When you're starting a new home, you want it to look its best, both inside and out. So should you happen to notice your patio cushions are looking a bit old and ragged, you may be tempted to toss them out and buy entirely new ones. If you've already spent a bundle on the interior, though, you may need to be a little frugal. But that's no problem; there are plenty of ways to fix up your worn or outdated patio cushions that won't break the bank.
If you or someone you know can sew, rather than replacing your cushions, a cheaper alternative is to simply re-cover them with an inexpensive fabric. For even greater savings, look for the ends of fabric bolts, which are often discounted. And you can always mix and match colors and patterns if you're covering several chairs.
To make a cover, measure the original cushion, then cut two pieces of your fabric about an inch longer and wider than the dimensions you measured (to allow for seams). Sew the pieces together, inside out, leaving one seam open. Turn the newly made cover right-side out, slip in the old cushion, then stitch the final seam shut.
A simple way to brighten up dull cushions is to paint them with upholstery spray paint. Apply a color that's darker than the fabric and that matches your patio decor. Upholstery paint refreshes the look of tired, old cushions and adds color to your patio. Be sure to keep your furniture in the shade, though. Upholstery paint -- just like most fabrics -- fades in the sun.
If your cushions have a few tiny tears, you can always just stitch them up. If the holes are small enough, and your stitching is fine enough, the repairs shouldn't be noticeable. If you have larger holes, however, you'll need to patch them. You can choose patches in a color that matches the cushion or ones in contrasting colors, patterns and shapes that stand out.
Using a Throw
Of course, the easiest way to repair patio cushions is to use a throw designed for outdoor use. This not only covers up any damage, but also protects the cushions from further wear. Using a throw on the furniture is an especially good option when you need a temporary fix while working on permanent repairs. And if you want to be even more economical, make your own throw or use a light blanket treated with a waterproofing agent. A throw is convenient, too, since you can easily wash it to keep it clean and looking new.