With spring here and warm dry weather hopefully around the corner I have had the patio on my mind. Every year I like to make it just a bit better of a place to hangout and this year will be no different. I have a substantial list this year that includes planting installations, painting the awning frame, and creating custom cushions for the new patio chairs. The chairs we had been using the past couple years were starting to look rather hit, and to be honest, they were never really that comfortable anyway. Last November, on one of my thrifting excursions, I found a set of four wrought iron patio chairs that were just perfect. They were in great condition and just needed a little cleaning and paint.
The new chairs were exceedingly more comfortable than the old ones, but, I wanted to take it to the next level. In order to maximize their comfort-while-sipping-cocktails potential they were going to need some cushions. I had an old tablecloth that I had dug out recently that I wanted to be able to use on the patio table so I wanted to find fabric that would go with it. The materials that I used also had to be weather and sun resistant. I headed over to my favorite fabric store, Haberman’s, and brought home a bunch of options of Sunbrella fabric that I found on the clearance shelf (Only $3.98 a yard!). I wanted to use the mustardy-brown for the main parts of the seat and then use a contrasting color for welt cord. It was between red and a denim blue. While the red probably matched the tablecloth the best, I liked the blue better when not using it. I wavered back and forth a bit but ultimately decided to go with the blue. I am glad I did because I later found this amazing French blue and yellow paisley tablecloth that looks amazing with it.
As with most projects the cushions took me at least twice as long to finish as I had expected with half a dozen UNexpected trips to the store (J is very familiar with Jo-Ann’s now, thanks sweetie!). This is partly because after cutting everything out I realized I could expand on my original plan of only making cushions for the seats and make back cushions as well. I ended up making 70 feet of welt cord! The cushions are stuffed with a poly foam. While it is not as comfy as high-density foam it is mold and mildew resistant and does not hold onto water. The welt cord uses clothes line that is also weatherproof. It was worth it to get the outdoors approved materials so I don’t have to worry every time it rains that all my hard work will be ruined.
One last consideration that I made that I thought was pretty clever is I designed the back cushions in a way they can be removed and used as seat cushions on the old chairs. Now if we have some extra friends over no one should have to worry about their butts falling asleep.
I am really happy with how these came out and am looking forward to getting a lot of use out of them this summer. I am currently wrapping up another big project I have been working on for the patio. I am making a green wall to add some lushness and softness to the space. Check back soon and I will share lots of pictures and how I did it!