Thursday, April 8, 2010

Put this where? to Chair :0)

So my grandma gave me a years supply of food storage from 1975 and swears with all of her dear old heart that the food is good forever, literally. I have moved something like 9 times, lugging these babies from house to ever-loving house for who-knows-why. Finally, last month when bulk trash pick-up rolled around I pulled them from their saw-dusty home in my disaster of a garage and walked them to the curb. After a fond farewell and about three hours it finally occurred to me, "Hey, those puppies would be perfect for chairs around the baby's table!" I ran barefoot out to the curb and luckily our ever-so efficient sanitation workers had not yet come by. Thus, the darlings were rescued from the grasps of utter destruction, and re-entered the shelter of my loving care. I have now continued to stare at them with each pass, wondering what I could do to make them cuter. Then it dawned on me, cushy tops of fluffy comfort! With a freshly painted re-made table to inspire me, I headed with wallet in hand to the fabric store!

OK, so these fabulous seat cushions are relatively easy to do. Interested? Here are a few supplies you will need.

*A bucket w/lid of any variety, I am using squarish ones, but will be doing circle ones in a day or two
*Fabric-your top fabric, an underneath liner fabric, and batting
*Foam or a pillow made of cheep/stash fabric and stuffed with fiberfill
*Upholstery/button/craft thread-a must because it is thicker than regular thread and won't break with your tugging
*A long upholstery needle-I had this ridiculously long one from a past project- yours doesn't have to be this long
* Buttons
*Wooden piece for the underside of cushion
*Tools-Drill, Hot glue gun, staple gun-I ended up using our air compressor and pneumatic stapler cause my staple gun is busted but I think you could even use nails and a hammer if you don't have a staple gun(you should think about owning a staple gun if you don't have one-they are fabulous!), scissors

I started out by hot-gluing the cushion in place so it doesn't relocate in the ordeal.

First, make a paper template of the lid. Cut and re-cut until it fits inside the lip of the lid. When that is finally done, trace onto wood piece and cut out. There are tons of options for this step,I finally settled on using 1" pine so it was thick enough to screw into, the staples go into it better than plywood, and its cheeeepa! I did resolve, other than the fabric, to only use the junk I had around the villa, so I ended up doing like 3 of my 6 with 1/2" plywood cause I ran out of pine. With the 1/2" I did 2 pieces, the bottom with my pattern, the top a little smaller. Then I hot glued them together so they didn't shift. Drill a hole in the middle-the hole is for the needle to go through when sewing the button on. I thought, "I will sew a little one just big enough for my gi-normic needle to go through, forgetting that you have to fish around to find the hole when you are coming back in the top-more on this later. You may want to do a bigger hole. It just has to be smaller than the washers! If you have huge washers, you can have a huge hole. The bigger the hole, the easier it is to find with the needle. Or be like me and do a little one and work it baby! to get it back through. Whatever.
Here is a picture of the two pieces glued together. I also sanded the tops of the wood to be rounded so the little tooshy that sits on this seat won't have an edge cutting off the circulation to their legs. Probably not necessary with how full I stuffed my pillows, but just in case;0)

Fabric I decided to cut the fabric with this equation measurement of wood piece+4" on each side. My wood piece was 8" square, so plus 8" for the extra= 16". For a circle I would still add 8" just to be sure, so measure how wide your circle is, then add 8". You will need the cutesie fabric for the top, and a liner fabric, and then you might as well cut the batting, all the same size. Then set the cutesie stuff aside.

Start by laying you liner fabric out, then lay your batting on top. Position your wood piece with the foam or pillow glued to it in the middle of the batting, face down. Pull one side over,not too tight, and staple. Pull the opposite side over, pulling snug, and staple. Do the other two sides. For a circle, act like it is a square, pull two opposite sides first, then to two more sides in a 90 degree angle from there.

I guess I didn't take the next picture, still new at the tutorial thing, but next, I pulled the corners tight, straight to the center, and stapled. From this point on you can just work clockwise, or counterclockwise, which ever fits your groove, around the seat. When the corners are all stapled, I tucked the fabric that was left to be secured under towards the middle, pulled smooth, checking the sides for wrinkles, and staple. Really it is way easier to do than to read how to do;0) You can look at the next picture to see how mine ended up. If these instructions are confusing, you are welcome to google how to cover a seat and read from a professional. I can't begin to believe that I did it the totally right way, but it worked for me.

