Outdoor furniture that has been protected by furniture covers

How to Repair Outdoor Furniture Covers

Outdoor furniture covers are perfect for keeping your furniture protected and ensuring its longevity. With a cover on your outdoor furniture, you can worry less about damages, meaning less time will be spent on repairs and less money will be spent on replacements. But what if the cover itself becomes damaged? Should you go out and buy a new one? In some instances, yes. But, in most cases, the damage will be minimal enough to repair yourself.


Furniture covers are typically made of canvas like materials (often thin PVC or polyethylene). Because the material is usually soft and fairly workable, you have several options for repair. If the material is thin enough, you can have success simply sewing or patching any rips or tears. While sewing a gouge shut can help, it’s best to use a fabric patch of some sort to ensure the best seal. Stitching will most likely leave small holes behind, which is fine if you’re looking to prevent sun damage. If you want to keep out moisture, however, sewing up the tear and then sewing a patch over the area will give you the best results.

Duct Tape

Now, that’s only if you want to use a thread and needle to make the repairs. If you don’t want to fix your covers this way, don’t fret. You can always count on your best friend in home repairs: a roll of duct tape. Duct tape is the perfect tool to repair minor cuts or tears since it’s light and flexible enough to fold with the fabric. To be honest, you could probably make furniture covers only using duct tape if you wanted, but that’s too much hassle.

To ensure the best protection, you should duct tape both sides of the cover and make sure you’ve covered the entirety of the tear. If you only duct tape one side, or a portion of the hole is still visible, moisture can seep in and compromise the tape’s adhesive. Be sure to lay the cover as flat as possible before applying the tape to get the best seal possible. Some more porous covers might not allow duct tape to properly adhere. In these cases, special tape may be needed (or you might just have to patch it with thread and needle). Many home improvement stores sell specialized polyethylene tape for repairing tarps, which works well to fix outdoor, polyethylene furniture covers as well.

If you think your cover is beyond repair or your duct-taping and sewing skills aren’t up to snuff, you might just need to buy a new furniture cover. If you think you can handle it, though, making these repairs yourself is the best way to go. It may not look as nice to have a duct-taped furniture cover, but, hey, regular furniture covers aren’t super attractive either. What matters is that your furniture is protected from the elements and you can ensure that with these simple repair tips.

Last Updated: February 23, 2015