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It’s finally spring here in Iowa, some gorgeous 70+ degree weather, the lawn mowers are revved up all over town, and being outside is just irresistible. So I am glad I finally got my pint-sized lawn chairs done. Some of you might remember the chairs when I started them back in June of last year, it seemed like things kept coming up to take precedent over finishing them but they are finally done and ready to be enjoyed.

Chairs and FabricAs you may remember I found them setting beside the curb waiting for the trash-man and they were rough. All the coating was cracked and peeling off. So I helped it along with my hand before using a wire wheel in my cordless drill to get the stubborn spots.  After the paint was off of them it was just a matter of layering on some spray enamel. I chose an ivory color, because I thought it looked nice with the fabric and because I thought it would hide the outdoor-grime better than white.

After getting the chairs painted, it was on to the cushions. I got the foam for cheap at a local upholstery shop. I was going to get the fabric from him too, but he actually recommended that I go to fabric store for it – the reason being that his fabric was amazing, 25 dollars a yard amazing, and he thought a bit over the top for this project. So, not being one to argue with a man that has 50 years of experience in his craft, I was off to the fabric shop and it happened when I went that all the outdoor fabric was 50% off.

Laying out patterns for cushionsCutting and sewing the fabric was a little more of a trick than I originally thought. The pattern wasn’t too hard, I placed a piece of poster-board on the chair and traced it out. Then I added 5/8″ for seam allowance and cut it out. The first trick I realized was laying out the pattern so the stripes would line up. I was careful to lay the patterns in alignment with the stripes, but on the first red chair (as you can see below) I forgot to align the patterns with the stripe in their final orientation on the chair. The picture above for laying out the patterns is how you have to lay it out to get the stripes to line up.

sewing the cushion coversThe next trick was sewing. On the first cushion I started at one corner of the fabric and sewed around to attach the back to the narrow side strip. Then it was time to attach the front to the narrow side strip. But it seemed no matter how many pins I used, the fabric stretched and slipped and bunched as I entered the second rounded corner. So to remedy this on the future cushions I started at the top in the middle and sewed down the corner on one side and then started over in the middle and sewed down to the other corner. This worked a lot better for me.

So they are done but you may be asking, where is the blue one? Well, the fabric choosing was done by my then 3 year old son and he wanted three different colors, so I let him. His mom on the other hand only wanted one. So I decided since I only have two children and I had just enough red to do two chairs – I would do two in red to appease Mother and then sell the third to cover some of the cost. And since the green was my wife’s least favorite, I did it in green. Well, if you have children you might know how this story ends – Jeremiah’s favorite and the only one he wants to sit in is the green one and mom being a softy said he could keep it. So the blue will be saved for something else in the future.Finished Children's Lawn Chairs

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