How excited do you get when you see “No Sew Project”? Well, if you’re like me, pretty excited. I have some very basic sewing skills (see below) but it’s a bonus when I don’t have to use them. Let me fill you in on all the ins and outs of this project and the background behind it…..
Back in the 90’s I worked in a department store as a second job. I really liked the job as I worked in the women’s clothing department and so I got to organize and fold clothing for each 5 hour shift. This made my OCD self very happy, which is really weird because I’m not so good at keeping things folded and organized at home!! Just another
quirky irritating trait of mine….
Anyway, I digress. Why am I sharing this with you? Well, when I left my job there, my co-workers went together and got me a gift certificate to the store. I used my gift certificate to purchase a gardening bench. I didn’t want to put it together and have it get ruined before I got my potting shed to put it in, so it has sat in the box for almost 20 years. (I still don’t have the shed).
Now, you have to understand that I don’t have a lot of room in my house and I’ve been storing this box in my living room all this time!!!! I put tablecloths over it and put lamps on it and pretended it was a sofa table for most of this time. Three years ago, when we opened up all the walls in our downstairs, I lost the wall that the sofa (and “sofa table”) had rested against. Which means that for 3 years the box has sat against the wall in my hallway. I just couldn’t bring myself to open it (which has never happened before and I’m sure will never happen again).
The End of the Dogs’ Love Seat
Two weeks ago, Bill said, “We’re putting that bench together and you’re going to use it as your workbench”. The next thing I knew, we were assembling my potting bench. The logical place to put this (in my weird idea of a house), was against a window, right beside the back door where a love seat sat. We had purchased the love seat at a Goodwill ReStore and it had served us well as the dogs’ perch. They guarded the door day and night from this vantage point (and got in a lot of good naps). It had definitely seen better days as I have two chewers that thought the arm cushions were a tasty treat.
My DIY No Sew Bench Cushion
We got rid of the love seat, set up the potting bench, and then I felt guilty about taking away the dogs’ lounge. I decided that I was going to make them a cushion so that they could use the bottom shelf of the bench as their new hangout.
As I keep accumulating “stuff” in my makeover endeavors, sometimes you luck out and have almost everything you need to complete a project. That was what happened with this project. $7.94 for my fabric and I had everything I needed! Bill and I went to one of our storage garages (Yeah, you read that right- ONE of our FOUR storage garages- my “stuff” is getting out of hand) and picked up all the supplies we needed other than the fabric to cover my cushion.
The Weird Foam
We got a scrap piece of paneling which we cut to size, some really weird foam which Bill had left over from something, ( I also used this foam for my “Princess Footstool”), the staple gun and air compressor and we were ready to rock and roll. We first measured the length and width of the shelf and then cut our piece of paneling to fit. We laid this on top of our foam, and then cut the foam to the same size. We placed the fabric upside down on our work area, then placed the cushion, then the board on top.
How to Cover Foam With Fabric Without Sewing
Bill had the idea to use the level and lining it up along each edge, to draw a line to use as a stapling guide which resulted in the bottom looking much better than usual (when I do fabric covering projects by myself). We started in the middle of a side, turned the fabric under and began stapling, working from the center out to almost the end of the side. We then moved to the other side, and pulling the fabric tight, repeated the process. We stapled one end, and then pulled the fabric tight and stapled the other end.
When it was time to finish the corners, we folded the fabric under at the sides, similar to making a hospital corner on your bed. We stapled this in place, cut off the excess fabric and then folded the edges under and stapled them, resulting in a very nice finished look.
When we placed the cushion on the bench, I think we were so intent on stretching the fabric, that the cushion kind of rounded out on the edges, and it was a little loose on the shelf. I decided that I could fill in the gap and create an area that the dogs would like to lean up against by making a pillow cover (warning- this involves some very basic sewing)!
Sewing a Pillowcase
I simply took an old pillow we had and laid it on the fabric to see if I had enough left over to make a pillow case. Well, I did, but just enough for one side. So, I looked to see what other fabric scraps I had available and came up with the fabric left over from this project. This gets really technical (NOT) so try to follow along with my unconventional sewing methods…
I laid the fabric out with the finished sides touching and then laid the pillow on top of the two pieces. I pinned around the pillow, creating an outline with my pins. I then sewed along the outline, removing the pins as I went. I inserted the pillow into the pillow case while it was still inside out to check it for fit and it was good. I then cut off the excess fabric along the seams so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it. I folded my ends back to create the hem along the edge of my pillow case, sewed them into place, flipped the case right side out and voila! I have a true doggie bed.
So far, only Ethel has been using it as I think the height is a bit low for the bigger dogs, but it gives her a good place to lay and eat her treats, away from the big dogs. I have two window seats in my living room and I can’t wait to update the cushions using this same no sew project method.
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