DIY Outdoor Pillows on a Budget

Last week I was sharing with you about creating your home outside of your home. Well, your outdoor decor can create just as much of a welcoming feeling as the interior of your home. What better way to do that than to create that cozy feeling in a budget-friendly style? You know that’s my thang. Many of you have asked about them, so I’m sharing how I made my DIY outdoor pillows from thrifted pillows.

Create DIY Outdoor Pillows with this Easy to Follow Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

*tutorial first seen on Angie’s List, giveaway sponsored by DFOHome, and affiliate links included (see full disclosure)

Today we’re going to head to the thrift store today to find some cast-off pillows to turn into your own DIY outdoor pillows to accent our backyard decor.

Thrift Store Pillows for Outdoor Purposes | Prodigal Pieces |

Yes, we’re using thrifted pillows for our project because they are going outdoors and are so inexpensive compared to$20 for a solitary store-bought pillow. Or  how about $10 for just a pillow form or bag of stuffing?  That cost comparison doesn’t include the fabric, thread, or other notions you may want to add. My pillow project will cost you about $8 or less for each pillow. Score!

Before we get started, it’s time to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway for a hammock chair from DFOHome. eep!

And the winner is…(drumroll please)

Congratulations to


Thank you to everyone who participated and I truly wish I could send a chair to each and every one of you. Don’t forget you can still get 10% off your purchase by using the coupon code : PRODIGAL.

Back to the pillow project…head to the thrift store and grab a few pillows to get this party started. You could even use your own worn out pillows as well. Here are the three pillows I chose for my patio update.

Collection of Thrifted Pillows for My DIY Outdoor Pillow Tutorial | Prodigal Pieces |

Materials needed:

  • Sunbrella or other type of outdoor fabric  – enough to cover two sides of the pillow. (Measure pillow for dimensions, double it, and add 1-2″ for seam allowance)
  • coordinating thread
  • thrifted pillows


To get started, first launder your pillows. Once clean and dry, you can begin this project one of two ways. I choose to leave the pillows as they are with their original fabric intact, however you may want to remove the outer cover it would show throw your new fabric. I like to leave the covers on for stability in the pillow and easy use during our project. If you choose to remove the outer cover, wait until you have your new pillow case sewn.

Lay your fabric right-side down and place your pillow on the fabric so that when you squish it down you have about an inch perimeter showing. We will be using a half-inch seam allowance.

Pressing Pillow for Sewing | Prodigal Pieces |

Cut out your pillow shape, and then use that same square to create a second square.

Layout of DIY Outdoor Pillows | Prodigal Pieces |

Lay your two square panels so that the right-sides are facing each other.

Lay Pillow Fabric Right Sides Facing Each Other | Prodigal Pieces |

Pin the fabric panels together around the perimeter.

Pinned Pillow Fabric Layers | Prodigal Pieces |

To begin sewing you are going to start approximately 2″ in from the right top corner, and end 2″ in from the top left corner. This will leave an opening that you can turn the pillowcase right-side out and also be able to fit the thrifted pillow in.

How to Sew a Pillow Graphic | Prodigal Pieces |

Set your sewing machine presser foot at the edge of the fabric. This will give you the half-inch seam allowance we are after.

Seam Allowance for DIY Outdoor Pillows | Prodigal Pieces |

Using a basic straight stitch, back-stitch to start, then sew around the pillow squares, removing pins as you go. Make sure to back-stitch again when you reach your stopping point. The back-stitching reinforces your opening to allow the pillow to easily pass through.

When you are done sewing, snip the corners as shown below. This will help make your corners nice and square when you turn the pillowcase right-side out.

Trimming Pillow Corner | Prodigal Pieces |

Turn your pillowcase right-side out. Using a blunt object, push the corners out from inside.

Turning DIY Outdoor Pillows Right Side Out | Prodigal Pieces |

Insert your thrifted pillow. Pin the opening shut by folding the seam allowance into the opening and adding pins to hold it in place.

How to Pin DIY Outdoor Pillows | Prodigal Pieces |

Lastly, using a hand-sewing needle and thread, use a blind ladder stitch to sew the opening closed.

