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.

Next Up

Make an Easy-to-Sew Lined Tote Bag

Custom tote bags can add to a fun personal fashion statement. Learn how to make a lined fabric tote bag that's perfect for work and play in this straightforward home sewing project for tweens, teens or anyone new to sewing.

How to Make Custom Dog Clothing

Learn how to make simple and stylish custom pet clothing for all sizes.

How to Make a Christmas Catnip Toy

Don't forget your furry best friend when making handmade gifts for the holidays. With just basic sewing skills, you can whip up a catnip-filled stocking-shaped toy as a surprise for your favorite kitty.

How to Make a Classic Tulle Tutu

This pretty DIY skirt looks adorable as a flower girl dress, a Halloween costume, for ballerinas-in-training or just for the fun of it. Almost no sewing is involved to create this classic tulle tutu, making it a great project for beginner-level crafters.

How to Build a Modern Outdoor Bench

Looking for more outdoor seating or a decorative bench for your porch? Try your hand at this easy woodworking project that can be built in less than a day.

How to Make a Paper Flower Easter Basket

Make a 3D flower Easter basket using paper and our free printable patterns.

How to Make a Christmas Cat Spinner Wand

In all of the gifting during the holidays, don't forget about your furry friends. This holly-themed cat toy is easy to make and will encourage hours of playful interaction.

DIY Rainbow Doormat

Brighten up your entryway with this easy DIY doormat.

How to Replace an Outdoor Water Spigot

If your outdoor hose spigot is leaking from the spout, it’s time to replace it. Here’s how to knock out this project in no time at all using a few simple tools.

How To Use Tea and Cinnamon to Age Artwork for Halloween

Brew some tea, snag this free, printable Halloween art and make your own aged wall art in minutes.

What's New in Handmade

On TV

Zillow Gone Wild

11:30am | 10:30c

Zillow Gone Wild

12:30pm | 11:30c

Zillow Gone Wild

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Vacation House Rules

8pm | 7c

Zillow Gone Wild

9:31pm | 8:31c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

10:31pm | 9:31c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Zillow Gone Wild

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

Vacation House Rules

2:59am | 1:59c

Follow Us Everywhere

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