This sweet miniature wicker rocking chair was mine. It was given to me by my Grandparents when a was a toddler and it sat in the corner of my childhood bedroom holding stuffed animals while I grew up. It now has a new home – mine! My daughter loves climbing in and out (and in and out), sitting in the chair to look at books, and stand on it and rock like a wild woman.
While it was still in relatively good condition, it was in need of a little love. A fresh coat of paint was in order. The wicker was cracked in a few parts as well so I decided that making a chair cushion would be the best way to prevent it from getting further damaged.
After wiping the chair down with some wet paper towels I took it outside and gave it a few coats of Krylon white spray paint. I thought about going with a crazy fun color for a few minutes but decided to keep it classic white. I know you can’t really tell from the iPhone snap, but this made a HUGE difference!
Making the Pattern
Instead I decided to bring in some fun in the form of a chair cushion. To make a pattern for myself I used a large piece of sketching paper. I roughly cut it in the shape of the cushion I would like to make. I folded it in half where the bottom and top would meet.
Then I took it off the chair and folded the paper vertically. I trimmed the shape some more to make sure both sides were symmetrical.
Sewing the Cushion
Next I took some quilting batting and fabric (already washed) and cut them according to my pattern. For the fabric you will want to cut out two shapes for the front and back of your cushion. For the batting you will want to cut it out according to the pattern, and then go back and trim off about 1/2″ from all sides to account for the hem.
I sewed the fabric right sides together (pretty sides both facing in) with a 1/2″ hem and left a 4″ opening on the side. I turned it inside out through the gap.
Next I stuffed the batting inside the fabric pillow I had made. This took a little bit of finessing, but with the help of a few pins I was able to smooth the batting out and keep everything in place.
I knew I wanted to sew my batting into place, as I had made that error before on other projects and they got lumpy from the batting moving around!
First I sewed straight across where the bend in the cushion would be where the top and bottom cushions meet. Next I sewed around the entire border (about 1″ in from the edge). Lastly I sewed three vertical seams inside the border. That batting should not be going anywhere! I hand-stitched the gap closed.
To attach the cushion to the chair I decided to make some small tiebacks out of the same fabric. You could also use ribbon or string. I cut four 12×3″ strips. Using my pins I folded the short end in about 1/4″. Then longways I folded each end into the middle and then folded it in half – although it’s a bit awkward, this left all the rough ends tucked inside and made for minimal hemming needed. To finish it off I sewed the three folded sides closed. After checking where the best place to tie it to the chair would be, I hand-stitched these to the back of the cushion.
I’m very happy with how it came out and so is my little girl. I couldn’t keep her out of her new chair today, which makes all the effort worth it! Between running around after her, freelancing, and regular life stuff I don’t get nearly as much DIY time in these days so the reward is much greater!
Do you have anything from your childhood that is just waiting for a makeover?