Monday, April 6, 2015

Thrifty Thinking: How to Use Old Blue Jeans to Re-Cover Patio Chair Cushions

By Merri Cvetan
 Spring is right around the corner, bringing warm weather and picnics on the porch. At my house, our porch becomes the summer family room. We eat, relax and entertain outdoors until the temperatures get cold again. I’ve decorated it with vintage and new wicker chairs and tables. But before the season officially starts, I need to recover a few cushions.

For my first project, I chose one of the old chairs. It’s been repaired a few times, but it’s solid and very comfortable.  The original seat is a wood framed spring cushion.

 I removed the old fabric by pulling the staples out with needle nose pliers. The original burlap and foam were in great condition. Even the top layer of fiberfill (that I replaced several years ago) was still pristine.

Instead of buying new fabric, I decided to repurpose old denim. If you don’t have jeans in your closet to cut up, you’ll find hundreds to choose from at Goodwill.  I chose this pair because of the buckle detail.
I needed one pair of pants, because the spring style seat is only covered on the top and sides. If your chairs have a reversible cushion, you will need at least two pair of jeans.

To get as much fabric as possible, I cut the legs off at the crotch and then cut open the inside seam.
One leg wasn’t wide enough to cover the seat top and sides, so I sewed both legs together to create a wider piece of fabric.
Since these pant legs were wider at the bottom, I lined up the outside seams (right sides together) then drew a straight line.
Sew on the line, cut off the excess fabric and press the seam open. 
 I wanted to take advantage of all the jean details, so I cut off the back pockets and stitched them to the front of the fabric. 

I did the same with the cute buckle, sewing it to the front so no one has to sit on it!

Center the fabric on the seat and attach it using an electric staple gun. Be sure to use 1/2 in. staples.
 Fold the corners in like you are wrapping a gift box. You’ll have to cut out the excess fabric. With a little maneuvering you can get a nice neat corner.

 Continue to staple the fabric to the frame.

This chair turned out so cute, I think I’ll recover the rest of them!

Interior designer Merri Cvetan writes about her design and DIY projects for Home Depot. Merri  started her design career after she bought a fixer-upper 1890s farmhouse. Merri's unique patio chair cushions are just one of many outdoor projects she's crafted recently. To see a wide variety of patio furniture, including chairs and cushions, you can visit Home Depot's website.

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