Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bench Cushion

Back in May, I took advantage of a holiday sale at Joann and bought some foam for 50% off (it's expensive!) with the intention of making a window seat cushion and a bench cushion.  They sat for awhile before I got brave enough to try making them, since I've never done a sewing project of this size before.  I already got the window seat cushion done (it can be viewed here) and now it was time to get the bench cushion done.

Right before I left on my trip, I finished sewing the cover for my bench cushion, but I didn't quite like how it turned out.  So, after I got home, I took some of it apart, made some quick adjustments, and all is right in bench-cushion-world again.  I know I already posted about the window seat cushion I made, but that was a learning process, so now that I knew what to do this time, I can include a tutorial.

Supplies Needed:
*Sewing machine
*Measuring tape
*Scissors (or rotary cutting blade & cutting mat)

I decided that I wanted to keep one of the sides open, so in case I needed to wash the cover, I could just slip it on and off.  I thought about various ways to do this and decided to sew one of the short sides like a sham pillow cover.  This way, the two pieces stay closed on it's own when the foam is inside, but it can still be opened easily to remove it.  (I also considered using velcro or buttons, but I bought the wrong velcro and was too lazy to  learn how to sew button holes).

1)  I started out by cutting a piece of foam to fit the bench.   It ended up measuring to be 62" long, 16" wide, and 2" thick.  Cutting foam is a pain in the booty - consider yourself forwarned.
2)  Now that I knew what the foam measurements were, I could figure out how to cut the pieces of fabric (I added an inch to the measurements since I needed 1/2" of a hem on each side of the fabric).  I needed 2 pieces 17" x 63" (top & bottom of the cushion), 3 pieces 3" x 17" (the two short sides of the cushion),  and 2 pieces 3" x 63" (the two long sides of the cushion).  With the extra fabric I had left over, I cut some strips (not measured) to make straps to tie it to the bench.  I used my rotary cutter to cut these pieces out (I washed the fabric first).
3)  After cutting all my pieces, I pinned the appropriate pieces together (with the wrong side out) to form the cover:  top piece to #1 long side piece, that #1 long side piece to the bottom piece, then both top & bottom piece to #2 long side piece.  Then, attach #1 short side piece to the ends of all those pieces).
4)  Then, I just started sewing away.  The picture below shows how I sewed the extra strips of fabric between the bottom piece and one of the long sides to make the ties so I could secure the cushion to the bench. 
Here is what it looked like when I sewed the strap on.
Here is what the strap looks like after it's finished.
5)  To make the "sham" side of the cover, I sewed hems on one side of both of the short side pieces.  I then attached #2 & #3 short side pieces to the open end and layered them on top of each other and sewed them together. 

6)  I turned the whole thing inside out and stuffed the foam into the open "sham" side of the cover.  And that was all there was too it!
The "sham" side of the cover.  It's not very noticeable.
Here is the "sham" side again with the tie.
And here it is again in case you missed the first time.   :)
It actually wasn't very hard to do at all.  The hardest part was just figuring out how to do it.  I'm so very glad that it's all done now - my living room is starting to look a bit normal again, now that all my supplies are put away!

**Update:  I finally found my receipts so I can tell you how much money I saved by doing this myself.  I bought both the fabric and foam on sale for 50% off.  The fabric was $39 and the foam was $27.   I even have some foam leftover.  Total cost was $66.  If I had ordered a custom cushion it would have been $120-$135!  That's a savings of $54 - $69!

Happy Thanksgiving & Adventures in the Virgin Islands

Hello & Happy Thanksgiving!  We're doing our dinner a little later in the afternoon & this year I'm only responsible for a couple of food items, so I've had a bit of time to r-e-l-a-x.

I've been M.I.A. for awhile.  And that is because this is where I was last week:

St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.  We also made a quick jaunt to the British Virgin Islands.  It was nice to get a break from work & home projects and nice to get some beach time, reading time, and relaxing time!
Except these guys freaked my friend out a bit...
There were several of these that like to roam around our hotel's property.  We made sure to walk around them so we wouldn't get a tail-whipping!

So, it's back to reality and back to projects, but that's ok because I enjoy my home projects.  Have a great holiday and try not to get into a food coma!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Monogram Letter & Gallery Wall Update

Since I got my gallery wall up and running, I was excited to get my plan in gear to put a monogram letter up there.  Here is a list of the supplies needed to make it:

*Monogram letter (you can find these in various materials, fonts, and sizes at a craft store)
*Jute or yarn - whatever you want to use to wrap it in
*Hot glue gun and glue sticks
*Hanger to hang it with (you can also try gluing a piece of ribbon to it and make a loop to try hanging it - that was going to be other option if I didn't find a picture hanger in my stash).
*Accessories if you want to add a little something to it like the flower I put on my mine.  You can put a bow or felt flowers - pretty much anything. 
I had all of the supplies except the letter, so off to Joann I went and picked this up for $2.99.
1)  See those little black things right in front of it?  They're pictures hangers that I found in my stash (sometimes it's a good thing I keep things "just in case").  They come with teeny tiny screws and I wasn't sure if they would go into the letter (it's made out of a cardboard-type material), but thought I would try it anyways.  I started by screwing the hanger into place.
It actually worked perfectly.  The screw fit pretty tight in there.
2)  I already had some jute on hand, so had planned on wrapping the letter with it.  I started by cutting small strips of it to cover this part of the letter like this.
3)  Once I did that, I started wrapping away.
It wasn't hard to do, just a bit of a pain when it came to the curves of the letter.  I had to wrap and unwrap several times.  Once I got the hang of it, it worked perfectly.
Here it is in action. 
I decided to attach a piece of ribbon from the hanger and hung it on the screw from the ribbon.  I also be-jeweled the screw to pretty it up a bit since it was going to be seen.
I have extra picture frames I can add to my gallery wall, but I decided to stop where I'm at for now.  I'm actually going on a trip very soon, so when I get back, I'll order some pictures to go in the frames.

Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After party.
And linked up to Tater Tots & Jello Favorite Projects of 2011 link party.

Liz Marie Blog & Love of Family & Home's Make It link party
Happy Go Lucky's Gallery Wall link party

Christmas Decor Fail

Do you remember how I made this?
Well, I wanted to add a little something to it and had decided to glue little balls on them to make them look like ornaments.  So, I bought a strand of garland at the Dollar Tree to get this finished.
And cut some the little green balls off.
And started gluing them on.
I didn't like it.   Just wasn't doin' it for me.  So, I decided to wrap it around in a spiral shape, since, well, it is garland, you know.

It looks ok, but still not really doin' it for me.  So, now it's back to this.
Oh well.  Can't win 'em all.