How do I calculate how much fabric I need for patio cushions?


How do I calculate home much fabric I need for patio cushions? I want to reupholster my patio cushions. There are 4 total chairs each needs 2 cushions (back and bottom) Here are the measurements for each set- (4 Chairs)Part ~Pieces~Sizes (W X L X H)Chair seat~ 4 total~ 24"W X 26" LX 5"HChair back~4 total~ 24"W X 20 1/2"L X 4"HYou will see in the photo there is a button in the middle of each- I don't want to add it- I also plan on reusing the foam that is currently there. Any suggestions as to if this is a bad idea?The fabric I would like to use is:Content: 100% PolyesterWidth: 60" wideI look forward to hearing back from you

  12 answers
  • Hi Sarah, I'm not great with measuring, usually I bring the measurements with me to the fabric shop and they tell me what I need. As far as the foam goes, if it's in really good shape then I say reuse it. It's a lot of work and expense to recover them, so I would make sure they are solid or get new. Lastly, I don't know what kind of 100% polyester fabric you were planning on using, but I would go with Sunbrella or the like. They're treated for outdoor use, they withstand water, fading, etc. Hope that helps a little.

  • Vickymcreations Vickymcreations on Apr 20, 2019

    You could take newspaper templates and take them to the shop to lay them out in the fabric, if you are pattern matching it will take more than plain fabric.

  • Marlene Haigh Marlene Haigh on Apr 20, 2019

    Also, keep in mind you will need additional fabric if you have a pattern match.

  • Jan piner Jan piner on Apr 20, 2019

    Hi Sarah

    if you aren’t 100% sold on remaking your cushions you might consider painting them. I’ve done both over the years. Painting is way faster and easier to change.🤗

  • Donna Donna on Apr 20, 2019

    Most fabric stores that carry upholstery fabrics (Joanne is one) have guidelines for estimating yardage needed for upholstery on dozens of chair & sofa types. They carry “Sunbrella” which is a well known, heavy duty, indoor-outdoor fabric as well.

  • Kokolaw Kokolaw on Apr 20, 2019

    If you go to, you can use the fabric calculator to determine the amount of fabric you will need for your specific shape and size cushions. It worked great for our pillows and cushions.


      I will remember this for next time, I did see videos of theirs but never thought about looking for a fabric calculator! Thank you again!

  • Mary marky Mary marky on Apr 20, 2019

    I actually carried 2 cushions into a Joanne store...went when I figured it wouldn’t be busy...the woman was so helpful and even cut each piece of fabric for each chair..made it super easy, and yes use sunbrella fabric

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Apr 20, 2019

    Since you are removing the fabric to replace it, rip the seam threads to open up the fabric and use them as templates. How much you actually use depends on if you need to match grain, and how much seam allowance you need to add. With the old fabric to use as a pattern, just lay it out on the fabric you plan on purchasing, most fabric stores can help you with this. You can also get a bit extra and make yourself some throw pillows to match.


      Yes, I've taken them apart but didn't think to make a paper template, I just used the fabric as my template. They're 6 years old and the next time they need sewing is when I get rid of them. Lol

  • Rae Rae on Apr 20, 2019

    Take all your measurements to a fabric store and they will more than happy to help you or even like Mary said take the entire cushion in. Hope you don't have to replace the foam. I have yet to find a decent price on foam for cushions!

  • Janice Janice on Dec 21, 2023

    Measure the size of the cushions you want to cover and also obtain the width of the fabric you want to use. Multiply the the size of the cushions by the number of cushions you're going to cover. I always purchase extra to allow for seams, mishaps, and matching of patterns. If you purchase at a fabric store they can help you calculate the amounts. I normally always purchase an uneven amount of yardage. Say I think I'll need 2 yds, I buy 3, if I think I need 4, I buy 5, etc.

  • Annie Annie on Dec 22, 2023

    This video has some good advice!