Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Non-Princess Chair for my little Princess...

So some of you more observant blog readers already spotted my birthday gift for Emerson in a previous post.  Of course-- if you know me-- I couldn't help but DIY her present.  For the longest time I've wanted to get her a kid sized chair to sit in.  You know those absolutely ugly kid sized foam chairs you can pick up from Walmart?  Kids love them.  I do not.  I'm all for ugly toys that can be hidden.  But a foam chair is a bit too big to stash in the closet on a regular basis and it's too nasty to leave in the living room as is.  Now there are ready made aesthetically pleasing options out there-- check out Aubrey & Lindsay's blog for a super cute, super stylish option.  I however-- was obsessed with the idea of finding a cheap option... like... REALLY cheap.  This of course means it's time for a little DIY.  I thought to myself... can I make one of those cheap-o $23.99 Walmart foam chairs cute?  Can I make one of them living room worthy?

I was up for the challenge.  I bought this one.  I don't mind a little princess from time to time-- but not in my living room all the time...


I will say that I briefly considered purchasing the foam and essentially building the chair from scratch.  But foam is NOT CHEAP people.  I quickly abandoned the idea and decided that purchasing the ready made chair was going to be the easiest and cheapest route.  Plus, the existing princess pink cover was the perfect pattern to start with.  So one afternoon when the kids were napping I picked the cover apart.  I was soon left with a pile of pieces.  Panic soon set in.


I gave myself a bit of a pep talk-- if I can upholster two chairs (here and here)... I can do this!!  Luckily all my upholstery projects have taught me a thing or two-- and I remembered to label all the pieces as I took the cover apart.  I had 2 meters of this fabric from Tonic Living in my stash from a while back.  Last fall I saw the fabric used to make some ah-mazing drapes over at Rambling Renovators and I was smitten.  I ordered some of the material knowing that I would find a use for it someday.  Turns out it also looks great on a kids chair!  I cut it all out using the pieces as a pattern.  I ended up using just over a meter-- if you wanted to make your own chair 1.5 meters would be enough.

Then it started sewing it back together-- another tip I've learned along the way-- start with the inside pieces and work your way out...


Having the foam chair to fit the pieces along the way proved to be invaluable.  I would pin the seams together first, fit it on the chair, move the pins around if needed, and then sew those seams!


And an hour and a half later I had put the cover back together (insert sigh of relief).  I ended up making a few changes.  The base of the pink princess cover had a zipper on three sides that could be unzipped when the cover needed to be removed for washing.  I knew that installing a zipper like that would take FOREVER and was quite possibly above my skill level.  So instead I opted to attach a panel around the bottom perimeter with a little elastic to hold the cover in place (kind of like a fitted sheet-- remember my tutorial?)  It worked like a charm.  Kids (my kids) like to take things apart-- but trust me... this cover's not going anywhere.  It's on there good and tight.  And here's the finished product!


I think Emerson likes it-- she's still a bit young to properly appreciate the chair... but I think it's going to see some good use and abuse over the next few years!  Not surprisingly, Caleb and his cousins are quite drawn to the chair as well.

Classic Emerson.  Tongue sticking out...


I am really REALLY happy with how it turned out.  It's even cuter than I imagined.  I will admit that it's not a easy sewing project to accomplish-- I'd rank it to be more of an intermediate project.  But if anyone else out there decides to give it a try-- let me know!

8 comments:

Gord and Andrea said...

you are my hero :) your sewing skills amaze me.
andrea

Flowers2boys said...

i did notice that chair... but didn't know how new it was, Great job! i have an ikea kids poang chair that could use a recover... thanks for the inspiration!

Lindsay said...

looks GREAT!

Amber said...

I second Andrea...you are my hero too!!!! Just lovely. And your little girls pretty darn lovely herself :)

tan said...

Wow!! Great work on the chair cover...I love it!! I hear you on the big ugly kids toys. I'm not into them either! Hope you are healing well:)

Trev and Rebekah said...

Very awesome!

Bonnie said...

This is sheer brilliance. LOVE IT.

Danae said...

I just got a free chair from my cousin that I want to try and re-upholster... So I'm very grateful for this tutorial! Just wondering if you have a picture of how you finished the bottom that you could send me?danaehiebert@gmail.com...thanks!