Last we saw les miserables bistro chairs on the front porch, they looked like this:
<Shudder> I’m sorry you had to see that. Again. I had been loathing the sight of those cushions for about a year now, even though the set is in very good condition. And since we use this seating arrangement quite a bit – for morning tea, postmeridian aperitifs and the rare (and blissful) weekend lunch date when both girls are sleeping – I wanted to find cushions that didn’t make me say “meh” every time I gazed upon them. The problem was, I couldn’t find replacements anywhere I looked. Confession: I didn’t exactly scour the internets or anything, but in every store I looked in (Target, Lowes, Home Depot) I came up empty handed.
So my next thought was that I could try to make something myself, but as my close friends know – I am a total fraud when it comes to crafts involving fabric. Case in point: I have made three full sets of drapery panels and three roman shades (and counting), all without the use of a sewing machine. My weapons of choice (in this realm) are fabric glue, hemming tape and an iron. See? I’m a total sham artist. Sure these methods get the job done (for some things), but they’re not exactly going to materialize a throw pillow or double-piped cylindrical chair cushion.
- I couldn’t find replacement cushions.
- I can’t sew. (for now)
It’s like a scene in a espionage action thriller when the Soviet agent is backed into a corner and out of ammo. She smokes one last one of these:
and just has to start improvising: using the butt end of her AK47 to break the lock on the escape hatch. Well, I don’t have Russian cigarettes and an Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947. (We all know I’m more of a M16 kind of a girl.) What I do have is scrap fabric and glue:
This is some of my beloved Robert Allen mineral blue ikat fabric that I got on ebay a while back. You can see it in curtain form here. The couple remnants I still had were too small for any serious projects, so I figured I had nothing to lose. I glued them on,
let them dry, and then because I
might be a redneck wanted to be extra cautious, I broke out the duct tape. Actually, I didn’t know where the duct tape was, so I had to email Husband to ask him. I’m sure he loves getting “where is [fill in blank]” messages in the middle of his busy work day. Of course I didn’t explain what I wanted it for. I like to keep it mysterious.
After I made sure they were nice and secure, I took them outside for a generous spray of Scotch-Gard. And here’s how they look now:
Note: these chairs are on a covered porch, and when it rains I relocate them farther from the elements. Even so, this is probably not a permanent solution. At the very least, they’re eventually going to fade a bit in the afternoon sun. But they work for now! And since I already had all the materials, they cost me a grand total of $Free.99. Score! Do you like?
P.S. It probably seems as if I’ve abandoned the little sunroom at the back of the house, but I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a pretty rug and light fixture. Plus, I can’t add any plants back there until I’m sure the weather has finally decided to stay vernal. (We’ve had some extreme chilliness lately!)
Russian cigarette photo via