This is the latest installment in the revamping of our sitting room.
It's a solid, oak piece of furniture that was the boy's side table. I made a cool side table to replace the clunky thing,
but didn't want to toss it, figured I could use it in some way. At this point, we are all set for tables, and could probably use one more seat offering(besides, around here, tables just become an opportunity for people to put their crap on, and then forget about it.).
Here's what I used for this transformation:
1" foam, to cover table top
glue & dbl-sided tape
20" x 30" piece of microsuede
batting, and buckram
linen for skirt, 22" x 90"
linen for bolster pillow
staples, staple gun, sewing stuff
spare wool blanket
Step 1: Foam
I wanted to add some cushioning to the table top. Because the height of the table is pretty high, I couldn't add too much padding; enough for comfort but not so much that one's legs dangle while sitting. A good chair should have your feet planted firmly to the ground.
I had an assortment of 1" foam leftover from a large upholstery project. No pieces were large enough to fit the table, but if I cut them up and assembled them just so, I could duplicate as if it were just one piece. I used a rotary cutter and steel ruler. The finished "piece" should overlap the table on all sides by 1/2" to create a nice rounded effect.
I attached the foam edges to each other with double-sided tape, then applied a liberal amount of glue to the table top. I just used wood glue, and spread it with a disposable foam brush. I then pressed it onto the table. You need to pay mind that the foam doesn't shift or creep as you do this. Just check all the edges to make sure the overlap is consistent on all sides.
Step 2: Batting and Buckram
Foam isn't enough. You need to wrap it with batting to create a nice rounded cushion. The buckram is a rigid type of muslin that wraps over the batting, to give a strong medium that will hold up to stapling. If you have a scrap piece of home decor fabric, that will work just as well.
The batting and buckram should extend past the foam by a few inches. In my case there was a ledge under the table that I would be stapling into, plus an inch of two beyond that for tugging. You want to start with one staple in the center on one side, then over to the other side, pulling the fabric a natural amount; not too tightly but with a firm hand, a natural-feeling amount that you can duplicate for the entirety of the furniture.
After you staple all opposing centers, you move out from those centers, stretching the fabric a consistent amount, and focusing on getting the staples to sink in fully. I used 9/16", the kind with the jagged edges. They went in completely with little to no problem. The corners should get mitered. Just focus on creating a smooth silhouette. A good foundation pays off in the final result.
Step 3: The Final Top
This is your good piece. Inspect it for any flaws or mars. Iron if it is wrinkled.
This piece should be the same size as the batting and buckram.
This piece I staple right side up, and along the apron of the table. I don't want to compete with the previous staples.
Same process as before, just be extra picky with the smoothing and stapling.
The corners can just be folded to one side, rather than mitered.
Step 4: The Skirt
I'm using a contrast fabric for the skirt, as I have no more of the microsuede. The dark choc. linen will look lovely with the blue, drape nicely, and work with the rest of the room's furnishings.
I measure from where I will be stapling, adding an extra inch for the seam allowance(where it will be flipped under) down to the floor, adding a few inches for the hem. Now for the length, measuring around the entire table, plus 5" fro ease and seaming the edges.
Because this will be such a long piece to cut, I rough cut the rectangle, being generous, then bring that over to the ironing board for a good pressing. I fold in half then once more, giving me a more manageable piece to cut. Be sure the layers of one edge are perfectly lined up, then measure your height and cut.
Step 5: Hemming and Seaming
I measure again for the hem at the bottom, seam allowance at the top for stapling and edges where they would meet/overlap. Pressed everything thing out for a nice line, then did all my sewing. Blind hems look nice and give the least amount of distortion.
(Stapling the skirt onto the table doesn't lend itself as a predictable, exact measure, so I would suggest not creating a loop from this rectangle. Just make it plenty wide for overlap. You can always hand-sew the overlap to the underlayer later if you'd like.)
Step 6: Stapling the Skirt
I found it easiest to flip the table over and put the skirt in my lap. This way I could angle the gun 90 degrees on the lip I'd be stapling into, while also seeing exactly the stapling seam allowance.
Stretching slightly, but not too much, I laid staples in 1/2" spacing from each other, for a crisp line when flipped over.
The corners weren't as bad as I thought. There was no lip or ledge and so I was stapling directly into the leg, making sure to follow the line evenly.
Finishing up, the edge overlapped just under 1", of which I whip-stitched to the under layer. You could leave this as a slit, to make it easier for the cat to get into... because you know he's going to.
(took him maybe an hour after it was put into the room, though since I rolled it while he was under not sure if he's been back.)
Step 7: Roll It!
This table is really heavy. I don't want to have to lift it around...
This made it extra fun, for sure.
I drilled the holes 7/16", being sure to stay in the center of the legs, and drill straight down.
I was able to push them in most of the way, then a light tapping with a triangular hasp and hammer.
Step 8: Bolster Pillow
I didn't have a bolster pillow form lying around and didn't feel like making one. They tend tend be pretty light and, well, round, so roll off if not nestled against a vertical surface. I came up with the idea of rolling a heavy, wool blanket as a form.( I'm glad I did as the surprising, end result of heavy, pliable weight situates very nicely on the chair.) It's a narrow blanket that I crocheted with spare yarn, and doesn't get used much anymore, so was the perfect, sacrificial candidate.
I folded the blanket in half and then neatly/tightly rolled it. Measured diameter, then figured the length based on that.(pi, ya know...) Add a few inches for the length of the rectangle for overlap of the opening. I located a place with a similar diameter, plus seam allowance and cut out my two circles for the ends.
Step 9: Sew It Up
Sewing the rectangle to the two end circles to create the bolster pillow
To begin, fold a short edge of the rectangle over one inch. You could stitch this down but it is not necessary. Line that up with one of the circles and start sewing, keeping the edges aligned, manipulating the rectangle to curve with the circle. Linen has a nice flexibility to it and makes this step easier than usual.
I sewed a small seam allowance for less bunching while sewing a straight edge to a curve one, and to eliminate the need to trim the seam allowance after.
As you come around to complete the circle, don't fold over that edge. This is the underneath, and having it lay flat is best. The overlap should be a good inch or two.
Turn right side-out and give all seams a good finger pressing, trying to create clean edges on the circles.
I then stuffed the blanket in quite easily. It is less stiff than a purchased pillow form, and now it has a better home.
Step 10: EL Wire
I can't just leave it be, especially since I embedded EL into the side table for the boy... this needs to tie in... right?
I used strong silamide thread to hand sew the wire onto the edge. It is fairly invisible and doesn't tangle easily.
I spaced the stitches about 1/4" apart. It actually didn't take too long, and it added a nice rigidity to the circles.
I have a little extra EL that just gets tucked into the bottom of the pillow along with the inverter. I tack the middle of the opening closed. No need for a fancy fastener. And this gives a large enough opening for when I need to change the batteries. The inverter has a tactile on/off button that you can just feel through the fabric, so it's pretty easy to turn it on and off without even removing it from the pillow.
Step 11: The Glamour Shots
and it rolls.