Introduction: Duct Tape Patio Pillow

Cozy up your patio furniture or picnic blanket with quilt-inspired, weather proof pillows!  This project is super quick, inexpensive and provides an attractive alternative to the standard (and generally hideous) outdoor decor.

Materials and Tools

This project requires very few materials, but can be as complex as you like. All you need is:
  • Duct Tape - Preferably a heavy/weather proof tape as the structural front and back pieces (which i am going to call the 'base tape') and then as many colors as you need for your pattern
  • 1 Gallon Freezer Bag
  • Packing Peanuts
  • Rotary Cutter (or other cutting implement)
  • Cutting mat with length indicators - This does not need to be a cutting mat, however, you do need a surface on which you can easily attach and remove duct tape.  Length markers of any kind will be really helpful for lining things up.

Step 1: Tape Base

Start by making and attaching the back of the pillow to the freezer bag:
  • Layout 7 slightly overlapping strips of base duct tape, about 12" long
  • Remove and flip whole piece over
  • Place freezer bag in the center
  • Fold outlying tape over both sides and bottom of the bag
  • Along the top, fold tape over on itself, not interfering with the zipper

Step 2: Tape Triangles

For this particular pillow i made 32 triangles using three different colors.  Since this is a pretty straightforward pattern, so I did not chart it out in any way.   If you want to do something more intricate, you might t want to grab some graph paper and do a little more planning than I did.

To make triangles:
  • Layout 3 inch strip of colored duct tape
  • Fold at the middle at a 90o angle
  • Fold over sides
  • Fold over remaining small triangles

Step 3: Layout

Layout all your triangles how you want the final piece to look to confirm you have all the pieces you need and that everything is going to line up.  Take a moment to think about how cute this will be when completed, how much faster this is than real quilting and if duct tape is allowed in the Amish culture.

Step 4: Tape Triangles

The front panel is created by taping down one column of triangles at a time and then connecting the separate columns into the full panel.  For trying to do the whole thing at once on a single large piece would surely end in disaster.
  • Unroll a 10" piece of base tape
  • Lay it on the mat sticky side up
  • Carefully set pieces on tape in order of the pattern
  • Ever-so-slightly overlay the blue tape to the pieces around it.  Just a teeny, tiny bit.  This will not only make it look a little quiltier, but will prevent any sticky part of the tape from peeking through on the final product.
  • Line up columns
  • Flip and tape together

Step 5: Edging

Time to add edging!
  • Unroll four 10" pieces of base tape
  • Fold them in half, width-wise
  • Unroll four more 10" pieces of base tape
  • Place piece of tape (from second) set under the bottom edge of the block, sticky side up
  • Place one of the folded pieces along the edge, folded side facing pattern - overlapping 1/8"
  • Trim ends
  • Repeat for all sides

Step 6: Attach. Stuff. Close.

The tricky part is over!  You'll be relaxing in way more comfy lawn chairs in just a few minutes...
  • Center panel on freezer bag
  • Unroll a 12" piece of tape (I used black for this part)
  • Fold over about 1/4" of the tape
  • Lay tape on panel, folded side towards the panel, overlapping with edging about 1/8"
  • Fold remaining tape over, attaching panel to the bag
  • Repeat on the three, non-zipper sides
  • Open bag and stuff with packing peanuts, or other packing material (keeping in mind that some moisture could sneak in)
  • Zip up bag
  • Tape over zipper edge as done for the other sides
The Great Outdoors Duct Tape Contest

Finalist in the
The Great Outdoors Duct Tape Contest