Thursday, 4 August 2011

How to make a sun lounger

Once you start to see potential in discarded clothes, homewares and furniture it’s amazing how many wonderful items you can create with a little patience and know how.
This project is a great example of how to upcycle. Upcycling is the process of converting old seemingly useless stuff into new fabulous items. It’s the perfect marriage of green creativity and stylish thrift and I’m a huge fan.
Summers here and even if you can’t afford to jet off to a tropical destination you can create your own little garden relaxation zone with this fabulous kitsch recliner.

You will need
An old recliner or sun lounger frame (I found mine at the local tip but people often have these in the back of the shed with useless rotted canvas seats on or look on freecycle
Metal Primer in white
Metal paint in white
Fabric (approx two metres) I chose a bright pink 1950s inspired off cut from a fabric shop.
Spool of cotton and needle
Eight buttons and a button coverer kit (you can get these online or at craft or fabric shops)
A long upholstery needle such as a button needle or doll needle
A sewing machine (although you can also sew this by hand)
Foam to create the seat cushion (approx two metres) You can get foam cut to size but I found this quite an expensive option so I brought a slightly water damaged foam mattress topper for only a few pounds which was perfect

Step One
Wash down your metal sun lounger frame. Check that the seat frame is still intact. Replace any missing seat webbing. Paint your frame with primer and once dry give it a coat of white metal paint to freshen it up.

Step Two
Measure the length and width of your recliner and cut your foam to size. Depending on the size of foam you get you may be able to cut just one full piece or you may have to create two or three separate pieces.

Step Three
Cut your fabric to the same size as your foam. You can use your pieces of foam as your pattern or if you find this too awkward you can create paper patterns using newspaper and use these as a guide. You will also need to cut six fabric strips to be hemmed and made into ties to fix your foam seat into the frame.

Step Four
Sew your fabric together on three sides leaving the bottom open. Hem your fabric ties.

Step Five
Pull the fabric onto the foam piece and sew up the end. Sew the ties on either side of the cushion on the top, middle and end.

Step Six
Using your button maker kit cut circles of fabric using the stencil included. Cover your buttons in the same fabric as your chair.

Step Seven
Use your doll needle to sew your covered buttons on the back section of your seat cushion. This will make the chair look very expensive and substantial and is a nice vintage twist on an every day item.

Step Eight
Tie your seat cover to the frame and look forward to sunny afternoons reclining on your retro fabulous sun lounger.

All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Betty Pamper (aka Perelandra Beedles) unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog.

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