How to Sew a Simple Outdoor Pillow

Stitching up an outdoor pillow to brighten up a porch or deck is a great project for a sewing novice. Select materials that are made to withstand bright sun and moisture to keep these custom pillows looking great year after year.
Pillow and Throw on Teal Bench

Pillow and Throw on Teal Bench

Materials Needed:

  • polyfill pillow form
  • 3/4 yard exterior-grade fabric
  • sewing machine equipped with zipper foot
  • scissors
  • yardstick
  • pencil
  • cotton piping (equal to measurement of pillow form diameter)
  • coordinating all-purpose cotton thread
  • needle

Cut Fabric

Measure and mark fabric to dimensions of pillow form, plus a 1/2-inch seam allowance on all four sides. For example: If the pillow is 16 x 16 inches, the fabric should measure 17 x 17 inches. Cut two identical fabric pieces for the front and back of the pillow. Cut piping long enough to fit around pillow diameter (for example: 64 inches for a 16 x 16-inch pillow form). Cut piece of fabric to cover welt to two inches wide by length of piping. If necessary, sew two ends of fabric strips with right sides together to make one continuous piece.

Mark and Measure Fabric

Mark and Measure Fabric

Make Piping

Wrap fabric around cotton piping, with right side facing out (Image 1). Use zipper foot on sewing machine to sew piping (Image 2).

Assemble Pillow Cover

Place fabric squares right sides together with pattern facing the same way (Image 1). Insert custom piping, making sure raw edges are facing the same direction (Image 2). Pin all three layers together (Image 3). Using scissors, cut slits in fabric around corners to make piping lay smooth (Image 4). Leave gap at bottom of pillow unpinned (Image 5). Tip: If working with stripes or plaids, cut fabric so pattern will line up when sewn together.

Sew Cover

Sew together all pinned areas, removing pins as you go. Note: Be sure to leave unpinned gap unsewn so pillow form can be inserted.

Stitching Pillow

Stitching Pillow

Insert Form

Trim threads and turn pillow cover right side out. Insert pillow form (Image 1). Gently pull pillow form into position so it fills all four corners of the cover. Pinch gap in pillow together and pin closed (Image 2). Using needle and thread, sew it closed by hand (Image 3). Trim threads and your finished pillow is ready to use. Tip: While most designers favor down- and feather-filled pillow forms for interior spaces, polyfill is ideal for outdoor use because the polyester fiber absorbs less moisture and dries faster. Although this pillow is made for outdoor use, bringing it in during heavy rains and winter months will extend its life.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Easy-to-Sew Pillows

Add a splash of color and pattern to a room by sewing your own pillows.

How to Make a Reindeer Pillow for the Holidays

Give a plain pillow a playful, holiday update using our free printable reindeer template.

How to Sew Lined Drapery Panels

Finding just the right curtains can be tough and having them custom-made is expensive — but with basic sewing skills, you can make these beautiful, lined and pleated drapes in any fabric and get the custom look for less.

How to Sew a Card Table Slipcover

Card tables are convenient to use when entertaining over the holidays, but they can be eyesores. A simple slipcover that is fitted and washable (not to mention pretty) is the perfect solution.

How to Make a No-Sew Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt

Put the finishing touch on your tree with an elegant and feminine linen skirt. The only tools you'll need are scissors and glue to make this easy no-sew ruffled tree skirt.

How to Build an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Add a wood-fire pizza oven to your outdoor kitchen. Learn how to create the base and install it with our step-by-step DIY guide.

How to Make a No-Sew Felt Stocking

Bring one-of-a-kind charm to your mantel this holiday season with quick and easy, DIY stockings.

How to Build an Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace

Add fireside ambiance to your backyard with an outdoor fireplace made with stacked stone.

How to Care for Poinsettias

Poinsettias bring a splash of festive red and green to a table or windowsill at the holidays. With proper care, you can enjoy these beautiful plants for weeks.

How to Distress Furniture

What's old is chic again. Follow these step-by-instructions for achieving a distressed look on furniture.

On TV

Flea Market Flip

7:30am | 6:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Hawaii Life

8pm | 7c

Hawaii Life

8:30pm | 7:30c

Beach Hunters

9:30pm | 8:30c

Island Life

10pm | 9c

Island Life

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Beach Hunters

12am | 11c

Beach Hunters

12:30am | 11:30c

Island Life

1am | 12c

Island Life

1:30am | 12:30c

Hawaii Life

3am | 2c

Hawaii Life

3:30am | 2:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.