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Well, we finally completed one tiny miniscule project off our 20 page list. Hooray for progress! Believe it or not, just the act of figuratively crossing this one project off the to do list has made us feel enpowered and kind of ignited our switch to want to do more. It’s always hard after baseball season (where we get absolutely nothing house related done), to get back in the swing of things. I think this custom window seat project may have been just the trick we needed.
So, this week we finally finished up the window seat cushion for the playroom. I’ve had all the supplies since probably January so I may be a bit rusty on exactly how much I bought and how much it all cost.
While we haven’t revealed a full room shot of the playroom yet, here’s a snippet of it to show you the direction it’s headed.
I wanted to cram as much fun, whimsy, and kid friendly elements in this room as I could. Honestly, I’ve haven’t spent as much time planning out a room in any of my houses as I did this one. It’s pretty small, with not a lot of wall space. And, we have a lot of toys. So I spent a lot of time planning the function of this space while also trying to incorporate places for them to sit and read or draw. You know, just be a kid.
I also tried to just reuse things we already had in the house. The verdict’s still out on this one. I’m hoping to add some trim to the cubbies under the window to make it look more uniform (they’re two different brands and styles) and give it a custom look.
I thought the top of those cubbies, underneath the windows, would be a perfect play for
me my kiddos to snuggle up with a blanket and read a book. I tried to think about the easiest way to add a window seat without having to actually purchase one. In the end, I chose to go with the same method we used for our upholstered headboard at our old house. And, I think it turned out pretty darn perfect.
- 3/8” plywood cut to length
- 2-3” high density foam (I used this 3 inch foam listed here from JoAnn’s)
- Batting (Optional- I used this here.)
- 2 yards of this fabric from Fabric. com
- Staple Gun (We use one similar to this one here.)
- Spray Adhesive (We used it on our headboard but skipped it for this project.)
- Sharp scissors
- Utility Knife
- Measuring Tape
- Skil Saw
- Extension cord
1.) Measure the area you are going to cover.
Of all the steps you will take for this project, this one is by far the most important! It doesn’t matter how beautifully you make this window seat, if it’s too big or too small for the space it will not look right.
You want your handy measuring tape for this part. I always right my measurements down, Jeremy prefers to keep the numbers in his head. But he’s kind of weird, so I suggest writing it down. (I’m kidding, I’m kidding.)
I suggest measuring at least 3 times just to make sure you get the same exact numbers each time. Then you can feel pretty confident you’ve got a snug fit.
2.) Cut your plywood to size.
Jeremy’s setup is in his workshop. He’s got a set of two sawhorses and just lays the sheet of plywood on top. He’s also utilizes his clamps to keep the plywood in place when measuring and cutting. This is kind of his domain. I don’t really oversee this part usually. So, I’ll have to have him write up a post on how exactly he executes this step.
3.) Cut foam to size and adhere to plywood.
For this step, lay your piece of foam down on the floor. Next, lay your cut piece of plywood over top. Take your Sharpie and simply trace the edge of the plywood onto your foam. (What can I say? We’re sophisticated.) Then, remove the plywood and grab your utility knife. The sharper your blade is here, obviously the better. And, go to town cutting out the foam. We used a 3″ high density foam just because we wanted this bench to be extra cushy. A 2″ foam would just as easily work here and be much easier to cut.
Once your foam is cut, take your adhesive spray and give a good shake. Then spray directly onto one side of the foam and also some on the plywood. Lay your foam down onto the plywood and allow to dry and properly adhere. We skipped this step for this project simply because we couldn’t find our adhesive. It’s just an extra step of precaution to make sure everything adheres nicely. You can completely leave this step out if you prefer.
4.) Cut batting to size.
Next, lay your batting out on the floor. Place your plywood/foam side down on top of batting in center. Test out the sides and see how much batting you need to wrap around the plywood/foam and staple to the other side. Then take your scissors and cut out the batting to the desired size. This step can be skipped as well. I’ve just found I like the extra cushion that the batting provides.
5.) Staple batting to plywood.
Now get your handy staple gun. I usually pick one side and staple the center of that side first. Then move to the side across from the one you just stapled and put a staple in the center of that side. Make sure you pull the batting taut to prevent any wrinkling. Then, just start pulling the batting and stapling up and down along those sides. For now, stop once you get to the corners. The idea is to have the fabric pulled taut and stapled everywhere but the corners. They can be a little tricky. We’ll get to them in just a minute.
Next, move to one of the unfinished sides and put your staple in the center there. Then move to the last unfinished sides and put the center staple in. Now staple up and down both sides, once again leaving the corners undone.
Now, for the corners. I want you to envision that you’re wrapping a Christmas present. Kind of play with it a few times to get your technique down just right. Remember, you won’t see the back of the seat, so it doesn’t matter what it looks like. The important thing is that the side you will see looks nice. What’s worked best for me is to pull one side of the corner in and staple as close to the edge of the plywood as you can, making sure your fabric is tautly pulled. Now, do the same thing for other side of the same corner. You will have some excess fabric probably after this step. I just cut the excess off and staple down any “fly-aways.”
Check for any loose staples. If some seem like they didn’t quite get deep enough, just give them a little bang with the hammer. Then, it should look like this!
6.) Cut fabric to size.
Ok, now you want to make sure your fabric has been freshly ironed. Nothing will drive you more crazy than staring at those wrinkles everyday. Spread your fabric out wrong side up. (That means put the side of the fabric you want seen facing the floor.
Now place your bench seat, top facing down, on the center of your fabric. Repeat the same steps you did for the batting to cut your fabric.
7.) Staple fabric to plywood.
Once again, follow the same instructions as what you did for the batting. Take care to make sure that whatever pattern is on your fabric is lined up correctly before you start stapling. Make sure to start in the center just like you did for the batting step.
The Finished Product!
Since we already had the plywood and all the tools we needed, we were only out the foam, batting, and fabric.
- 3″ High Density Foam (on sale): ~$30
- Batting: ~$10
- Fabric: ~ $20
Grand Total: ~ $60! Not too shabby for a custom window seat! What have you been building lately?
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