Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Hot Seat

You should know one important fact about me before we get started here - I am ALWAYS cold.  Winter is mostly unbearable to me, my body honestly gets sore from shaking so much.  At least 2 nights/week, I have to take a scalding hot bath - as in - "burn the skin off my bones" hot - just to warm up.  Even though I know this about myself, I still make terrible decisions when it comes to my sleeping attire.  No kidding, on the coldest night of the year, we're talking -40 degrees, I was sleeping in a t-shirt and shorts.  Brent simply shook his head at me while he was snuggled up in his head to toe LL Bean flannel pajamas.

For this reason, I love going to my mom and dad's house, which is only a 15 minute drive from our house - because they have this beautiful gas fireplace that my dad built.  Most of the time, you can find me with a stack of magazines, sitting on the hearth, toasting my backside.  

The hearth is made of three large stones that happen to be freezing cold, so my mom has a few little cushions laying around that fit on the hearth to sit on.  Crisis averted - temporarily.  But she was ready for a more permanent solution.  After finding a picture on the internet of an upholstered seat for the fireplace, we knew we had to make one.

My dad and I did this project together because he is an expert upholsterer.  Well, maybe not an expert, but he can do a wayyyyyyy better job than I could!  That's the funny part about my dad, he knows or can figure out, how to do just about anything.  Except paint.  He refuses to paint.  Or eat watermelon or grape flavored candy.  

These are the only supplies we needed, from left to right, heavy fabric, 2 inch foam, scissors, tacky glue, staple gun and plywood.  Foam is surprisingly expensive so shop around to find some at a decent price.  Our's came from a small hardware store in Sioux Falls called Mac's.

We dad cut a piece of plywood to match the size of the hearth.

After it was cut, we layed it out on the hearth to test it and make sure the size would be accurate.

The foam was a little too big for the plywood, but a quick cut with a pocket knife fixed that.

You'll want to leave a little overhang with the foam so when you wrap the fabric around it, there won't be any hard edges from the plywood.

We layed the plywood/foam on the top of the fabric to get an idea of how much fabric to trim away.

And this isn't completely necessary, but I spread some tacky glue on the plywood to help the foam adhere a little more.  In reality, the fabric would hold the foam in place, but this was just a little "insurance".

After spreading the glue on the plywood, we set the foam on top.  To make sure the foam was pressed on tight, I did a few yoga poses on it juuuuuuussssttt to be sure it was secure.  I planked on our plank.

I had read somewhere recently that when upholstering a corner, you should pull the fabric as you see below first, then you pull the sides up.  Those are my dads hands...not mine.  I know you were wondering.

We tacked one corner then moved to the other end to tack that corner.  When both corners are done you pull up the sides.

Would ya look at the corner on that!  My dad makes this look much easier than it really is.  I kept trying to tuck the corner by myself but it looked like a toddler had done it, so dad would shoo me out of the way to make it look good.  Dad is also the only one in the family that knows how to use a sewing machine...what a guy.

Here you can see that the left side has been pulled up and stapled.

Lots and lots of staples later...

Ladies and gentlemen - we have a cushy seat!

I probably should have turned on the fireplace for the next photo...whoops.

I think this cushion and I are gonna have a lot of hot nights together.  Jealous, Brent?

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