Ideas for this vintage outdoor couch

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This outdoor couch belonged to my grandparents. I am not sure how old it is. My guess would be late 60s - early 70s. I have painted the frame, but the cushions need to be replaced or recovered, otherwise it is in great shape. I had someone quote recovering the cushions and it was going to be $500 plus materials. I can't afford that. Does anyone have any ideas? Thank you!
q ideas for this vintage outdoor couch, outdoor furniture, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
q ideas for this vintage outdoor couch, outdoor furniture, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
  89 answers
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 07, 2014
    You can put pre-made chair cushions on the bottom and back and then fill in with a stand up pillow type cushions on each end to take up any left over space. Just measure careful and take it from there. Then throw pillows would add a finished look! You don't have to spend a fortune. WalMart or Target should be able to get this fitted out for under $100!
    • See 1 previous
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 07, 2014
      @Sarah Not being as deep means that cushions for dining chairs should fit nicely...then add a couple of fat square pillows at each end!
  • Z Z on May 07, 2014
    Can you sew at all Sarah?
    • See 7 previous
    • Phyllis Elliott Phyllis Elliott on Jun 26, 2017
      You can actually paint furniture now indoor or outdoor .
  • Toni Teague Toni Teague on May 07, 2014
    I think something in more of an outdoorsy type of material would look good. You need to pick out a thick canvas type material. I can see a stripe of colors like brown, oranges and tans. You could make the side pillows out of large flowers in coordinating colors. Or use stripes and flowers or even use solid colored pillows in coordinating colors. Check either JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts or Hancock Fabrics. Both companies have on line ordering. If you sign up on line or in the store you can usually get 40 percent off of your fabric not on sale. They always have sales of 30-50 per cent off. Check them out. You could sew oblong cushions for the bottom seat and back cusion. Then make stips of the same material to tie them onto the couch. To make removeable you could use the overfold method in the back much like shams are made on your bed sets.. That way they covers can be removed and washed or changed out with the seasons. If you don't feel creative check Big Lots or Odd Lots they usually have a good selection of covers at a discounted price. Also Wal Mart is always and option. Happy Hunting......
    • Sarah Sarah on May 07, 2014
      @Toni Teague I am not very confident in my sewing skills, but I like the idea of a cover of sorts. The cushions are odd sizes, so I am not sure how much luck I will have finding something that will fit, but I am not afraid of modifying as needed. Thank you for your ideas!
  • Lena Campbell Lena Campbell on May 07, 2014
    Barter with someone who can sew. I'm sure you have another skill like babysitting or running errands or various other things to offer as a barter. Do a FB search for a local sewing group or ask friends they can point you to someone and then strike a deal you can live with.
  • Carol King-ricca Carol King-ricca on May 07, 2014
    Consider painting the cushions with chalk paint. Tutiorials are on line. Wonderful piece.
  • Nancy Kimbrough Nancy Kimbrough on May 07, 2014
    Paint ???? I have seen designers on TV paint fabric.
  • Nikkimaloy Nikkimaloy on May 07, 2014
    hi. don't cover those cushions they're in very poor shape and are lumpy and old. go buy some new cushions. and for the top, sew the new cushions together to make a long piece. then curve the edges by sewing the same curve from the current top cushion. then just cover the edges with edging. good luck
  • LeAnn Butcher Botts LeAnn Butcher Botts on May 07, 2014
    Try taking the material apart at the seams if possible and make your own pattern. Should be basic sewing skills to put back together. And add some new foam cut to size.
  • Nikkimaloy Nikkimaloy on May 07, 2014
    if you google cushion edging, you'll get lotsa pretty ideas, like this one: http://www.knitrowan.com/files/imagecache/yarn_detail/patterns/Willow%20Cushion%20260x310.jpg
  • SandyG SandyG on May 07, 2014
    I was thinking pre-made also. Might take some looking to find something that will fit.
  • Mimi Schumaker Mimi Schumaker on May 07, 2014
    usually when someone quotes you a high price like that, it means they really don't want to do the work. the work involved in recovering the original cushions is tedious. you could get a second opinion to recover them, or find someone to just make new ones for you.
  • Simone Royston Simone Royston on May 07, 2014
    Could you cover it in clear PVC? That way you'll keep the original pattern. Something that will mold into shape with a heat source. A bit 'out there' but it could work!
  • Diane B Diane B on May 07, 2014
    some very good suggestions here. I think this sofa is actually closer to the 50 and 60's. I seem to remember one when I was a teen ( in the 60's) on the back porch of someone I baby sat for. Its beautiful. I hope it works out and please post finished photos.
  • Diane Wilson Diane Wilson on May 07, 2014
    I wonder if you can find something through a camper or cottage supply store. It looks like it is about as thick as a camper mattress would be.
  • Kim325757 Kim325757 on May 07, 2014
    I covered mine with thin foam on top to hide buttons etc...then fabric and straight pins only...all on underside...i change the outdoor fabric for holidays too. Works for me.
  • Tish Sutherland Tish Sutherland on May 07, 2014
    We spray painted an indoor couch and it came out great. Now they make fabric spray paint as well. You might even be able to crackle the finish so that the flowers show through some then seal. Post whatever you do decide to do when you're done.
  • Joan Young-Santiago Joan Young-Santiago on May 07, 2014
    Use painter canvas as fabric. Add batting as needed. You can also use watered down paints as watercolors to deco the fabric.
  • Ellen Warren Ellen Warren on May 07, 2014
    Just buy new cushions.
