How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have a butterfly chair that is sun-faded or has hideous fabric on it? I bet you thought it was a lost cause, right? Nope! With a sewing machine, some new fabric and a little spare time you can recover that ugly butterfly chair and have a new one. Okay, so I didn’t recover it with green fabric in honor of St. Patrick, but what could be greener than a good old upcycling project! Believe it or not, this was a much easier project than I had anticipated, so don’t get scared by the curves. You can “sew” do this! 😉

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

I stumbled upon this chair at Goodwill for $9.99. Normally I wouldn’t spend this much for a sun-faded chair, but because I was working on the school library makeover project — and we needed more comfortable seating — I bought it.  After all, we would have had to pay at least double for another comfy chair.

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I had some soft leftover fleece fabric that I could use to recover the chair. I wish I had measured how much I used, I think it was a little less than 2 yards.

Materials:

  • 2 yards of fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Old butterfly chair + old cover

Instructions:

1. Remove the old cover from the butterfly chair frame. Lay it on top of your fabric (both right sides up.) Read more

Boy's Red, White & Blue Themed Room | Pretty Handy Girl

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Every month Lowe’s challenges me to create another unique project to share with you. This month’s challenge was creative storage ideas. Have kids? This is a unique storage solution using a galvanized tub and a furry upholstered lid. It’s the perfect place to store and corral all that kid clutter in your child’s bedroom. The storage tub doubles as a bench and a step stool. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have children, the storage bench could be used for magazine storage and much more!

Grab these materials and tools and follow along with me (and my 13 year old assistant.)

Creating the Galvanized Storage Bench and Lid

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Materials for the Galvanized Storage Tub and Lid:

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Instructions:

Turn the galvanized tub upside down on the plywood. Use the sharpie to mark approximately 1/2 – 1″ out from the edge of the tub. Read more


Everyone can always use more hidden storage! What’s better than getting organized with more storage? How about combining it with additional seating!  Jaime here from That’s My Letter sharing with you this easy tutorial for how to build a rolling storage seat.

rolling storage stool final

Of course I couldn’t stop myself at just one seat, I had to make three – they’re just that fast and easy!  The finished size is a generous stool at 19″w x 18″ d x 20″h.

rolling storage stools 2

Lift up that cushioned top and you’ve got tons of storage space:
rolling storage stools 3

To make the rolling storage stool you’ll need the following supplies: Read more

Yes, you can sew your custom bench cushions and add cute piping trim to it. It’s not hard and I’ll show you how easy Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping can be.Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

Before you run screaming, “I can’t sew to save my life!”, let me tell you I thought sewing a bench cushion was going to be difficult. But, I thought sewing a bench cushion with piping would be next to impossible. Little did I know, once I figured out an easy way to create the box, it was actually very easy!

My Secret Fabric Source:

Before we get started I wanted to let you in on a little secret: The bench cushion and side table fabrics you see below are shower curtains!

Sewing a Bench Cushion

You read that right. Shower curtains are not only inexpensive, but they are durable and can stand up to moisture. This makes them perfect for outdoor use. I bought both of these at fabric shower curtains at Target for under $20 each!

Sewing a Bench Cushion Fabric Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Sewing a Bench Cushion Supplies

Okay, let’s get started!

Preparing the Foam Cushion

Lay your foam on top of the bench. Mark a line where you need to trim.

Sewing a Bench Cushion Prep Cushion

Use an electric carving knife to cut through the foam.

Sewing a Bench Cushion Cut Foam

Wrap batting around your foam. Then trim the edges down to size. I had enough to put two layers on top of the foam and one layer on the bottom. This will make for a cushier and less “squared” cushion.

Sewing a Bench Cushion Wrap Foam

Cutting out the pieces

1. Lay out your fabric (err, I mean, shower curtain) folded in half. Place your cushion on top. Trace around the cushion about 3/4″ wider on all sides.

Sewing a Bench Cushion cut pieces

Cut through the two layers. This will give you the top and bottom panels for your cover.

