I am so excited about this one, you guys! I really wanted these ridiculously expensive chairs for Sloane’s playroom, but then I remembered that she’s a toddler and will absolutely destroy everything with crayons, paint, crumbs, and pretty much everything in between.
So, as I do, I asked myself if I could make what I was looking for.
I am still nervous about using full-on power tools on my own, and I didn’t feel right about having one of my first projects being a chair for Sloane… Something about if it didn’t work sat poorly with me, pun intended, LOL.
Bad jokes aside, these D.I.Y kids chair cushions then popped into my head. I bought these chairs and made the cushions – sturdiness problem solved. These D.I.Y Kids chair cushions are inspired by the Leanne Ford kids chair from Crate and Barrel Kids – the ridiculously expensive chair noted above.
Leanne Ford Crate and Barrel Kids Inspiration
In all seriousness, if I were a bazillionaire, I totally would have got these chairs. They are ridiculously adorable and bring a level of sophistication to the playroom. Plus, Sloane loves fuzzy soft things and would be patting the seat non-stop.
I knew I had to mimic that for her.
As much as I would have loved to D.I.Y these chairs even further, I didn’t have it in me to paint them a “wood” colour. They would look SO good with that natural wood, though. If I were a superstar, I would have done the D.I.Y kids chair cushion PLUS painted them. I am only super, not a star.
Finding the Right Chair
Since I intended to D.I.Y kid chair cushions, I needed chairs that were not expensive whatsoever. My first instinct was to go to Ikea – they have the most perfect chairs to do this with (these ones). However, they are super duper short, and Sloane was already gifted the table for Christmas. That being said, you could totally D.I.Y kids chair cushions onto these chairs. No problem at all – plus, they are $25 a chair.
These ones are double the price ($100 for two), and I thought they were taller than the Ikea ones, but they are not. I literally just discovered that writing this post. Oh goodness. The back is a little bit higher – I think – can’t trust me anymore, LOL.
Anyways, cheap was ideal because I knew I would be fiddling around with the chairs so those are two great options.
As for fabric, you can literally choose anything you want! I picked this boucle fabric (they are sold out of my colour (ecru) – but this shop was SO fast for shipping, and it’s excellent quality) to match those Leanne Ford Crate and Barrel Kids chairs.
Foam-wise, I went into the foam shop, and they cut my foam perfectly to size with the foam cutter they have. If you don’t have a foam shop near you, this will work – you’d just need to make sure to order the right amount depending on how many cushions you’re making.
How to D.I.Y a Kids Chair Cushion
+ Fabric of choice (quantity depends on how many chairs you have – I did two and half a meter was plenty)
+ Foam (quantity depends on how many chairs you have – I got mine cut to size at the foam shop, this is also an option)
+ Staple gun + a lot of staples
1. Before you assemble the chairs, cut your foam to size.
2. *Place the fabric on the ground. Towards the corner of the fabric, place your foam cushion and your chair seat. Measure the fabric such that one inch of fabric covers the bottom of the seat. Cut to size.
3. Start stapling the fabric around the bottom of the chair. I like to start with the sides as it’s a straight line with no folds/curves to work into. **When you get to the corners, cut a triangular piece off so you have less fabric to deal with. Make sure you fold in pieces gently but tightly – stapling as you go. Think of folding those bedsheets nice and tight.
4. When you get to the back with the little notch out, you have to fiddle around to get a perfect fit. Try your best only to make sure there is only one layer of fabric. I ended up cutting a triangle off, plus a line in the middle of mine and wrapped the pieces tightly alongside the dowels. Again, staple as you go to keep it tight. You can refer to my IG highlights – under D.I.Y to see what I did as well.
5. Once everything is stapled tightly, build the chairs! There will be a few challenges as there is an extra layer of thickness, but you just need to push a little harder to get the pieces to slide in – don’t break the chair, but you can squeeze it on.
That’s it; you have a D.I.Y kids chair cushion and a complete chair!
Notes for the Melissa and Doug Chairs: *there are two pieces at the bottom of the seat that are both screwed on and glued on. Remove the screws, and gently but forcefully pull that wood piece up. This will give you a way smoother finish with the fabric.
** do the sides before you staple around the front/back of the seat, place the pieces you removed back where they belong. You should be able to see this because you haven’t stapled the front or back yet. Gently peak under the fabric and align the piece over the top. Screw the screw in; it should go in smoothly – that how you know you’ve hit the hole. If you’re struggling, try again until you find the hole.