How to weatherproof wicker furniture: Give your piece two coats of the paint of your choice, then top it with a layer of spray marine varnish, such as @minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane (from $10; Amazon). Wicker traps moisture easily; if it gets under the finish, it will damage the fibers from the inside out. Unlike spray lacquer, varnish is strong enough to seal out the moisture. Follow up every two to three years with a fresh coat to maintain a durable, water-resistant finish.
DIY cushions for patio furniture. Super easy. I didn't have old cushions to cover so I used layers of cheap bed padding foam wrapped in batting. Look here for how to do boxed corners that are not covered well http://craftapple.wordpress.com/2007/09/01/sewing-tip-squarely-boxing-those-corners/