When we first got the pinched pleat curtains for the kitchen, some of you may recall that we had two extra panels left over for who-knows-what-kind of DIY project. They were oddly sized (more like cafe curtains) and no room in this house has just one window besides the bathroom so clearly their use was going to be limited to non-window purposes. After sitting on the idea for a few days, I realized that that’s exactly what we should do, sit on them. After all, I’d just re-stained a black and white trunk (here) and it still looked like it was missing something.
Scott’s mom (who was in town for the weekend to research and help Scott with the gardening) suggested that we move the chest under one of the living room windows for Coco to perch on and watch neighbors, cars, birds, squirrels, and everything else she is too nosy to ignore. I didn’t want her bruising her bum on hard wood though, so I took a page out of Thrifty Design Chick’s book and went out to get some foam for a seat cushion.
Hobby Lobby–closed at 8 (I was trying to shop at 9)
Walmart (eww)–but yes
Two hours later and I’d found the thick foam that could be used for upholstering and other crafty endeavors. Unfortunately, I had to get it at Walmart, which made me feel
a little quite dirty due to the recent court case and other non-liberal escapades, but this blog is for tracking our home renovations, not my legal and political rantings.
The next day, I took one of the curtain panels
and ripped out all the pinched pleats at the top. (Pam, don’t kill me!) It was a far easier process than I thought, although some of the fabric frayed at the darts because I had to pull so hard. I also cut holes into the bottoms to take out the weights, which turned out to be small, rounded rocks sewed into the fabric. I don’t know if I was expecting some advanced weight (a button? a glass bead?), but I was kind of surprised they put actual rocks in a curtain.
Then I ran it through the washer and dryer to get out some of the estate-sale smell and make it somewhat wrinkle free. Man, I have no idea if these curtains were supposed to be machine-washable, but the fabric came out so soft and smooth that I almost want to do the same thing to our kitchen curtains (but I won’t because I’m afraid the pleats would get all messed up).
I spread the fabric out on the living room floor and, lo and behold, it covered the foam perfectly. At this point, I debated between using a hot glue gun to seal it (Thrifty Decor’s suggestion), safety pins (mother-in-law’s suggestion), or just plain darts (my own idea). Hot glue seemed too messy and able to fall apart and I was worried pins would scratch the top of the chest, so darting it would have to be.
The plan was just to put in a few darts here and there to keep it together, but my usual neurotic-ness led to all out hand sewing on the two open edges and down the middle seam that you couldn’t even see once I flipped the cushion onto the chest. Throughout the whole process, I had to fight with Coco, who kept sitting on the cushion, so I guess the intuition was right that she’d lay on it.
Finally, just about an hour after I started, I had a nice rectangular cushion for the top of the chest that looked like this:
All in all, a very easy project that cost $15 (for the foam only) and added a little pop to the chest. I may create another one out of a more demure fabric like a solid or simple pattern since it’s not impossible to think that we’d get sick of looking at this fabric 24/7/365. If nothing else, maybe a red or green for Christmas or white for when we feel fancy (which is always).