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DIY Outdoor Throw Pillows: An Ultra-Easy Tutorial

Sew your own DIY outdoor throw pillows with this easy step by step tutorial! You can use your outdoor fabric as-is or use paint and fabric stencils.

The Easiest Outdoor Pillows! Collage of images of blue outdoor throw pillows being stenciled, stuffed, and sewn.

Making outdoor throw pillows is exactly the same as making indoor throw pillows. Whaaaaat????? The only difference is the fabric you use- and maybe the choice of filling too. But the making part? Exactly the same! And oh-so-simple.

How to Make Outdoor Throw Pillows

If you never got the chance to make a pillow in home-ec class, here’s your chance! Pillows are pretty much the easiest beginner sewing project out there.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Materials

  • outdoor fabric
  • heavy-duty thread
  • polyester fiber-fill batting (or a waterproof pillow insert)
  • white acrylic craft paint

Tools

  • stencil
  • stencil brush
  • paper plate
  • sewing machine
  • hand-sewing needle
  • sewing pins
  • sewing scissors
  • sewing tape measure

1. Measure and Cut Fabric

Two rectangles cut from solid blue water-resistant outdoor fabric.

I’m making rectangular lumbar pillows, so I cut two _________ rectangles from the outdoor fabric for each pillow.

2. Place the Stencil

I ordered this set of inexpensive Morroccan tile stencils from Amazon, and I used a different pattern on each of my four outdoor pillows.

It’s probably a good idea to practice stenciling on a piece of scrap farbric before you do the real thing. It’s easy enough, but takes a tiny bit of practice.

Outdoor fabric being stenciled with a Moroccan tile pattern and white craft paint

I found that it works well to do the first stencil in the center of the fabric, and then work out from there. As you can see, I did this one diagonally.

3. Load The Brush

Pour a small puddle of paint on the paper plate. Dip the stencil brush in the paint lightly, and then swirl it on an unused section of the plate to remove any excess paint.

woman using a stencil brush to apply paint to blue outdoor fabric for DIY outdoor pillows

4. Apply The Paint

Hold the stencil brush perpendicular to the fabric, and apply the paint with a dab-dab-dab motion. I like to hold the stencil down with my other hand. Continue until the stencil pattern is all filled in.

close-up of hand using a stencil brush to apply white paint to blue indoor/outdoor fabric using a fabric stencil

Carefully remove and wash the stencil between each use. Continue the pattern to cover all the cloth. Then let it dry for several hours.

5. Lay Out The Fabric

I only stenciled one side of my pillows, and my fabric doesn’t have a “right” side. I laid out the two pieces, with the patterned side on the inside.

Two rectangles of cobalt blue fabric on laying with right sides together, ready to be pinned

6. Pin

Pin the two pieces together with the sewing pins. I started by placing two pins about 5 inches apart on the left side. I inserted the perpendicular to the edge of the fabric to mark where I will leave an opening for stuffing.

two pieces of dark blue outdoor fabric pinned with right sides together before sewing into a pillow

Then pin around the perimeter of the fabric to hold the two pieces together.

close-up of blue outdoor pillow fabric pieces pinned together, ready to be sewed into an outdoor pillow

7. Sew

Now start at one of the perpendicular pins, and sew around the outside perimeter of the farbic, leaving a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

close-up of sewing maching stitching the case for an outdoor pillow

Be sure to reinforce the beginning and ending of the seam.

close-up of outdoor pillow case sewed together with white thread

8. Reinforce The Seam

I like to run back over my seam a second time to reinforce it.

close-up of blue outdoor pillow seams being reinforced using a sewing machine
dark blue pillow cover sewed together, but still inside-out laying on the floor

9. Turn Inside-Out

Now reach inside the opening and turn the pillow case inside-out.

hands turning an outdoor pillow cover right-side-out to reveal the white stenciled pattern inside

I like to use a pair of closed sewing scissors or a pencil to poke out the insides of the corners.

hands using sewing scissors to poke out the corners of the pillow cover
close-up of hands turning an outdoor pillow cover right-side-out
case for a dark blue outdoor pillow with a white stenciled tile pattern, ready to be stuffed

10. Stuff the pillows

Fill your pillowcase with polyester fiber-fill batting, to your desired firmness.

three blue outdoor lumbar pillows stuffed, and ready to be sewed closed

11. Fold Edges Together

close-up of the end of an outdoor lumbar pillow with the stuffing showing before being stitched closed

Now it’s time to close up the opening. Fold the two edges together and pin them closed.

close up of hands holding the opening of an outdoor throw pillow closed to pin it before sewing

12. Hand-Stitch The Opening

hand-sewing needle threaded with dark blue thread.

Now thread a needle, and hand-stitch the opening closed. Be sure to tie off the thread when you’re finished.

close-up of a hand-sewing needle sewing the opening closed on an outdoor pillow

And it’s finished!

Make your own unique outdoor throw pillows on a budget with this easy step-by-step tutorial! They're perfect for patios, porches, and outdoor living rooms!

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