Does your back garden need a bit of a makeover? Before you start tearing up landscaping or planning an overhaul of the architecture, try updating your fabrics! A fresh set of cushions, a new shade awning, or even a smart new tablecloth on the patio table can give it a whole new look. Check out these other outdoor sewing projects!
- Outdoor Throw Pillows
The most important feature of sewing for outdoor projects is the material. Use a synthetic foam or fibre-fill for your throw pillows. One rainstorm will leave them soggy, and natural fibres will tend to degrade instead of drying properly. Outdoor fabrics are also coated to keep them from fading in the sunlight.
- Lounging Cushions
On days when the sun's out, take some time to bask with a comfy lounging cushion. Made with strips of foam rubber stitched into individual pockets, these cushions roll up and are easy to move. Lay them on a deck chair, the lawn, or even pack them up for a trip to the beach!
- DIY Canvas Hammock
If a rope hammock isn't your style opt for a canvas one instead! You'll need a heavy duty needle and extra-strong thread. The last thing you want is your stitching coming undone while you're lounging. To keep the hammock from closing up around you while you lounge, sew a pocket in each end and slide in a sturdy bit of lumber. Anchor the canvas to the wood with upholstery tacks or small nails, and use the wood to provide an anchor point to hang your new hammock.
- Waterproof Picnic Blanket
Ready for a nice al fresco family meal? Set up your picnic in the garden with a waterproof picnic blanket. Simply line a blanket or tablecloth with a waterproof material like vinyl to keep the damp from seeping into your fun.
- Weighted Tablecloth
The wind can play havoc with outdoor meals. Help keep it at bay with a weighted tablecloth! Use an extra-wide hem, and pin in place. Before stitching the hem down, add pockets to the hem by stitching vertically through the hem. Slip small weights, such as a few hardware washers) into the pockets, then stitch the top of them hem down. How many weights you'll need, and where they should be located, will depend on the size and shape of your tablecloth.
- Grill Cover
Is your house home to a Grillmaster? Protect their treasured equipment with a water-resistant barbecue grill cover. Choose an outdoor fabric that will keep of the worst of the weather, and remember to use thread that's rated for outdoor use as well. Since these fabrics are made from synthetic fibres, however, make absolutely sure the grill is cool before covering it.
- Roman Shade Awning
If your back patio could use some extra shade, a Roman shade awning provides a lot of style without hiring in a contractor. All you'll need are ropes or wires to serve as guides for your awning. Measure out the space and cut outdoor fabric to suit. A solid color will serve better than a pattern since it will be taking a lot of direct sun and will likely fade. Hem all the edges, then set heavy-duty grommets at regular intervals down both sides. Thread onto your guide ropes and your awning is ready to go!
- Shade Curtains
For added shade, plus atmosphere and privacy, hang curtains around your patio space. For these, you'll want to use indoor fabrics, as outdoor materials tend to be thick and bulky, more like a wall than a curtain! Since you'll need to take them down in particularly inclement weather, use grommets and hooks to hang your curtains.
- Pocket Placemats
If your lightweight place-settings keep trying to blow away in the breeze, keep them under control with a pocket placemat! These are quick and easy to make. Simply hem one edge of an addition length of fabric half the width of your placemat. Sandwich it on top of your other layers, and apply binding around the edges. Tuck your place setting inside to keep it out of the wind, and you're ready for dining on the deck!
- DIY Umbrella
Is your patio umbrella looking a bit frayed? Take off the old cover and use it as a template to create your own! Pay special attention to how it's attached. Some aren't made to be removable, so you may want to check before planning this project!
- Garden Flag
Add an air of welcome with a cute garden flag! Use your favorite techniques, like piecing or applique, but opt for fabrics like rip-stop nylon, which is frequently used for making kites! It won't fade quickly, stands up well to strong wind and rain.
- Picnic Dish Covers
Think weighted tablecloth, but in miniature. Keep the bugs away from picnic dishes with weighted covers. You can use the same pocket technique as for the tablecloth, or opt for something more decorative and stitch beads around the edges of lightweight napkins.
- Kids' Toy Tote
Keep the kids' outdoor toys corralled with a mesh bag that will let the dirt out but keep the toys in. A plastic mesh fabric paired with canvas where the seams join is the perfect combination for a bag that will last.
- Bench Cushions with Piping
If your piping foot doesn't see enough use, add a decorative touch to your outdoor bench or chair cushions. You can even make your own piping using soft braided cotton cord and a strip of your chosen outdoor upholstery fabric.