Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cushion Fail!

When we put bunk beds in the kids' room, I realized something.  Every room needs a good place to sit.  Before the bunk beds, we used Ella's bed for reading and snuggling, but now we can't fit our heads under the bottom bunk and it's not convenient to go all the way to the top.  We needed a chair, but it couldn't be too big - the room's already crowded. 

I remembered a yellow chair that was in our basement.  It used to live in our piano room.

This picture is from when we first moved in.  You can see the paint swatch on the far wall that later became green.  It became green because I painted it green.  It didn't just become, if you know what I mean.

I tried to sell the chair on craigslist as a project when we first moved here, but no one wanted it.  What exactly does that say?  I decided to keep it as an upholstery project because it's comfortable and has a nice shape.  It even used to be pretty.  I found it at a consignment shop years ago, and it was in good condition then, but the fabric in which it was upholstered isn't very heavy duty, and finally the cushion ripped open right in the front and center, totally unrepairable. 

As I looked at it, I realized it only needed a cushion replacement.  The rest, though not pristine, isn't in bad shape, and I don't really want a pristine chair for the kids' room anyway!

So I took the cushion, and filled my trunk with leftover foam and some coordinating fabric, and headed to a friend's house who is an expert in this stuff.  I'm comfortable with a staple gun, but doing upholstery that needs a needle and thread is scary to me, so I consulted.

Here's what I learned.

1.  Making a cushion is harder than it seems.  Or seams.  Get it?  I told Elizabeth I'd be home by lunch.  I got home at nearly 6:00, friends!  It was a seven hour project from beginning to end.

2.  If you must piece your foam, make sure you have enough so that you are only using two pieces, max.  This foam puzzle was disastrous, but I was using what I had on hand because foam can be really expensive. And like I said, this is for a kids' room, so I while I wanted it to look nice, it wasn't something I felt needed to be professional.  Not the best attitude, my friends.

We put two layers of foam against each other, both in pieces but with the seams at different places, and used spray adhesive to attach them.

Then we covered the whole thing in layers and layers of batting, hoping that it would help the seams not show and would contain the foam.

Then my friend showed me how to do the cushion.  I took some pictures, but not enough to truly give an explanation, so I won't bother, though it's the only part of the project we did right!  But after all, I did tell you that this was a cushion fail, so you shouldn't have high expectations.

3.  Finally, when redoing a seat cushion, make sure your chair is available as a size guide!  We worked on the cushion at my friend's house, which is thirty minutes away from my house.  When I finally got home and put it in the chair, I discovered something.


After seven hours of working on this cushion, I had to stuff and smoosh it into the seat.  It is literally three inches too long and three inches too wide.  How we measured so poorly when we had the original cushion as a template is beyond me.  I stepped back, started to titter, then snort, and then I just lost it.  I think Elizabeth thought I was in early labor and was getting hot water ready. 

But you know what?  The kids don't care.  They think it's sooo cool.

And that makes it fine. 

Funny, but fine. 

Hilarious, but fine.

And that is good, because I can tell you that one project that will not be redone anytime soon is that seven-hour monster cushion.

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