  • Jackie I Jackie I on May 07, 2014
    That back cushion looks pretty tricky. Consider making it 4 cushions. The insides of them may not be usable though. You won't know until you open one up. Start saving your pennies and get some other quotes. It's a really unique piece and worth saving.
  • Alicia Gillentine Carr Alicia Gillentine Carr on May 07, 2014
    If it were me I would want removable cushion covers so I could keep them clean. I would go to the fabric store and buy thick foam to replace the current cushions (you can cut it to shape). Covering is easy, I also have very basic sewing skills, I just pin the material around the foam (think pillowcase) and then pull the foam out and sew. Attach Velcro instead of a bottom seam and you can easily remove the cover for cleaning. I would paint the frame purple and I'd cover in a solid creamy color. I would use throw pillows for pops of color and patterns. You could just give it to me! Problem solved! Lol
  • Carol Plantz Carol Plantz on May 07, 2014
    I love the squares and also the long pieces around the sides and back. I am not a great seamstress, but I would take it on. I would cut squares the size of the old ones, either out of fabric and then water proof it or keep putting them away in rain. Or I would use a flannel back outdoor table cloth and cut into squares. It reminds me of quilting. For the back and sides, I would use foam and cover it with the tablecloth. There are so many designs in tablecloths. Sometimes you can even pick them and the foam up at the GoodWill or yard sales. Just a thought. I know that I covered my outdoor furniture in sheets.
  • Wendy Barnett Wendy Barnett on May 07, 2014
    would a lounge chair cushion fit the bottom? And I like the several pillows on the back side idea. and are you going to paint the frame to freshen it up?
  • Sharon S Sharon S on May 07, 2014
    I sew for a living and that price sounds about right. Upholstery is HARD! And, the price should include new cushions, buttons, piping. If you want to try something easy (it won't last forever), try sheet foam - you can trace the outline and cut it out and cover it with a very simple pillowcase type cover - sew on some ties to close it and you're done
  • Michelle Hamill Michelle Hamill on May 07, 2014
    Such a gorgeous piece!
  • Sandpaper Vintage Love Sandpaper Vintage Love on May 07, 2014
    Paint it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® We do it all the time.
  • Sharon Steele Sharon Steele on May 07, 2014
    I actually have a similar iron piece like this. I found a used sofa at a thrift store just to use for the cushions. The foam is very expensive to buy new. It did the trick.
  • Creatively Living Creatively Living on May 07, 2014
    Paint the cushion, or buy one long outdoor cushion for the seat, and put a few outdoor throw pillows on the back
  • Robin Gilbert Robin Gilbert on May 07, 2014
    I picked up two metal chairs of the same vintage in my neighbors "free to anyone" put by the curb! They still had the cushions but needed some work like yours do. I found the cost of recovering them ridiculous! I spray painted the metal with outdoor paint. I bought outdoor fabric, thick thread, and an upholstering needle (a large curved needle). I simply cleaned the old cushions really well, wrapped them like a gift with the edges tucked in and a slight overlap, used straight pins to hold it in place and sewed it it enough places to keep it closed! I made little ties to secure the cushions to the chairs and that was it! My neighbors kind of wanted them back when they saw them! That was at least ten years ago and they are still,on my front porch, good as ever! Along with a table they threw out, too!
  • Kathy Rick-Altschuler Kathy Rick-Altschuler on May 07, 2014
    get new foam cut it to size. cover with material like discontinued sheets. make big pillow cases. tuck openings closed. with velcro or snaps. this is cheap and you can change covers with the seasons.
  • Kathy Rick-Altschuler Kathy Rick-Altschuler on May 07, 2014
    and easy to wash. keep out of sun the foam will last longer.
  • Nurse Ratchet Nurse Ratchet on May 07, 2014
    place foam over the top amd have someone that is a saavy seamstress make covers that either zip or velcro on and off. You can make a pattern by tracing the cushions on newspaper. Good luck, great piece
  • Rhonda Hagloff Rhonda Hagloff on May 07, 2014
    As long as the fabric is in decent shape, why don't you just paint it for a near-instant and economical update? There are good tutorials on how you can paint fabric out there.
  • Elizabeth E Elizabeth E on May 07, 2014
    I would look up instructions on how to make a slipcover so you have a idea on how to replicate what you have measurement wise. I think though that Jeanette has the right idea!
  • Elizabeth E Elizabeth E on May 07, 2014
    What a lovely couch though BTW! Score!
  • Wanda F Wanda F on May 07, 2014
    Try buying 3 or 4 (depending on the size) lawn chair cushions (the thick ones). The ones with back & seat together. Tie the ties together to form one cushion & tie the outside ties on the ends to the couch. Let the ends of the couch (arms) shows. You can get them on sale if you check the ads. When covering old cushions that have been outside, you may have mildew inside that can ruin your new material.
  • Terri Brodfuehrer Terri Brodfuehrer on May 07, 2014
    Sarah? just throwing this out there, but walmart has LOTS of cushions,, and lots of prints, as far as cushions go.. I looked at JCP and wasn't that impressed.. this would fit (it looks like anyway) and as someone else mentioned, just use throw pillows for the back maybe? http://www.walmart.com/ip/3-Piece-Outdoor-Wicker-Cushion-Set-Camel-Color-Tropical-Print/11008280
  • JS JS on May 07, 2014
    Go to a marinr supply shop. They have cushions that resist being outdoors. You could get the material, then recovery ysin duct tape to hold it until you can afford to have it reappolsterd. Although for what you have $500 is a good deal.
  • Natalie MamaBear Cohrone Natalie MamaBear Cohrone on May 07, 2014
    Paint it and make new cushions. It would be Awesome in a sun room!