It’s been way too long since I last posted in the blog. I’ve upcycled a few things in the mean time, so I promise I am going to make a few new posts in a short time. None of them are grandiose, but small things are fun to make, too. In this post I wanted to show a new cushion I just made for an Ikea chair. You know, the famous Ikea’s Poang chair. The one we had was bought about 15 years ago, a black frame with a black leather cushion. It got beaten up over time but was still comfortable, so we kept it in the family room downstairs. Then we had friends for dinner a couple of weeks ago, and the chair made it’s way upstairs to sit one of them and kind of refused to go back. As I mentioned, it’s very comfortable.
So, it was time for the chair to be spruced up if it wanted to stay in my off white/grey/driftwood colored living room.
- Denim fabric in natural, unbleached color left over from making cushions for my lounge chairs. $0.00
- A bobbin of white upholstery thread and two packs of white velcro strips for about $6.00 in total
- A fairly tightly woven, cotton throw in natural and soft brown colors found in Marshall’s for $19.99 (I wanted the seat to be plush and cosy.)
- Two cans of spray paint – one soft brown and the other one – clear gloss. $8 for both. The brown only came in flat, unfortunately. Otherwise, I would have saved $4.
- That’s about it. The total tally was $34.
- By the way, if I didn’t have the denim already, I would go and buy a canvas drop cloth at Home Depot – it’s super cheap and perfect for upholstery.
To deal with the frame was easy – unscrew the four bolts holding the seat to the frame, remove and clean the frame, let it dry and then spray paint it. I always do spray painting outside! I really don’t want the mess and the fumes in the house. I put the screws back into the frame loosely so they got a coat of color, too. After the paint dried, I coated the chair in clear gloss.
Now, the chair seat is constructed from a metal and sturdy black canvas pulled of the frame and making the foundation for the seat and the back. When the cushion is put on top it hides the front of the canvas, but the black fabric is all you see in the back. That I didn’t want. So, I sewed a slipcover for that black canvas, slipped it on top of the canvas and hand stitched it closed on top of the frame. It will be covered by the cushion so no one is going to see your hand stitching technique, or lack thereof :)!
When making the new cushion, the main thing is to exactly follow the design of the old one. First of all, I removed the batting so the measurements were more accurate. The front piece was very easy – I just cut according to the measurements. Since the fabric was woven, I wanted to back it with a sturdier fabric. So, I used an old, brown, heavy cotton window curtain. First, I cut the piece out of the curtain to the required size with a half of an inch allowance. Then, I put the curtain piece on the wrong side of the woven throw and pinned them together making sure the woven fabric did not stretch or distort. Before cutting the woven fabric, I stitched both of them together in very short stitch length – 2 or just slightly longer. I didn’t want the woven fabric fray and unravel on the edges once it is cut. I am glad I did it – it held beautifully.
The back of the cushion had to be pieced together from four different pieces. The pouch that slips onto the seat frame to hold the cushion in place is sewn at this time. Again, following the design of the old cushion is the best way to achieve the positive outcome. The only thing I did differently was to use velcro strips instead of zippers, but there was no fundamental difference in this case, really.
After the front and the back of the cushion were ready, I pinned them together, right side to right side, and stitched them together. Again, I used a short stitch length as an extra precaution against the fabric’ fraying.
The final touch – I turned the cushion inside out, ironed the sides well, and then stitched again all around the cushion, about 1/2 of an inch away from the side. This lend a nice, crisp look to the cushion. After this was done, I measured the old cushion (the template) and stitched across the new cushion to make three separate pouches for the batting.
I put the batting pieces back into their respective pouches, closed the velcro, and had my new, beautiful and unique cushion ready to go. Actually, the whole chair was brand new!
What happened to the old cushion? Well, I upcycled it, so one very special dog got herself a new mat! Complete with a bone applique made of leather.