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IKEA Hacks: Add Ties to Outdoor Furniture Cushions

Prevent outdoor furniture cushions and pillows from going airborne on a windy day or ending up as part of a muddy pillow fort by adding ties. Making the ties is simple and inexpensive and using the ties saves you from dirty or lost cushions.

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Blowing in the wind

Blowing in the wind

If you have an outdoor living space, whether it's a patio, deck or balcony, and you've purchased furniture with cushions and pillows, you've likely made a considerable investment. Consequently, you want that furniture to last a long time. Some outdoor cushions and pillows come with ties to secure them to the furniture, but what do you do if your cushions and pillows didn't come with ties? You could take a chance that the wind will never gust, children will never pull off the cushions to make a fort and if a cushion or pillow does fly off, it will land on a perfectly clean patch of grass. Right. So here's an easy, inexpensive way to add ties to keep those cushions and pillows in place. For this project, we're adding ties to IKEA patio cushions. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to make your own.

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Cushion ties: Tools and materials

Cushion ties: Tools and materials

The only tools you need are something to mark the hole locations on the fabric (a pencil works fine), a needle with a large eye and something with which to punch holes (a paper punch or leather punch, depending on the thickness of the fabric). It also helps to have Fray Check, a clear liquid that keeps fabric from, you guessed it, fraying. For materials, we used 1/4-inch-wide bias tape purchased at a fabric store. You can use whatever cord, ribbon or fabric you think will look good and be strong enough to hold your cushions in place.

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Mark hole locations in your IKEA patio cushions

Mark hole locations in your IKEA patio cushions

Put the cushions in place on the furniture and see where you can tie the cushions to the furniture frame. Mark the spots where you'd like to attach the ties. We chose to put two ties on the back of each seat cushion. Adjust this based on the size and shape of your cushions and your furniture's frame.

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Hole-punching tool

Hole-punching tool

We tried using a paper punch to make the holes in our cushion fabric, but the fabric was too thick. We moved on to a leather punch and that worked much better. You want to make a fairly tidy hole, but if you're not fussy, you could use an awl or other pointy tool to make the holes.

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Make the holes

Make the holes

Line up the punch with the marks on the cushions and create the holes for the ties.

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Fray Check: A little insurance

Fray Check: A little insurance

To make sure the fabric around the holes doesn't fray, apply Fray Check to the edges. Let it dry for around 20 minutes before you insert the ties.

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Insert the ties

Insert the ties

Thread the tie through the needle and pull it through the holes.

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Tie the knot

Tie the knot

Pull the ties through the holes until the two ends are even and then tie a knot to hold the ties in place. Repeat the process until all of your cushions have ties.

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One-button pillow ties

One-button pillow ties

To secure your outdoor pillows, one button in the middle is all you need! We bought slot-hole buttons so we could thread through 1/4-inch bias tape. Use whatever type of button and tie that looks good and works with your pillow cover fabric.

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Poke and thread

Poke and thread

We used the same large-eye plastic needle we used for the cushion ties to poke through the middle of our pillows (without removing the insides!). If you don't want to or can't poke through the pillow cover and the pillow insides, remove the cover and make a hole in the center of the front and back. Then poke a hole through the middle of the pillow itself. The goal is to make a hole in the middle that you can pull the tie through and then thread on the button.

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Pull and tie

Pull and tie

Using the needle, pull the end of the tie back through the hole to the back side of the pillow and tie the ends in a knot.

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Tie them on!

Tie them on!

When all of your cushions and pillows have ties, take them outside, put them in place and tie them on.

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Bring it on!

Bring it on!

Now you don't have to worry when the wind blows or the kids get squirrely. When you need or want to bring the cushions and pillows indoors, it just takes a couple minutes to undo the ties and haul them inside.