Now, see how there is a ton of loose fabric and batting. Grab your fabulous scissors and cut off the extras.

There, now that's better.

Now do it all again with the top piece of fabric :0)

On to the fun part! BUTTONS!!! I will post how to make the buttons later, right now I will show what to do with them. You need your seat, with the hole in the bottom, your ridiculously long needle threaded with button/craft/upholstery thread, your button-of course, silly, and your washer. If you don't have washers, I used a paperclip on one of mine due to the whole not-buying-anything thing.

Tie the washer to your thread and we are ready to begin!

Poke into the hole in the base and watch for the needle through the front side.

If the needle doesn't look like it is coming out the middle, pull it back a little bit, and push it back in more towards the center.

Thread your needle through the button. My needle passed easily through some of them and got rather stuck in a few. Pay attention to what way your needle eye is turned if you get stuck. Sometimes you can turn it so the wider part of the eye goes through the wider part of the button bulby-part, thus giving you a harmonious pass-through. If not, pull harder!

Now is where you stop, and run to the bathroom. Grab a coke, check your email, ignore the children fighting in the next room and... we're back! Push that needle back down into your seat of cushy comfort, just about 1/4 inch away from where you came up. I usually don't come up right in the middle, so this is where you can fix where your button will really end up. Time To Fish! Fishing for the hole. When I did this kind of thing last time, many years ago, I made much bigger holes so I could find it easily in this step. I forgot that. These holes are fine, you may want to make bigger ones. Anywho, repeat that last 2 steps at least once, I gave up there, but you can continue on for a third if you'd like. The more you do it the better your chances of not having the button fly. Be certain to go through the washer each time you come out the bottom. That is what actually pulls your button down. Pull the thread loosely between each pass, don't pull the thread snug 'cause you need the button loose enough to get back into the button's hole.

So, when you have gone at least twice up, through the button, and back out the bottom, and around the washer, pull tight on the string while pushing on the button in front. This will pull the button down into the cushion giving it that professional;0) look. When the button is in as far as you want it to be, start knotting the thread. When you are to the point you need to let go of the thread, I push on the button to try and keep it from pulling on the string, while I pull the knot tight. You will see. Once you get that first knot, tie a couple more until you are certain it won't go anywhere. Because I am a crazy lady about making it all tight, I went to a corner and tied a few more. It all depends on your level of insanity about the project :0)

Screw those puppies onto the lids! You want to use at least three screws in like a triangle pattern(according to my engineer husband) or more to keep it from shearing off. The one thing I would have done differently in this step is to put a washer on there first, then screw the screws in to keep the screw from pulling through the plastic in case of child-related disaster. Honestly though, I am sure it will be fine. If they do pull out, I will add a washer later. By then I will probably want to re-cover them anyway!



And a big TA-DAH!!!!

Now for step two, the bottom of the bucket!!! I have thought long and hard about how to do it. I actually bought spraypaint, but decided it would scratch off eventually and look bad making for lots more work. I have concidered modge-podging paper or fabric, sewing sleves, or rolling paint on just the bottom. Can't you just wait to see what I decide!?!

This project was linked up Here:
Fine Craft Guild


  1. All I know is that you are one talented gal! Be blessed. Cindy

  2. Oh those ARE DARLING...what an inexpensive way to make chairs for a kid's table. Luv it!

  3. Those are just perfect for a kids' table! Love the tufting you did on them. I know that they make spray paint just for plastic, but I haven't tried it out yet. That might be an option.

    Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours Day!

  4. What a fun idea!!! I love the fabrics and the little buttons

  5. Those turned out adorable!
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D

  6. I LOVE this... they're fabulous!
    We have a friday fun finds party that's still going- we'd love it if you'd link up!

  7. Wow, these are absoloutley too cute, and original!

  8. Ooh...I love these! I really do...

  9. What a great project, Oh the buttons, I struggle with them every time!! I save those same cat litter/ food bins, I just can't throw them out because i was sure they could be used for something, now I know. My son accused me of being a hoarder because I had saved so many ha! I am so glad i found your blog! I am a new follower. If you get a chance I would love for you to peek at my blog

    Thank You Carol

  10. This is an adorable idea for a little kids table. Thanks for sharing!


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