Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An easy slip cover for dining chairs

While preparing for a presentation to the lovely ladies of the Ft. Campbell Officers’ Spouses Club, I was trying to think of some easy, inexpensive decorating ideas, projects or transformations I could share with the group.  I was able to throw together a 20 minute talk which included tips about making the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
One of the ideas I came-up with was for a quick-and-easy dining room chair slipcover.  This project was fairly well received, so I thought I’d share it with you here.
flour sack cover
What you’ll need:
flour sack towels (2 per chair)
acrylic paint
fabric medium
make-up sponges
paper for practice

I got my flour sack towels at Dollar Tree.  They are thinner and none of them is the same size as the next, but I really like the gauze-like thinness of the fabric because they lend a very diaphanous, ethereal look to my slipcovers.
They are perfect for tea staining if you’d like a vintage look.  I stained this towel with green tea bags—it was all I had I the house, besides Lady Grey (and those are reserved for sipping!).  Generally, I would prefer to use the Red Rose brand tea bags—lots of them—because I prefer the color derived from that brand, plus they sometimes offer those darling little Wade Pottery animals in their packages!
tea stained flour sack
Pre-wash and dry the towels. 
Place two of the towels, right sides together, pinning along the two long sides and one short side.  You’ll end-up with a pillowcase like construction.
Turn the slipcover right side out.
I decided to try a practice run of the stencil on some paper.  I wanted to check the scale of the letter, as compared to the bracket stencils.  I think the letter is a little small, but was much easier to use pre-cut stencils than to make my own.  When I make  complete set for our chairs, I’ll likely make my own stencil.
letter stencilbracket stencil
Once you’ve decided on your design, you can get started stenciling on the slipcovers.  First mix your acrylic color with the textile medium according to the instructions on the bottle of medium.  I suggest you insert paper inside the cover, where you plan to stencil, to prevent  it seeping through to the other side.
I used a make-up sponge to apply the paint to the stencil and fabric.  I just pounced the sponge in the paint, then on the slipcover.
Once dry, you are ready to drop the slipcover on the chair. 
cinched flour sack
I love the casual, slouchy look and will definitely use this during the summer, but I also liked adding a little more shape by gathering the fabric on the inside and securing with a safety pin.  This would be the perfect place to add an accent of sprigs of pine or the such.  I also demonstrated the use of tassels at the top corners, again allowing for a more fitted look. 
This is definitely a project you can get done in a couple of hours.
I’m sure I left out some major details in these instructions, but you know where to find me if you have questions.
Let me know if you try this project and how they turn-out.
Thanks, as always, for your indulgence.

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Karen said...

My Nana used to bring me those pottery animals, we had a collection of them on the kitchen windowsill.

Paige Thomas King said...

My Aunt Billie has a collection. They march across her kitchen back splash. I've started one as well.
Thanks for commenting, Karen.

Heaven's Walk said...

Pretty pretty pretty! Great idea!!! :)

xoxo laurie

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