Step 1: Go get stuff.
- 9 yards of 62" wide canvas
- 6 yards of 60" wide material of choice for cover background (something soft, something cheap)
- 2 yards of 60" wide material for cover pattern
- a spool of thread (to match cover pattern fabric)
- 1 pair of swimmies or inflatable raft (available at Target)
- 1 gallon liquid latex ( Clear #10)
- 1 container of baby powder
- 1 container of rubbing alcohol
- a bar of Dove soap or similar ( bacon soap is tempting but not recommended)
- 1 tube of Victor's rubber cement (available at Ace Hardware)
- 2 latex gloves
- 1 pad of tracing paper
- 1 sewing machine
- 2 boxes of sewing machine needles (for denim)
- 1 box of beaded pins
- 1 pencil
- 1 tape measure
- 1 pair of scissors
- 1 roll of masking tape
- 1 computer with Photoshop (or similar)
- 1 black and white printer
- 2 one and half inch paintbrushes
- 3 plastic containers (1 sealable and 1 capable of holding a bar of soap)
- 1 sewing needle
- 1 roll of paper towels
- 1 outfit you don't like (for painting latex)
Step 2: Create the cover.
On account of its importance and realizing that this is the most time intensive part of the process I made the cover first, even though it is the last thing you will actually need when finally assembling the chair.
For detailed instructions on how to make the cover see the Digital Image to Personalized Fabric Cover instructable.
Step 3: Create the plain heart pattern
Step 4: Trace your hearts out.
With that said, when you are done tracing the hearts, trace a two inch border around them. An easy way to do this is to get a ruler, place a pencil at the two inch mark and trace around the heart with the ruler along the heart's edge.
Step 6: Cut out the rest of the canvas frame.
Step 7: Cut out your valve.
Trim the fabric around the valve so that you have about a 4" to 5" square.
Step 8: Attach the valve to the canvas strip.
Speaking of making things as airtight as possible, now would be time to seal the part of the fabric that you are going to attach the swimmie to. Trace the outline of the cut swimmie onto the part of the fabric that will later become the inside of the inflatable heart. Over this outline paint two coats of latex to help in making this canvas frame airtight. For instructions on painting with liquid latex see the Coating Fabric with Liquid Latex instructable.
Sew a series of rings around the valve from smaller to larger (see picture).
Step 9: Mark the canvas for handles.
Once all your markings are made, take the tape measure and readjust all your tape markings so that both hearts match as precisely as possible.
Step 10: Attach the handles.
Once the handles are cut and the tape is well-positioned, remove each piece one by one. As you remove each one, draw a line in pencil where the tape used to be. This is going to be where you will later attach the handle so make sure that all the lines are going in the same direction on both hearts.
Now that you have these lines, the next step would be to paint over them with two coats of liquid latex to make an airtight seal. This is done so that when the handles are sewn on you won't need to worry so much about properly sealing the canvas frame. Don't forget to coat the latex in baby powder when you are done.
With that said, once the latex is dry and coated, the next thing to do would be to lay out the canvas handles one by one over the pencil lines still visible through the latex. Sew the handle to the canvas frame 1" over on each side. Next fold the two loose inches of handle fabric over on themselves and sew something resembling a box with an "X" in it to reinforce the handles (see secondary image).
Step 11: Prepare and sew the canvas frame.
First pin the 22" x 216" canvas strip (or equivalent) flatly around the edge of the heart that doesn't have handles on it. Also! Make sure that the part of the valve that you blow into is laying flatly on top of the part of the canvas heart that doesn't have handles. Sew one inch in from the border around the edge of the heart. Once it is sewn, lift the strip up and see if it looks three-dimensional with the handles and the part of the valve you don't blow into on the outside (see secondary image).
If you checked the secondary image you will notice that the strip attached all the way around the border of the heart is not closed on each end. Lay the ends of the strip flatly together and sew them in a manner so that the excess fabric of both ends is facing outwards. Cut any extra fabric that extends more than one inch away from the seam.
The last step now is to repeat sewing the other heart to the canvas border in the same manner as the first. The only difference this time is to not sew completely around the heart. Leave an open gap of about one foot (or large enough to pass your arm through). And don't forget to make sure that the handles are facing towards the outside of the heart frame.
Step 12: Reinforce the seam.
Step 13: Prepare and attach spout.
Pull this sheet of fabric inside out, so that the stitching is on the inside. Pull the sheet flat and cut one inch into the fold and cut another inch into the seam.
Your spout should have two one-inch flaps on each end. Pin one flap to one side of the hole in the large canvas frame and sew it (see picture). Repeat the step with the other side. Reinforcing the stitching may or may not be necessary.
Step 14: Get ready for some major latex.
Step 15: Paint on the latex.
The best tactic for laying an even coat of latex would be to lay the heart flat and paint one side of the inflatable heart frame at a time. I used four coats of latex on each side and that seemed to be more than enough. Remember when painting the heart-shaped pieces of canvas to paint over the stitching but not to paint over the handles. They need to be able to be lifted.
Also, think of the side of the frame as being triangular and having three sections. This will simplify painting the sides.
Another thing to notice is that the swimmie fabric doesn't particularly like to bond with the latex. As such, you are going to want to put six or seven layers over the fabric attached to the valve. Remember not to cover the valve under any circumstance. Air needs to be able to flow through!
Lastly, don't forget to coat each side in baby powder after you put on the forth layer of latex.
Step 16: Glue glove to the valve.
This is easily done by cutting latex gloves into long strips, cleaning them off with rubbing alcohol and applying rubber cement around the border between the swimmie and the canvas. Once the rubber cement is applied, then it is important to quickly seal the seam between with the cut up latex gloves until you are sure it is airtight.
Step 17: Turn the frame inside out.
Step 18: Inflate! ...carefully
Step 19: Attach tension lines.
You see, these canvas strips pass through the handle on one side of the canvas heart and then pass through the corresponding handle on the other side of the inflatable heart. Pull both ends through the large air hole and lay them flat next to one another. Sew both ends together. Then fold them over and sew them again to reinforce the stitching. Do this for all the handles starting with the ones farthest from the large air spout and ending with the one closest.
Step 20: Reinforce seams with latex.
Now is the time to reinforce the air seal by painting along all seams and exposed stitching with two to three coats of liquid latex as appropriate. After the first coat look for air bubbles around the seams and apply thicker coats as necessary.
Step 21: Close the heart's frame!
The next day when the rubber cement is dry then you should paint the spout closed with liquid latex so that it is definately air tight. Put in three or four coats.
Step 22: Finish the decorative cover.
Pin it face down along the border of your decorative cover so that the display side of both the cover and your fabric are touching. Sew this about 1/2 an inch in from the border.
When you are done, flip it inside out. Your decorative cover is complete. You can add a bottom and a zipper so that it hugs your chair on all side if you feel like wasting money. Otherwise just stick the cover over the chair and tuck the excess fabric underneath.