DIY Outdoor Sofa and Drop Cloth Pillow Case Tutorial

Yes, the dog days of summer are sadly coming to an end, but if you’re anything like me, those summer nights are just getting started. My family and I will enjoy dinners outside and nights spent by the (outdoor) fire for as long as we can, so making our new (and much larger!) outdoor living space as comfortable as possible was high on the priority list of projects after the move.

And in all honestly, any project that involves power tools (I actually ask for new tools every year for Christmas. Preferably pink power tools, but I’ll take whatever Santa brings me!) and my husband joining in the fun (his love for DIY is not nearly as strong as mine!) gets quickly moved to the very top of the list!

I can’t take credit for this entire project. I spotted the sofa base on here, and instantly fell in love.

Her designs are very on trend and her instructions are usually very easy to follow. In fact, I already have a few more of her projects in mind for other spots around the house, so you’ll be seeing more of them very soon! This project, in particular, is such a great one for those of you just stepping into the world of power tools. Which, by the way, I promise will change your life! (HaHa! Can you tell I love cutting things up and putting the pieces back together? Whether it be fabric or 2×4’s!) My husband and I put two of these together in just a few hours, and that includes taking breaks to feed three children, keep them entertained, and put the baby down for a nap!

The foundation pillows Ana used were a bit out of my price range, so I did find a substitute. They were surprisingly comfortable for being so much less expensive, but they certainly didn’t have the same look. So, I added a few handmade (and painted!) throw pillows, and instantly fell back in love with our outdoor sofas.

The how-to for the pillows is below. All six are made from one piece of drop cloth I purchased at my local home improvement store in the paint section. The cost of that piece of drop cloth? I think $17! Combine that with some craft paint and masking tape I had in my stash, and catching a sale at my craft store on the pillow inserts (they were 40% off!) and I call that a great deal!


Nikki, In Stitches


  • Drop cloth
  • Pillow Inserts
  • Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies
  • Ruler and marker
  • Scissors
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Masking tape (Or a stencil if you’d like to create a pillow similar to the flower design I used!)

1.Determine what size piece of fabric you will need to cut to cover your pillow insert and draw that on your drop cloth. My insert was 16″ square, so I needed my fabric 17.5″ square. That gave me some pretty snug pillow cases, but that’s what I was looking for! You can adjust the size a bit if you’d like. You’ll need two pieces of fabric (one for the front of your pillow and one for the back!) so draw a 17.5″ square on two pieces of drop cloth.

NOTE: You’ll want your stencil or design to extend all the way to the edge of your fabric, so cut your pieces a bit bigger than your desired size. We’ll trim them down later in the project.

2. Cover your 17.5″ square with masking tape.

A few tips here!

  • Rip your pieces of tape longer than 17.5″ so that they extend out of the square on each side.
  • Do not leave any space between the rows of tape.
  • Do not overlap the tape at all.

3. Remove every other piece of tape.

4. Paint your blank spaces and let your fabric dry.

5. Remove the remaining pieces of tape!

6. Now trim down your fabric to exactly 17.5″ square (or whatever your desired size is!) by cutting on your drawn lines.

7. With right sides together, sew *almost* all the way around your pillow. Leave a gap on one side that is about 10″ – 12″ wide. (You can see in my picture, I use the blue pins to help me remember when to stop sewing!)

8. Clip your corners. (This will remove some of the bulk from your pillow case!)

9. Turn your pillow case right side out and press. NOTE: Be sure to fold in any raw edges along the open gap, too! 

10. Insert your pillow form and hand sew the gap in the case closed!


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6 Responses to DIY Outdoor Sofa and Drop Cloth Pillow Case Tutorial

  1. Terrie says:

    Such a beautiful outdoor space! I love the look of the sofa and pillows 🙂

  2. Cherri says:

    Beautiful, quick and easy!

  3. Mary says:

    love the pillows and the color! Now for the flower, is that a silhouette flower you used and the stencil was made out of ______?
    Love to make pillows.

  4. it was an intentional androgynous name, and she didn’t care. Apparently the name comes from some inspirational hippie book that was popular at the time, and the character Wrenn lead people into the new age…or something like that. I just thought my sister in-law was named after a bird.

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