge and purchased my own domain. No worries if you’ve already bookmarked with the .blogspot because it will continue to redirect you.


  1. We should do some pillows for our outdoor furniture. We don't even have cushions. We did just build our own bonfire pit for the backyard and it's pretty schnazzy :) Pillows would dress our stuff up a bit though!

    1. Well you know someone who has finished some, and I'm pretty sure if you want custom we could figure out how to make them (I've pinned TONS of tutorials).

  2. Great idea! I like the idea of pillow covers because then you don’t have a million stuffed pillows to store, but these are just too cute.

  3. I've been eyeing that fabric and think I just got sold! Love it!
    Corey @ TinySidekick.com


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