Refresh Your Outdoor Decor with Colorful Outdoor Pillow Covers.

Bridget McPhillips


Now that Spring has arrived and we are steadily moving towards the summer months ahead, its time to start getting those outdoor living spaces in shape so that you can sit back and enjoy the few lazy days of summer that you manage to fit into your schedule. 

 Pillow covers refresh an outdorr living space

The smallest splash of color and the addition of new texture will refresh your space instantly.   I added four accent pillows to this space, made with outdoor fabric.  These pillow covers boast a contrasting accent border complete with mitered corners. 

The finished size of the pillows I made were 15 inches square. 

Materials for two pillow covers:

1 Yard of outdoor fabric to be used as the main fabric on the pillow cover

1/2 Yard of a coordinating outdoor fabric to be used to create the accent border

To start cut 4 squares that measure13 inches from the main fabric.

outdoor fabric cut for accent pillows

Next cut eight 2 1/4 inch strips from the coordinating outdoor fabric. The length of the strips needs to be longer than the length of the side of the square piece by several inches.  

To cut these strips, match the salvage edges of the fabric, square the end of the fabric and then cut the strips from the fabric, fold to the salvage edge.   From the half yard of coordinating fabric, cut four strips.  Then cut each of the four strips in half, length wise, to get the eight strips needed to make the borders.

Make a mitred border accent pillow.

With right sides facing, match each strip to each edge of the 13" square pieces by placing the middle of the strip at the middle point of the side of the square piece.

You will have extra fabric extending beyond both ends of the square.  Start stitching about a 1/4 inch in from the corner and continue until you are about 1/4 inch from the next corner.  Now fold the extra strip up and out of the way and stitch the next side.

attach mitered border at corner

Continue until all of the strip are attached to all of the side of the square pieces.

bordered pillow cover

border s attached to pillow center

Next, you will form the mitered corners.

Take one of the four pieces you now have and fold it in half, right side of the fabric facing, so that the square becomes a triangle as shown in the photo. 

Mitered corner pillow

Take care to match up the seams created when you stitched the accent strips to the square pieces.  The extra accent fabric from the strips will end up lying right sides facing at the corner.  Use a straight edge to mark the accent strip fabric along the same line as the fold of the square piece as shown in the photo. 

Measure and mark the fabric to be stitched

Pin and stitch along this line.  Repeat for each of the corners.

The seam forming the mitered corner


Next, press the mitered seams formed at the corners open and press the accent fabric seams toward the accent fabric strips.

Pressing seams

At this point you can trim away the excess fabric at the mitered corner seams.

Seam stitched creating the mitered corner

Image showing extra fabric being trimmed away

Place two of the completed pieces right sides facing, matching the corner points.

Sew the seams of the pillow cover

Pin and stitch around the perimeter. 

Stitch the pillow cover seams

Leave an opening appropriate to add your pillow form or stuffing material.

Completed pillow seam

Turn the pillow cover right side out.

Pillow with mitered edge

Add your filling or pillow form and stitch the opening closed.

I chose to fill my pillows with polyester fiber fill.  I stitched up a simple 15 inch square pillow insert using fabric typically used to make ski jackets.

Using a mitered border to make a pillow cover is an easy way to add contrast and interest to your project.  Go on, and give it a try.  Make a simple pillow cover that is simply fabulous.


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