Monday, January 7, 2013

Make Something Monday: American Girl Doll Anywhere chair

I've been making A LOT of things lately.

I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it's left over initiative for all the Christmas items I intended to make but ran out of time for. Or maybe just being hunkered down for the holidays spending quality time together has me focused on things I can do at home...

One reason likely is the girls got some new American Girl dolls and its piqued my interest in making more things for them.
Ideally, I need to be making a bed since even though I made a lot mattresses, Ella has run out of bedding for her girls .

I'm really excited to rope my husband into some shared wood working time and making what seems to be an "easy" canopy doll bed at
Attempting Aloha

i don't have yet have the lumber or my husband completely sold on the idea, so in the meantime I scoured my burgeoning Pinterest boards to fine something to hold me over.

Luckily I hadn't burned all the doll boxes we received this year because I found a tutorial on how to make an Arm chair for your 18" doll.

She has you cut your box into two equal pieces- one on each end- saving the middle section for some lip thing that I am not sure is covered in the tute.

No lengths were given so I grabbed one of our new Caroline dolls to figure it out.

I found 7" to be a good length for the seat. I cut two intending on doing the design the blogger had done and saved the middle piece.
Upon stacking them I found that it was not going to be sturdy (it is cardboard) and decided to jangle from a full arm chair into a Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair
They don't have legs, just rest flat on the ground- so that's what I'm
going for.

To add sturdiness you could use thin plywood at that bottom or make legs from that- but if you're going that far why not make the whole project from wood- which looks easy and is my next plan after having asked my dad for power tools to borrow. Yay.
Also making it of wood requires planning and this is a project of impulse- which brings us to our next step.

- Find stuffed animals to sacrifice.
Now normal people would maybe go to a craft store and buy batting or poly fill but since I am the

"I just saw the most amazing project on the fabulous interwebs and I must MUST make it NOW" type of crafter, concessions must be made.
I see myself as Martha Stewarty Veruca Salt craft persona .

I find unnecessary stuffed animals and I gut them.

Sound harsh?

Not if you understand my kids rooms are filled to overflowing with stuffed animals.

Here's a picture from our "We leave for Disney tonight " announcement:

People, these are only the Disney stuffed animals- not even All of the Disney stuffed animals.
Downsizing needs to occur from time to time and this way I'm also "upcycling".

Eh, see there.... It's a good thing.

My two rules - nothing seriously beloved nor Disney goes away.

^ the victims.
The snow man is my decoration so it makes it even...

Stuff the insides.

It's easiest to do this by putting it in a baggy. Then all you have to do is staple the bag to the appropriate part of the chair.
I stuffed bags for the back of the chair and the sew cushion and two smaller ones for the arms of the chair.

How much you want stuffing to make each section is up to you.

Just make sure your Arms look even. I'm not sure mine completely do...

I stapled the arm padding on first, mostly to the outside and too of the arm going slightly over the edge to pad the inside a bit.Don't go overboard but make sure they're on good. You don't them coming loose once you permanently affix fabric and set your child loose to play with it.

No one likes a saggy chair.

I then stapled the back of the chair.

I used sandwich baggies as that is all we had and needed a second to fit across the whole back.

Obviously most makes up the front of the chair and I overlapped the top edge only a little mainly to secure.
I found when stapling its easiest to move the stuffing out of the way and staple mostly bag with a Tad of stuffing.

I had an awful mini stapler (impulse crafting ) so a decent stapler would be able to handle more.

Fluff everything out as best you can to prevent bumpy lumpiness and dolls complaining of sciatic nerve pain.

I used one for the seat cushion, heavily filled, though in hindsight I wish I had a larger bag. I may replace it later since the seat cushion is removable.

Now the fun part: "upholstery"

The blog I read got all fancy and hand sewed everything .
"Ain't got no time for that "

And so I pulled out my favorite crafting too:

My glue gun.

Starting with the sides I lined up the fabric how I wanted it to look and cut it. I made sure I had enough to cover the inside arm section down to the seat and half of the seat all the way to the back.

I folded the edge in slightly to make a seam when gluing at the corner where the side meets the back.

For the front of the arm- I really just folded it in to make it look the best I could and stapled.

Staples work fine on the inside that will be covered with the cushion. It gives a little more security than hot glue.

Repeat on the arm making sure the fabric is pulled taut.

When I measured for the back of the chair I included both the top head rest area cushion as well as the underneath of the chair.

Just drape it over all the sections and cut as needed.

I tucked the fabric under the top cushion, pulled tight and hot glued it down. You can also add staples if you use a small one you can maneuver underneath the cushion.

Once the cushion is secure pull the fabric tight over the back of the chair. I hot glued it to the back surface and then the bottom.

You may have noticed in the picture of the stuffing just stapled to the chair that the top cushion was a bit droopy. Once I hit glued and stapled the fabric around and under the stuffing and pulled the fabric Tight the stuffing lifted up to the proper place.

If doing the back and bottom together isn't working well for you, you can always do the bottom separate.

I included the little front lip of the chair in my measurements so the bottom section of fabric actually fastens in underneath where he seat cushion would be, covering the front and back in one step.

To finish off fold under the fabric at each side- where the Back meets the side to make seams.
I had plans to actually sew the cushion covering but the fact that it was 1:30 A.M. And my glue fun was hot and right beside me the thought of pullin my sewing machine out of its winter hibernation and fixing the broken needle from my last project lost any appeal.

So I simply wrapped the cushion like a present in the fabric, hot gluing it shut. I used all the same fabric but I think doing a coordinating fabric would make a cute look for the chair.

Maybe ill sew a cover for it for options.

It was a really fast, easy project and any child who can safely use a glue gun could accomplish it.

The only difficultly could be safely cutting the box apart.

And just like that Caroline had a new Pottery Barn Anywhere chair knock off!

Since it was hastily put together I want to make another one, more precise in my gluing and folding of fabric, but I'm please with it! Especially the fact it was free!

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