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Friday, July 9th, 2010

The End Of Ugly Gliders

So Erin totally called me out on my empty promise to write up a tutorial for how to recover the cushions on a glider.  I kind of do that all the time.  But, I’m officially taking a break from my tie dye to write this.  

In the end I went back and recovered the sides as well even though I hadn’t planned to.  Originally, I only had enough fabric to do the main cushions but I ended up finding a bolt of the same stuff on the shelf at Joann and bought some more.

In addition to some standard notions and fabric you’ll need a marking pencil, fray check and a covered button kit.  A darning needle might also be useful for sewing on the buttons.  You’ll need to measure the length of your cushions to figure out how much to buy, don’t forget to add enough extra in there to account for seam allowances.  Round up generously.  Choose a fabric that heavy enough to stand up to all the butt time the chair will see and that  won’t allow the cushion underneath to show through.  You’ll probably need about 3 yards.

1. Measure the height of your seat and back cushions.  Divide that by two and add 1/2″ to that.  My cushions were only an inch high so I needed to add an inch total around the perimeter of my cushion.

2. Lay your cushions down one at a time and trace around adding the amount that you calculated above.  It was easy enough to eyeball an inch all the way around, I don’t think it has to be exactly perfect but it should be pretty close.

3. Cut out the pieces and then stitch them right sides together leaving a 8 or 9″ opening along the back.  Trim the seam allowance to about 1/4.”  Turn the cover right side out and insert the cushion.  Use a needle and thread to close the opening.

4.  The sides are trickier.  At least they were for me because the width is not consistent.  So I applied the same principle but ended up having to make some adjustments once I stuffed the cushion inside.  Just stitch it up right sides together, turn, test it out and take it in if necessary.  When you’ve got the fit you want be sure to trim the seam allowances to a scant 1/4″ because otherwise you’ll have trouble opening the holes for the snaps in the next step.

5. Find the snaps on the arm cushions and cut a small hole for each.  Then apply a bead of fray check around them to keep the fabric from unraveling.

6. You’re almost done!  Cover the buttons following the directions in the kit.  I used 4.  Figure out where you want to place them.  My original cushion didn’t have buttons so I put them over some grooves that seemed like logical places.  Then just stitch them on.  Be sure to use a double length of thread and to pull the thread firmly enough to make a little dimple in the cushion.  And that’s it!

Not really much of a tutorial at all.  It’s really easy!  I’m almost ashamed to admit it.  Now I need sleep.  I’ve been trying to write all week about some of the fun things that have happened.  I wanted to collect together all of the random little bits but somehow it never came together.

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