Using a Blanket Ladder Stitch to Close Pillow Case | Prodigal Pieces |

You’re done! Now you have an awesome set of DIY outdoor pillows that are sure to please, and money in your pocket from being thrifty.

Pair of DIY Outdoor Pillows by Prodigal Pieces |

DIY Outdoor Pillows on Patio Sectional by Prodigal Pieces |

Once you get the hang of it, you can add welting, ruffles, etc. Feel free to mix it up and make them reversible with each side made of a different coordinating fabric. The possibilities really are endless.

Patio Area Made Cozy with DIY Outdoor Pillows with Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

If you have questions about making these DIY outdoor pillows, please feel free to ask. I am happy to help! In the meantime, do pin and share so others can learn how easy and budget-friendly creating outdoor decor can be. ♥

Save Money and Make Your Own Outdoor Pillows with this Easy & Budget-Friendly Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

For even more outdoor goodness, I have a sweet treat for you with the recipe of the month, and I’ll show you how it’s done by using this tool. Any guesses? Come on over and see!

An Essential Outdoor Tool | Prodigal Pieces |
To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!
blog signature


More projects for you like these diy outdoor pillows:

Budget-Friendly DIY Farmhouse Style Bathroom Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comOutdated Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Previous Post Next Post


  • Teddy

    Love what you create and share!

    July 26, 2016 at 8:35 am Reply
  • Holly

    Love, love, love! Ive purchased thrifted pillows and thrifted covers, washed and displayed but never thought to use the outdoor fabric to make my own. Im definately going to give it a go! I always just assumed the outdoor fabric would just be too expensive, or too thick fibered and tough to sew. (I see how expensive outdoor pillows and cushions are withSunbrella at home improvement stores. Yeowch)

    July 26, 2016 at 8:37 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I do that too, Holly. I especially love the crocheted ones! Have some stitchin’ fun, girl. 😉

      July 26, 2016 at 8:42 am Reply
    • Sue Pagels

      Just as a quick aside to Larissa’s lovely idea – if you aren’t too picky on colors, etc. Walmart had some beautiful turquoise ones, plain and patterened, some with birds, and some other colors or $5.00 each! I couldn’t believe it and snatched up 6 for me outdoor table and chairs set! Looks pretty!

      July 27, 2016 at 12:28 pm Reply
      • Sue Pagels

        Sorry – “patterned”, “for” not “or” and “my” not me….. It’s a messy post – keyboard is acting strangely!

        July 27, 2016 at 12:29 pm Reply
  • Mary-the boondocks blog

    Well done Larissa! I can’t see spending money on pillows that will be out of style in a year. This way you are being friendly to the environment by upcycling old ones and you save lots of money! A win-win!

    July 26, 2016 at 12:48 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s exactly the idea, Mary. Thank you for getting it! 🙂

      July 28, 2016 at 2:03 pm Reply
  • Cheryl B.

    I just looked at pretty outdoor pillows $20-$100.each! I was shocked and went home empty handed.I will make my own.Great tutorial.

    July 27, 2016 at 1:44 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I just couldn’t fork out that amount knowing a bird could land and do his thing. Nope. I hope you get some made soon! 🙂

      July 28, 2016 at 2:02 pm Reply
  • Cheryl B

    Do you have a tutorial on the pergola you all built?We want to tackle one for the summer.Thank you.

    February 28, 2017 at 3:57 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Hi Cheryl. I really don’t have one. We just built it according to our needs and used some similar tutorials online as guides. I have a pin board on Pinterest that has some of the tips HERE. Hope that helps!

      March 1, 2017 at 3:19 pm Reply
  • Bliss

    Look at those pillows! You know i like the fabric.

    March 7, 2017 at 10:18 pm Reply
  • Jen

    Can I leave these pillows out in the rain? It’s getting annoying to bring in my cushions each time it might rain! Help!

    June 11, 2018 at 9:05 am Reply
    • Larissa

      As long as you use outdoor fabric with a pillow filled with a poly material, not feather or cotton.

      June 11, 2018 at 4:41 pm Reply

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    You may also like

    This site utilizes cookies to offer you the best experience possible. more information

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.