Glider Makeover

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Finally!  Now that the nursery walls are finished, I am getting around to putting the furniture in.  I bought a few items from some Craigslist sellers, including this great glider.  The original chair had seen better days, but the structure itself was great!  I decided it just needed a little makeover.

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The BEFORE Glider

You probably can’t tell from the picture, but the fabric had a few stains and the white paint was chipped in some places.  The bottom of it was pretty dirty as well, cobwebs and stickiness.  I started by removing the cushions and wiping the whole thing down.  Then I placed it on some cardboard and gave it a couple of light layers of white spray paint.  It didn’t need anything major, just some touch-ups. I specifically bought a white glider so I wouldn’t have to do any crazy paint jobs.

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Once the base paint was up to snuff, I attacked the cushions.  This part was much more of a challenge.  I bought myself a sewing machine a few months ago, but my experience with it is extremely limited (Translation: The last time I touched a sewing machine was in 6th grade Home Economics).  I’ve finally figured out how to thread it without the instructions, but the sewing part is proving more difficult.  So the next steps are not exactly how I would go about this project in the future, but they did the trick for this sewing beginner.

I started with the stool that came with the glider.  I don’t have any pictures of that particular portion of the project because it was my guinea pig.  Once I finished that, and was able to pinpoint some of my mistakes, I started on the other cushions.

As for the seat cushion, I was able to unzip the airplane fabric and remove it completely.  I knew I didn’t want to put new fabric over the existing fabric because I chose a light pink and white fabric that probably would not have covered the blue airplane fabric completely.  So I decided to replace it instead.  I also knew I wasn’t going to sew zippers onto my cushions.  That just seemed like a lot of work for a beginner sewer and I just didn’t want to mess with it.

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I placed the old fabric on top of my new fabric and cut out two squares that I could use to work with.  I made sure to leave enough room on the sides that I could pin the fabric pieces together to sew the seam.

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I lined the fabric up so the chevron lines matched up and the fabric was inside out.  I used small pins to create a border in the shape of the cushion.  Then I used my sewing machine to sew along the pin line, removing the pins as I went along.

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I sewed the border for the front and two sides of the cushion.  Then I cut the excess fabric off.  I sewed on an excess piece of fabric to the bottom part as well.  I wanted to hide what would be the ugly seam as best as possible.

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I turned my new fabric inside out and folded the cushion in half to fit it inside.  Then I flattened it out and adjusted the fabric to fit correctly.

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Here’s where things got interesting.  I wasn’t really sure how to close the final seam.  Luckily it was not actually going to be visible.  I didn’t just want to hand sew it because the seams were frayed and I thought that might look really ugly.  Instead, I folded over the two edges and used the machine to sew each of those.  Then I hand sewed those seams together.  It is clearly not the prettiest job in the world, but like I said, it isn’t visible, so who cares?

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Once the seat cushion was done, I moved on to the back cushion.  This one was a pain!  It has an odd shape to it and a lot of seams in the middle of it that were not edges.  It took me a while to figure out how to cover it, but I finally managed.

I started with the same basic steps as the seat cushion.  I cut out the fabric in squares, removed the old fabric, pinned the new fabric and sewed it on three sides.  Then I cut off the excess and inserted the cushion.

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Once I had all those steps completed, I tackled the inner seams.  As you can see from the picture, the fabric naturally sunk into those seams.  I couldn’t really think of any easy way to sew those lines.  The cushion was not going to fit in the sewing machine.  I ended up having to hand sew all of them.  I used a long needle with white thread and just started at the edges and threaded the needle through the front and out the back, then through the back and out the front on all three seams until they were done.  It was time-consuming and a little aggravating, but totally necessary.

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I closed the bottom seam the same way I closed the back of the seat cushion.  It is also not visible so I don’t really care about its appearance.  Once I had all the cushions completed, I placed them back on the chair and put it in the nursery.

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LOVE!!!  Not only do I love the way it looks in the nursery, I love the way it feels.  I sat down in it the other day when it was raining.  I didn’t get up for 45 minutes!  I just sat there rocking back and forth listening to the sound of the rain.  I can’t remember the last time I relaxed for that long without some sort of technology in my lap (sad, I know).  I can’t imagine I will be able to do that very often in the future.  I am hoping this glider will be a good source for mommy-daughter bonding though.

Stay tuned for more nursery updates!

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