Now that the constant boy projects have come to an end, I can focus on some neglected areas of our home. And namely, the HOME itself. We moved in 6 months ago and really went full-force that first month with the home improvements. But since then, there are many unfinished projects to tidy-up.
When the new counter tops went in, we extended the kitchen island to create a bar for the kids. It then took me 2 months to find the right bar stools. And another 2 months to actually make the covers for them. That’s just how it goes sometimes, right? 6 months later, we’re fully functional! And the kids love it.
The stools were my Christmas present and came from good old IKEA (info on the stools HERE). IKEA sells slipcovers for these stools but with kids, I wanted something waterproof and easy to wipe up. So I decided to make my own covers out of oilcloth.
I used one of the IKEA slipcovers as the pattern and appx 1 yard of fabric for each stool. There’s no pattern for me to share with you here, other than showing you an IKEA slipcover.
If you’re making your own chair cover:
* inspect what’s already on there
* measure your cushions
* allow a little extra for your seams
* figure out a way that works with your chair, bar stool, bench, seat cushion, whatever!
* research tutorials or extra info online (do a google search for “recovering a chair cushion” or whatever fits your project)
* no real guidelines here. It’s one of those “figure it out and make it work” kind of projects. Tim Gunn will be proud of you.
My plan was to make my own pattern from their cover and then return that original to the store. But I quickly realized that the pattern was more complicated than I pictured. So I simply cut up their cover and used that instead. My time is worth more than $20, right? And with something like this, it needs to fit like a glove.
Just some basic construction about the slip cover…
Each side has a flap that comes down like this:
With a strip of Velcro sewn to the bottom:
There is velcro attached to the underside of the chair too, so just push it up the fabric and it stays:
The fabric wraps around the corners of the legs. I actually hemmed the oilcloth here but with the next chair I left the edge raw, since the fabric will never fray and no one will notice:
There you go!
Okay, on to your other questions…..
What is Oilcloth?
Oilcloth is a vinyl that is bonded and supported with a woven cotton mesh. It’s water-resistant, a bit stiff, and the surface can be wiped clean. It has roots in the fishing and sailing industry. But these days it makes very cute tote bags, lunch sacks, table cloths, baby bibs, home decor projects, and more! It’s hard to find in normal fabric stores. Specialty boutiques and online shops are best.
Sewing with Oilcloth:
I’ve never worked with Oilcloth before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But….it was kind of fun. It was stiff to maneuver around. But it was nice that it holds it’s shape and there’s no fraying on the edges so I didn’t even finish off some of the edges (the part that wraps around the legs.). First assessment: I’m kind of in love. Can’t wait to tackle more projects with it.
Other options, similar to Oilcloth:
If you can’t find an Oilcloth print that you like, you might try using a cotton fabric and then pairing it with clear vinyl on top or a self-adhesive vinyl.
Or you can also find some cool laminated cottons, such as these by Amy Butler. You’ll pay twice as much for the laminates, however.
Caring for Oilcloth (from Oil Cloth Addict):
Oilcloth is waterproof and stain resistant. Fading may occur under direct sunlight for extended periods of time since the Oilcloth does not contain a UV inhibitor.
You can wipe Oilcloth clean using a warm, soapy sponge then dry it off with a soft cloth or sponge. Machine washing is not suggested.
Oilcloth left folded will retain creases but they are easily removed. Creases can be removed from your folded oilcloth by laying it flat in a warm place. The oilcloth will become soft as it becomes warm. Use you hands to smooth out any creases. Once your oilcloth product is smooth keep it rolled or hung up.
Where to Purchase Oilcloth
It’s hard to find Oilcloth in normal fabric stores. Specialty boutiques and online shops are best.
* If you live in LosAngeles, try Michael Levine
* If you live in Austin, TX, try The Common Thread
Or try these ONLINE stores for the best selection:
* oil cloth addict (etsy shop)
I’ve purchased from Oil Cloth Addict twice now and will definitely use her again in the future.
Her prices are reasonable, the shipping is quick, and she sends a couple samples of other cloths with your purchase. Brilliant! Look at the little collection I’ve gathered. That faux wood is kitchy cool:
Here’s a sample of what you’ll find at Mendels.com:
And from Oil Cloth Addict, here’s their Spring Swatch Sheet, as seen on the Oil Cloth Addict Blog (along with some fun ideas about what to make with Oilcloth).
Orange is one of my favorite colors (next to yellow) and so I immediately went for the “Orange Lace“. But when it arrived Casey and I both wondered if it was too bright. I was hoping it would be more of a tangerine shade like my orange Rollie Pollie.
So Casey said, “go with the blue“. I liked it too, so I ordered it. But you know when your gut is telling you something different? When just feel like you should go with the original plan? Well, late last night when Casey was sleeping, I went with my instinct. The chairs became orange.
But I still have the blue. Maybe I should make two sets? What do you think….Did my gut treat me right?
With velcro on the bottom, it’s easy to pull them off. Hey, I could have one for every day of the week! Okay. That’s a bit much. I’m just happy we have a place for our kids to sit, eat popcorn, joke around, and share their sibling love.
Three cheers for Oilcloth, Orange, and Doing It Yourself! I really love the bright orange pop it adds to the room.