Projects are picking up speed on the @OneRoomChallenge. Be sure to check out the featured designers and guest participants as there is so much excitement and inspiration to be had on the One Room Challenge.
Here is what happened in my project in week one and week two. This week, as part of the @OneRoomChallenge week three, I was able to knock out two quick DIY projects. They were pretty easy, and something that you might want to try.
Project One: Cover For Decorative Body Pillow
For the first project, I made a cover for an existing body pillow that we are keeping for our bed.
I have made many pillow covers using this simple process that I want to share with you. You don’t need to be an experienced seamstress, but basic sewing skills are needed.
First you will need to measure the pillow that you are covering. I find it easiest to measure at the seam, as its generally easier to get a more accurate measurement. You will need to add 5/8 of an inch to each side as your seam allowance. Depending on the stiffness of your pillow, you may choose to add an extra 1/4 or 1/2 inch in each direction for easy of insertion. My pillow is really squishy so I did not want extra fabric.
This is what the back will look like on your completed project.
To calculate the amount of fabric you will need, you will need three times the width of your pillow. That is your pillow size with the added seam allowance and any extra you decided upon. I usually buy a 1/4 yard extra to allow for crooked edging.
Cutting The Fabric
Once you have your fabric it’s time to cut. But, make sure you check your measurements one last time. I like to lay my fabric out on a big flat surface with straight edges to help with cutting in straight lines. I usually cut the length first, since this is one long cut down the side. For the width, you will have to measure and mark with pins to help with cutting a straight line. So remember, this is the width of your pillow with 5/8 in of an inch for the seam allowance on each side, and anything extra that you decided to add. This should leave you with three pieces the same size.
Now, to make the two sections that create the overlapping opening on the back of the pillow, you will have to make two more cuts. I like to have the opening about 1/4 of the way down the pillow. You will have to judge what size that is on your pillow. So cut one of the pieces down a quarter of the size. The second piece will be the one that overlaps it. I suggest a generous overlap, but not so big that it will make it difficult to get the pillow in and out. Remember also that you will be hemming each of these open edges, so you will want the finished difference in the size of these two pieces to between three and five inches.
For this project, you will only need to make three seams. You will need to take each of your back flap pieces and hem them. Do this by making a slight turn under once then twice on the cut edge. It is a good idea to iron it in place and then pin. Do the same for both pieces and sew a straight seam on each to finish it off.
Now it’s time to assemble all of the pieces. Remember you are sewing on the inside. Put the uncut piece down first with the good side up. Next place the shorter piece you cut down with the good side down and pin it to the first piece you put down. Edges aligned. It should be good sides together. Then, add the long back piece, again with the good side down. Next you will pin it on all sides. Make sure that when it is pinned all of the way around that if you flip it to both sides, you will not see the right side of the fabric
Sew around the complete circumference of the pillow at 5/8 of an inch. It’s a good idea to back stick a few times at the places where the back pieces join, as there is where there will be stress when a pillow is inserted.
The Finished Pillow Case
Once you have turned your pillow inside right and like what you see. You can turn it back inside out and go back and cut the corners at a diagonal so that the corners open freely on the finished pillow case.
Project Two: Occasional Chair Update
I don’t even know where this chair came from. I just know that we have had it in our basement for years and that it doesn’t have a seat. I decided to makeover this chair and give it new life in our principal bedroom sanctuary.
Preparing The Wood
My first step was give the chair a good clean-up using TSP. This served not only to remove the dirt but also remove the sheen. With that done, there was no need to sand.
I chose to paint with this RUST-OLEUM Chalked ultra matte paint in charcoal.
When painting anything, I always like to start with it upside down first. I like to get all the hard to reach nooks and crannies done first. This is what I did with the chair. Then I was able to flip it over on its feet and do the top. Another benefit of doing the bottom first is that you can address any drips that might occur.
I have to say that this was the easiest spray paint job I have ever done. The paint went on evenly with no drips and I was able to do this whole chair with less than one can. Also, I only did one coat. I am so pleased with the chalky, matte finish. It’s not a black-black but more of a graphite colour.
Creating A Seat For The Chair
My husband @Geraintthewelsh was able to sort me out with a seat for the chair. I would have used new wood, but I guess that Ger thought that since it wouldn’t be seen he would use old wood. It is fine. It is an old piece of 1/2 inch ply wood.
Adding Padding To The Seat
The seat itself was easy to cover. I used this thick foam that I got at Fabricland.
The size was perfect so there was no need to cut it. BTW did you know that if you have to cut foam, an electric carving knife is a good way to do that. I continue. On top of that I added a thin covering. This serves to softy smooth the edges of the foam.
My stapling technique is to staple the middle of one side them pull tightly and put a staple in on the opposite side. Then I slowly pull and staple each of the sides. At the corners you have to tightly pull, then fold and staple. You want the corners to be as smooth as possible so there are no bumps on the fabric.
Next I flip the cushion over and clip the excess from the other side. I just do a rough job at this point as there will be further clean-up later.
Adding Fabric To The Seat
The same process was used with the fabric. I cut a generous piece of fabric and stapled one side, pulled and stapled across from it. Then I started adding more staples out to the corners. Each corner has a neat fold.
My DIY partner @GerainttheWelsh was able to add small brackets to the bottom of the seat to hold it in place.
The Finished Occasional Chair
Now we have a renewed occasional chair that will fit in perfectly in our updated principal bedroom.