A few weeks ago my sweet friend contacted me after seeing my post about my no sew window seat cushion. She has Ikea Expedit shelving units in her two daughters’ rooms and had the brilliant idea of turning them into benches by installing them horizontally and adding a cushion. I was honored that my friend asked me to make the seats for her, and yes, a little happy I had the opportunity to dust off my trusty staple gun.
As soon as my friend chose her fabric I got busy collecting my supplies and ensured everything was cut to size. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good at taking pictures during the process, but I did manage to at least snap a few. I followed the same process I used for my window seat, but here are a few added tips:
1. If you have an electric knife, that is the easiest way to cut foam to size (But, PLEASE be careful! I don’t ever want to hear of any of you in the ER!). Also, try to cut the foam so it hangs over each edge by 1/4″.
2. Before attaching the fabric, iron it on the lowest setting possible to smooth out all creases. I would also iron on the backside of the fabric to avoid any potential scorch marks on the front of the pattern (I never was good at ironing).
3. Staple your batting to the plywood first, then staple your fabric. I like to start stapling in the middle of the cushion, then work my way out to the edges.
4. Once you are finished stapling everything, tap each staple with a hammer to make sure they are as flat as possible. Then, attach felt to the bottom with fabric glue so the staples and plywood base are completely covered. This not only looks nicer, but it will protect the bench from any potential scrapes from the plywood or staples (sorry, no pictures of that process).
5. Once you are finished, pick up the benches off the floor quickly because small children will immediately want to use them as trampolines (or so I’ve heard).
Here are the cushions in their new home…
I love the fabric patterns my friend chose (and that bird art). Both are feminine, but not too “babyish” so they can grow with the girls. The fabrics are also machine washable, which means they should stand up well to sticky fingers and clean up can be done with a little soap and water. I also love how each Ikea shelf now has a custom look and added functionality. Finally, a big thank you to my friend for having such great vision and for allowing me bring her vision to life.