Sewing a Bench Cushion bottom panels

2. Next cut out four strips of fabric for the sides. Cut your lengths 2″ longer than your cushion.

Sewing a Bench Cushion fabric strips

If your foam is 3″ and you use 1-2 layers of batting, you can use these measurements for your strips:

  • Front: 4.25″ wide  by length + 2″
  • Sides (left and right): 4.25″ wide by length + 2″
  • *Back: 5.5″ wide by length + 2″
  • *Back Fold Over Flap: 3.5″ wide by length + 2″

*The back is wider and has two strips because we need to sew an overlapping flap and velcro to make the cover removable.

Sewing a Bench Cushion fabric measure

Assembling the sides

1. Wrap the 4 strips around your cushion right sides facing in. (Reserve the back fold over piece for later.) Pin the edges where they meet at your cushion corners. The back strip should line up with the sides on the one edge. But, the other edge will extend 1.25″ taller than the rest.

Sewing a Bench Cushion assemble sides

2. Remove the sides and stitch where the pins are. When you get to the back strip, fold over the excess so it matches the same height as the rest of the strips.

Sewing Bench

Then stitch along the back strip’s folded over fabric to secure it.

sew fabric for cushion

Set your sides aside for now. It is time to pin the piping to your cushion top.

Adding the Piping

(Tutorial for Making Your Own Piping Here)

1. Lay the top panel right side up on top of the cushion. Pin the piping on top of the fabric. Line up the piping with the edges of the cushion. Be sure the raw edge of your piping is facing the raw edge of the fabric.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

When you reach a corner, snip into the raw edge of the piping all the way (but not through) the rope piping. Then turn your piping at a clean 90 degree angle and continue pinning.

bench cushion piping

When you reach the beginning of your pinned piping, simply overlap the two about 2″ and cut off the excess.

sewing bench cushion corners

Your top should look like this:

bench cushion top diy

2. Set the top panel on your sewing machine and sew the piping into place. Your needle will be very close to the piping, but it shouldn’t stitch into the rope. This is where your zipper foot really helps!

sew cushion piping

Carefully sew and backstitch over the place where your piping overlaps.

sew backstitch cushion

Connecting the top and sides

1. Lay your top panel onto the cushion. Pick up your sides and begin pinning them to the top of the cushion. The hem on the back side should be facing up and away from the piping. Position your pins close to the piping but not on top of it. Try to line up the corners of your sides with the 90 degree corners of your piping.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

2. Stitch the sides onto the top piece. Again, your needle will be very close to the piping but not over it. This is a little trickier because you can’t see the piping, but you can feel it. Just use your fingers to guide you. (Piping shown by the red arrowed line below.)

Sewing a Bench Cushion

Turn your top cover right sides out and test the fit on your cushion.

DIY Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

Repeat the steps above for “adding the piping” for your bottom cover.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping bottom cover

Adding the back flap

1. NOW, pick up that back fold over strip that has been sitting all by its lonesome. Fold the edges over twice on three sides (2 short and 1 long) to hem your flap. Press the hem with an iron.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping back flap

Go ahead and stitch along the folded hem to secure it.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping back flap sew

2. Center and pin the flap along the back edge of the bottom panel (right sides together) as shown. The raw edges should be facing out.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping sewing corners

3. Stitch the back flap onto the bottom panel next to the piping. About an inch or so of the panel will extend on both ends. Leave it loose so it can tuck inside the cushion.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping stitch edges

3. Turn your top panel and sides wrong sides out and put your cushion inside it. Then lay your bottom panel on top as shown.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping top panel

Pin the bottom panel to the sides just like you did for the top panel. This time leave the back side unpinned (where your two flaps overlap.)

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

4. Now is a good time to trim any excess from your previously stitched seams. (There will be a lot of fabric on the sewing machine, and this is just one less piece that could get caught while stitching.)

