Sunday, June 15, 2008

Make Your Own Window Seat

I do encourage doing everything on your own but you may need a little bit of help on this unless you know how to use a saw! It only takes a short amount of time to do the construction part and it isn't that difficult! The fabric is all you!

1. Determine where you want your seat and the size. Lay out large paper if it has a unique shape which is what I did here. I free handed the curve. Or, determine the exact dimensions if it has straight lines.
2. Cut the seat shape out of two pieces of MDF. Yes, TWO.

3. Take one piece of MDF to your local upholstery shop and choose your foam. The thicker the better. You need to do this first, or at least know your plan, before you build your seat so you know exactly how high the base seat needs to be built. They will cut it for you to match your top exactly. To give you an idea of cost, mine is 4" thick and was around $70.

4. Use 2x4s to support one piece of your MDF seat at your predetermined height. Use studs to support the seat on the wall as well as legs and then make legs every 8"-12" where it isn't attached to the wall. If you plan to use this as storage, make sure your legs are spaced correctly for function. You won't see it so just make it strong and you are set! Construction is done!

5. Buy your fabrics!

6. Determine the bottom skirt measurement. You will need to leave 3" inches to staple on the top. The length should be adjusted based on how much gathering you want. 1.5 times your actual length gives you a decent amount but play a bit before you cut! Hem the sides and bottom. Start gathering and pinning until you get the piece the right length with gathers. Do one run on the sewing machine to hold the fabric in place and remove the pins. If you need to tweak it, just loosen or gather more as you go, especially around the corners but doing this first makes it easier. Staple it to the built in bench. You should use an upholstery stapler to get through the MDF which you can get at any craft store.

7. Set your seat fabric face down on a flat surface. Set your cushion and then your MDF, also upside down. Ensure you have enough room surrounding every side to cover before you start to staple! The TRICK with upholstering is to take it slow and to maintain your fabric lines as you go. Do not start at one point and stay in a straight line. Put a few staples in the center of the left side, a few on the right, a few in the front, a few in the back, always ensuring that your fabric is staying taunt, not pulled too tight and remaining straight. Do the corners last by gathering each piece carefully so you don't have any areas with a large amount of fabric. Staying balanced is key. Curves are tough! You must use fabric with some give. Email me if you need some hints but most likely, you won't have to worry with that!
8. Viola! You have a window seat and it's gorgeous and custom! Now sew some pillows from coordinating fabric to go with it or buy some! Mine has some scrapbook storage under it and if I'm in the middle of a sewing project, I slide the storage box and other stuff under until I'm done with that project! It's a great hiding place too, the kids love it!
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