Up cycling – Seat covers for cane seats

I bought this gorgeous duck egg fabric a good year or two ago, I love its crisp cool colours that remind me of spring. I tend to revamp my cushions generally for the season – given that I bought 6 metres of the fabric for a bargain price of £5 the warm sunny days have made my thoughts turn to summer and had me rifling though my fabric stash.

chair revamp

There are two of these chairs in my studio – I picked them up from the local tip for £3 over ten years ago! The cushion was left from a recent re-vamp of a Chesterfield sofa E did at the end of last year. He kindly shaped the foam for me.

I used some calico to make a template of the chair – it is easier to push a sharpie right into the corners to get a good shape. Then I tidy the shape with a different coloured pen – a ruler and a French curve.

This clover wheel tool is great to add seam allowances, I just tape the pen to the guide at the right distance. (wish they would make these with pen attachments!)

I wrapped the foam in a thin layer of wadding, followed by a second thicker layer. This helps to protect the foam from disintegrating, as well as filling up the cushion pad. I love the process of hand stitching this on, as it is a lovely relaxing process.

I added a zip to the curved edge so that it would be easier to slip the cover off for washing if necessary. I decided against piping as it was hard to colour match the fabric from my stash. Either my bias binding was too blue or too green! In the best make do and mend tradition I decided to do without!

I find it a lot easier to hand stitch the bottom cushion piece, as you can have complete control over where the stitch goes without wrestling all the oddly shaped fabric under the presser foot. It also means that you can achieve a really snug fit.

It took me one weekend to complete these cushion covers, they are so comfortable! They fit in nicely with my mostly white colour scheme of the studio. They also match the sofa cushions I did last week!

Feather cushions with piping

Keep safe and well x

Bees wax wraps – perfect to use up fabric scraps as well as reduce plastic wrap!

Bees wax food wrap

This project has been the most fun and it can be a little addictive! We are all seeking alternatives to plastic, not just to reduce the mountains of plastic waste – as well as making something more sustainable and cost effective. These wraps can be made from scraps of fabric left over from projects or you can purchase some plain cotton cloth. It works best on thin cotton, used for patchwork.

To make a cloth you will need,

wax stips ingredients

You lay the baking parchment on your tray (believe me you need a tray! I did it the first time and ended up with beeswax running all over my ironing board!)

Lay your fabric wrong side facing and sprinkle the beeswax over the fabric, lightly.

Lay the parchment over the top and using a medium to hot iron begin to slowly work from the centre outwards.

plastic free food wrap lesson

iron from the middle outwards you will see the fabric colour change and the wax oozes away

You will see the wax change to a runny consistency and you can see the fabric slowly change colour as it soaks up the wax.

Keep working until all the fabric is covered.

 

food wrap - sprinkle beeswax onto fabric

sprinkle beeswax on fabric

This is far too much beeswax, when you iron on it it will leak everywhere! Not only that the wax is quite difficult to press under the iron.

Bees wax food wrap

Too much wax on fabric

You end up with too much wax and the fabric looks messy. The great thing about this project is that there is no waste!

Simply place this fabric between the baking parchment and let your iron slowly work the wax into liquid form. Move the wax away from the fabric and keep going until the fabric looks soaked and there is no excess of wax around it.

bees wax food wrap

melting the wax with an iron

 

You can do longer pieces in sections, moving across the fabric slowly. As long as you keep your baking parchment between the iron and the wax it will be fine.

Bees wax wrap

Bees wax cloth will cool quickly

The wax cools very quickly, when you peel the fabric off the baking parchment it will feel like oil cloth – it is quite stiff.

This is why it is best to use lightweight fabrics, heavier cottons such as furnishing fabric – takes more wax and makes the fabric stiffer.

Trim edges after waxing to keep from fraying

Trim edges after melting wax to prevent fraying

I use some pinking shears to finish off the edges after the waxing, it makes a nice neat finish. You can see the texture of the fabric in this close up shot.

 

The advantage these beeswax cloths have over clingfilm is that there is no transference of chemicals. Cheese is particularly vulnerable to picking up the chemicals in plastic.

The beeswax wraps are also washable, just use warm soapy water, (not hot) and use again.

The wax cloths are also very mouldable – use the warmth of your hands to smooth the wax around the object. I found this large wrap kept bread fresh.

eco friendly frugal gift wrap

These wraps also make a wonderful wrapping for some trickier gifts, without the need for sellotape. Not only do you cut down on wasted paper but the recipient has a useful object to keep food well.

bees wax yellow on baking parchment

yellow beeswax on baking parchment

This is a very cost effective project, using scraps of fabric and off cuts and the beeswax goes a long way.

You can get soy candle wax if you prefer – this wax came yellow and it has given the fabric a creamy colour – maybe there are uncoloured wax suppliers out there.

Do try and make your own – how often do you get to have fun and save the planet all at once?

ttfn x