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping cut excess

Trim off the corners at an angle.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping trim edges

Ever so carefully, peel the pinned cover off the cushion.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping top cushion

5. Stitch along the two sides and front of your cover. Leave the back length of the cover open. Remember, use your fingers to feel for the piping.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping sew piping

6. Turn the cover right side out and slide the cushion into the cover.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

Check the fit and make sure you don’t have any stray fabric that might have gotten caught while sewing.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

You should have an opening in the back like this.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

Adding the velcro closure

1. Take out your coordinating velcro tape.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping adding velcro

Pin the hook and loop velcro tape onto the backside and the back fold over flap. I used 4 strips of 3″ velcro evenly spaced along the length of the opening.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping velcro

2. Stitch the velcro onto the cushion. You can use a zig-zag stitch for extra strength (if you have destructive little boys like I do!)

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping sew velcro

Check the fit of the velcro.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping fit velcro

3. If everything looks good, you can turn the cover inside out and trim off any excess raw edges. Then turn the cover right side out and insert your cushion.

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping trim raw edges
And that’s it! You are done and you have a professional-looking, washable, piped slipcovered cushion! Phew, say that 10 times fast. Now you know how easy Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping can be!

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping finished

 

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

Want to see the rest of my screen porch makeover? I spent less than $125, that’s what I call an extreme budget!

Ladder Shelves

I’d also love to have you join me for some more easy sewing tutorials!

Sewing Tutorials

On a personal note: This week will be a busy one, I have several projects to start; several to finish; I need to pull a permit and I REALLY need to order a refrigerator. If you have one you absolutely love, I’m open to your suggestions. Currently, we have an 18 year old side by side. I’m thinking a 25 cu ft or larger french door fridge might be better suited to a growing family of boys.

do it yourself crafts tutorials ideas

 

Pin for later!

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping | Pretty Handy Girl

Okay, no over 40 jokes! Yes, I use a back pillow, and without it my neck hurts. Sadly I lost my way too expensive memory foam back pillow on the airplane trip to Ca. I couldn’t bring myself to buy another one, so I decided to see if I could make one.

This is definitely an easy project. Plus, it is sure to improve your posture!

Materials:

  • 2″ thick foam cushion
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • Sharpie or fabric marker
  • Coordinating thread
  • Velcro
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Electric carving knife

Instructions:

I used another back pillow as a guide to create the shape for my DIY back pillow:

Here are the dimensions I used for my pillow.

1. Mark the outer dimensions onto your foam.

2. Cut the shape out using an electric carving knife (you can try scissors or x-acto knife, but nothing cuts through foam “like butter” than an old fashioned electric carving knife.)

3. Mark 3″ in from the side on top of the cushion and 1″ up from the bottom on the side. Connect the dots with a diagonal line. Repeat on the opposite side. Then draw a line connecting the points on the front of the cushion.

4. Use the carving knife to cut off the diagonal shapes.

5. Lay the foam cushion on top of the batting.

Use the foam as a guide to cut enough batting to wrap around your pillow form as shown:

6. Cut a piece of fabric that will also wrap around the cushion and and leave an extra 5″ on the length. Also, allow an extra 3/4″ for seam allowance on the sides.

7. Fold over one end two times for a hem. Make sure the hem is large enough to accommodate the width of the velcro. Iron the hem to hold it in place.

8. Sew the hem.

9. Pin the velcro onto the hem you just sewed.

10. Stitch the one velcro strip ont0 the right side of the fabric.

11. Figure out where the other strip of velcro needs to sit and pin it in place. Fold over the raw edge and sew the hem. Then stitch your 2nd piece of velcro in place.

Test the fit to make sure the fabric is pulled snug over your cushion when the velcro is secured.

12. Time to add the sides. Stand your cushion up on its end and draw around the shape, allowing at least 3/4″ seam allowance. Cut two identical pieces (one for each side).

13. Put the cover on the cushion inside out. And pin your end shapes inside the cover.

Cut small slits to fringe the ends of the tight radius turns. Do not cut past where your stitching will go.

14. Carefully remove the cushion from the cover.

Stitch the ends onto the body of the cover.

Trim the excess fabric off the seams.

15. Turn the cover right sides out and insert your cushion into the cover. Hooray! You are done!


I actually use this cushion in the car for driving. It fits perfectly between the sides of the seat.