If you’re wondering what you’ll do with all of the pieces of fabric that won’t match your house or apartment decor anyway, then here is some motivation for you: turn them into something useful! If they are difficult to work with, you can always hire a crafty individual to help you out. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can do with your outdoor fabrics.
Project 1: Outdoor Lounge Chair
A lounge chair isn’t just for sitting, it can be used to relax and unwind after a long day at work or school. Making your own is a fun project that will keep you busy for an afternoon.
1 x fabric of choice (if you’re daring, you can find a design in your fabric store that’s intended for outdoor use)
Staples or binder clips (staples are more durable in the long run)
1. Measure and cut two pieces of fabric 52 inches by 26 inches. The easiest way to do this is to fold one piece in half lengthwise and cut along the fold.
2. Place the two pieces of fabric with their good sides together and smooth flat. Fold a one-inch seam allowance along three sides, leaving one short side undone (so that you can turn the fabric). Sew using a straight stitch or a sewing machine, then cut off corner excess with scissors to make a point when you turn the fabric right side out.
3. Turn the piece of fabric so that it looks like a pillowcase, and put in enough stuffing to make it firm but comfortable (not too much, because you’ll want it to be somewhat flexible). Once you’ve got the desired level of softness and firmness, fold over the open edge and close it using staples or binder clips.
Project 2: Hammock
A hammock is a great way to relax in the shade, but it can be expensive at outdoor specialty stores. Making your own is easy and only requires two pieces of fabric cut into large squares, plus some sturdy rope to hang it from. You could even use old sheets, curtains or clothes.
2 pieces of fabric cut into 32-inch by 32-inch squares (size is not important; you can do whatever size you like)
Sturdy rope long enough to hang your hammock from tree branches, etc.
1. Lay one piece of the fabric on a flat surface with the “right side” facing up. Fold the fabric over so that one edge is lined up with the bottom of the other side, then fold again to create the width you want for your hammock (10 inches should be fine). You can also taper it at both ends for a curve (which looks nice).
2. Repeat step 1 on the other piece of fabric.
3. Line up and hold both pieces of fabric so that their outer edges are even and straight and they’re not twisted. Sew along the open edge with a straight stitch to form one long tube, then repeat on the other end.
4. Make a small slit in the middle of one end, then pull one end of the fabric through until it reveals a small circle. Smooth out the fabric and cut off any excess with scissors. Pull very gently on each end to make sure you can get it back through, then do so. It should look like a hammock when done.
5. Attach sturdy rope to both ends of your hammock and secure it to a tree branch, porch railing or anything that can support the weight of your hammock and you.
Project 3: Outdoor Curtain
An outdoor curtain is great as an alternative to a door (it doesn’t provide as much privacy as a door), but they look nice as decoration too. Make one for your front entrance or outdoor patio or porch.
One length of fabric in a color and design of your choice (as long as it’s wide enough to cover whatever space you want covered)
1. Measure the length and width of the area you plan to cover with your curtain. Add 2 inches on each side to account for seams, then cut your fabric to that size.
2. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, then sew along the open edge with a straight stitch (or sewing machine) to create one long tube. Open the fabric and lay it flat on a large surface, making sure its sewn edges are folded in so they don’t get caught under your machine.
3. Sew along the open edge closest to you, then sew along both of the long sides. Turn right side out and attach sturdy rope or fabric bunting (a great way to use scraps of fabric) to top with a straight stitch in color thread that matches your curtain for hanging, if desired.
Project 4: Outdoor Rug
For a quick and easy outdoor rug, cut a piece of fabric to the size you want it (if you want one that’s square or rectangle, then sew two pieces together lengthwise and widthwise). Sew around all four edges using a straight stitch or sewing machine, making sure to leave an opening about 4 inches wide at one edge so you can turn it right side out later. Smooth out the fabric inside the rug and stitch closed with a straight stitch, then attach sturdy rope to one edge of your rug for hanging if desired.
In conclusion, there are many projects you can make with outdoor fabric that don’t cost much money at all. They’re great to have around your yard or porch for decoration and utility.